Christian Women's Magazine | Waiting on God

JBU Winter 2016 Cover

By Kara Tippetts

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you." ~ Isaiah 43:2-3,5

Why is God-with-us such a hard concept to embrace? I would say it is strength that keeps God at a distance from us. And when that strength is taken, removed, or shaken, then we beg for God to be God-with-us. Until then, however, we keep him at a safe distance because we simply don't want to be interrupted, questioned, or asked much of in our daily living. When the hard hits, we want Jesus to be right there. But, once things ease up a bit, we say "Thank you Jesus. I've got it from here."

The sovereignty of God in suffering is kindness to keep us utterly dependent in a way our strength resists. Suffering often comes to the strong and is met with bitter anger. It isn't the suffering that causes the anger so much as the taking of strength. Honestly, in the hardest of my cancer treatment, I was not crying out for the suffering to stop, but more for the strength to return. If I'm totally honest, that is my prayer right now - not for fewer days of suffering but for more days of strength. 

We love strength, we live for it, and when it is gone, we question the goodness of God. But as I have seen in my own story, the taking of strength is grace, huge grace to draw me to Jesus. And now, as I face a different treatment, a hope of improvement, and a small ability to go and go - how will I use that strength? And when the suffering comes again, will my heart be ready to receive it? I hope to be able to say "Thank you, Jesus, for entrusting me with this new hard. Help me to be faithful in it. Help me to reflect Your goodness in letting me partner with You in suffering." 

This issue of Just Between Us magazine seeks to encourage you - even in the midst of waiting.  Job said, “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job knew he was in God’s waiting room. That’s what that little word when means; it points to sometime in the future. When is not now. Yet on this journey, when our strength is gone, when we are in the midst of our trial and waiting on God, we find something is happening to us. We are being “golded.” There’s nothing like the fires of affliction to put a gold glow on our souls - on our character.  We pray you seek God in your trial, rely on His strength to persevere, and know, without a doubt, He is right there with you - even in the wait!



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