July 19, 2017

Waiting For Word

It is a good Wednesday in sunny and warm, Phoenix. We had another go-round of storms last night, which has caused our morning temps to be mild but sticky humid. Sigh! I guess you cannot have one without the other, right? I am enjoying my morning cup of coffee. It is just about 10 a.m., and I am sitting at my desk, sipping my coffee, and thanking the Lord for this blessed day. I feel good, despite the morning headache, and I am in this very good place, spiritually and mentally. I have a sense of purpose, value, and I feel confident that within the next week or so, I will have a much better vision of what to expect come fall.

In fact, I feel confident that whatever happens, whatever comes my way, the good of God’s plan will come to pass. I am resting in the final version of that plan, in the version that has yet to be revealed because I know that God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t shortchange us on His vision, and He doesn’t acquiesce to our demands. No, He takes His time, He completes His plan, and He does everything with one goal in mind, and that is to bring us to maturity in Christ Jesus. He has one objective — heaven — and the pursuit of shaping us, recreating us — reconciling us (as Pastor Cooper shared on Sunday) so we are fit to spend our eternity with Him as eternity was originally meant to be (perfect, good).

Thus, wanting His plan to come to pass sooner than He has designed it to do so suggests that we know best. I may desire a quicker response, a “right now” provision, but God knows that the wait will be worth it. In truth, as I have experienced this before, I know that the wait is always worth it. For example, I remember when I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to teach for a really long time, but through my own error in judgment and my misinterpretation of God’s will for my life, I ended up going in the wrong direction. I ended up very far from God’s design and plan. Later, when my life had sort of upended itself, I was in this new place where I could actually choose a career. I chose teaching because I thought it was what God originally planned for me to do. I wanted a career as a teacher, I longed for a career as a teacher, but I wasn’t able to just step into that role. In fact, the more I tried to do it, the more the doors slammed shut on me. I realized after a couple failed attempts that no one was going to give me a shot at teaching until I had the proper credential. I had to wait to complete a masters degree, and then I had to wait a while before I would be given an open door to even work as a teacher’s assistant. Eventually, I was hired to teach as adjunct, and after one successful semester, I was retained and given more opportunities. Now, I am a seasoned adjunct instructor, and I teach both campus and online classes. But, the rub was that it took time to prepare me (school), and then train me (teacher training/assistant), and then test me out (adjunct) before I could even be considered worthy of full-time practice.

As I wait for God’s provision, I marvel at His handiwork. I marvel at how gracious He has been to let me learn how to be a teacher — at my age — and to “do over” the plans He had for me originally. Had I listened to Him way back in the beginning, I would be celebrating my 25-30 year anniversary as a teacher. Yes, I would have been a longtime teacher — perhaps even thinking of retirement — now. But, I didn’t follow His leading well when I was younger. I tried, but I listened to other people who simply were not devoted followers of Christ, didn’t have my best interest at heart, or wanted to see me succeed. I am not blaming these folks because I made the decision, it was really more that the people I surrounded myself with back when I was in college were not the best “advisors” I could have had. More so, the college counselors I met with simply did not care that much for helping students. They were like, “Here. Take a paper on this degree.” They did not really want to invest time in the lives of the students they were supposed to be counseling and advising on life/career choices. Sigh!

The good news is that God is a God of the DO OVER. Yes, He is a God who loves to restore and reconcile. He loves to restore people to their former position (in Christ, as joint heirs, and in His family), and He loves to reconcile them to Himself, others, and even to the designs and plans He has for them. He is all about doing things right, and even when you blow it big time, God is able to restore, reconcile, and turn things around so they come out right. I am living testimony to His faithfulness, His goodness, and His desire to make good things happen for the right reasons. You see, I believe so dearly that God allowed my wandering heart to percolate deep in the dark desert until such a time as I was ready to receive His goodness. I wandered away from Him, not the other way around, and while He never let go of me, He did let me be stranded for a time in a pretty awful wilderness experience. But, when the time was right, and I had surrendered to His will, He rescued me. He reached down and rescued me. He set about reconciling me to Himself (again), and through that reconciliation, He also restored to me the life He had designed, planned, and purposed for me to walk in. I am now in this privileged place, this good, good place. I carry within me the message of reconciliation, and I am ready to take my place, my role, in His kingdom plan, His marvelous ministry of kingdom restoration.

My life is born anew, and the way in which I walk now is surefooted and secure. He has made it so, and while I wait for His next open door, next byway, I know for certain that the way I am going, the direction, the path I am following is also to be blessed. He has a great plan for my future, and I am filled with hope this good, good day, that He will bring everything He has promised to me to pass. He is good to me, so very good to me! Selah!

In Conclusion

In closing, as I sit here today and wait for His provision, I know that He will provide the very best to me. So whether His best happens to be the full-time position I applied and interviewed for earlier in the month or another semester of part-time work as adjunct, whatever comes to pass, it will be best. I know it. I believe it. I am sure of it. He has given me a heart filled with gladness. I rejoice today not just in the material security and blessings I have received, but in the spiritual happiness that resides deep within my soul. I am happy. I am filled with joy. I know my Savior well, and because He loves me — really, truly, deeply — loves me, I can rest in the security and provision of His mighty and majestic will and way. He is good to me, so very good to me!

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