Pray. Wait. Pray.
I live on a five acre, wooded oasis. A little cottage perfectly placed in the middle of the woods. It is a peaceful, tranquil little piece of Heaven on Earth. My heart sings a thankful praise to our Father as I see His creation around me…deer, fox, birds and one time a little black bear. My husband and I give thanks to God for our home; we understand how blessed we are.
As I gaze out our bedroom window, I reflect back just a few short years ago and my emotions twist inside my soul. A time when our world weighed heavy on us, we felt helpless and everything around us was pressing in. When we cried out to God, He simply told us to wait. Not just wait, but wait in patience, and be steadfast in Him.
On September 10, 2011, a landslide took our backyard, a 15-foot retaining wall and part of the woods in our backyard. The slide moved so close to our home it was deemed condemned. That last unexpected day we lived, played, and prayed in our home became a race around in a panic state, grabbing the items we would need for an indefinite time. We did not know if our home and the things in it would stand firm and steady or join the crumbled destruction of the landslide below.
In the days that followed, we felt emotionally paralyzed. Our emotions were swarming with fear, doubt, anger, and confusion. We were suddenly thrust into a wild ride on the rollercoaster of life. The twists, the turns, the ups, and downs were plain crazy. Why? Why us?
In time, we finally pulled up our bootstraps, leaned hard into God, and started praying. We prayed hard. We prayed in faith. We prayed in fear. We prayed in tears. Our hearts ached. We prayed without ceasing. We were in a battle, fighting for our home, our family, for all we worked so hard for, but even more so, we were in a battle for our souls. In times of loss, struggle, pain, and difficulty we must choose to lean into God.
From the very beginning of this awful journey, God burnt into our minds and hearts…pray, wait, pray, wait, pray and wait with Him.
Luke 11 talks about a family that also had to pray and wait. One of Jesus’ loyal friends was sick, really sick. He was so sick he was dying. This friend was named Lazarus. Lazarus sisters Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” John 11:3 (NIV). Instead of Jesus leaving in a rush to this loyal friend, who He loved dearly, He stayed put. He just didn’t stay put for an hour or so. No, he stayed put for two more days.
I can imagine Mary and Martha’s confusion and questions of why Jesus waited. Why didn’t Jesus rush right away and heal Lazarus? What was the purpose of putting Martha and Mary through the despair and heartbreak? Before Jesus left for Bethany, the town where Lazarus lived, He said to his disciples, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Luke 11:4 (NIV). The long and head scratching wait was intentional. Jesus knew Lazarus was going to die. He also knew He would raise his loyal friend, who had been dead for four days, up from the grave. No sickness or death stops our God!
Here is the thing: our Savior always knows what is best. He always has a plan. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 (NIV). Jesus has us wait at times to grow our faith and learn to trust in Him. When we see His glorious hand moving in us, around us, and through us great things happen. Heavenly miracles on earth take place and our Savior is glorified. Amen!
Our landslide disaster resulted in years of waiting and praying for me and my husband, along with our family, friends, church family, and community. With the love, support, and steadfastness in God’s promise we waited. Acting in our own self, we likely would have made different choices but instead we waited on God and followed His direction. In time, God delivered us just as He said he would. For us, God provided the little cottage in the woods. He provided the means for the repair of the landslide and the removal of the “property condemned” sign on the front door. Despite several professional engineers who said that a repair on the property would be impossible due to cost and the complexity of the repairs, God pulled a plan together and gathered all the resources He would need to complete the job. The repairs were completed, the house was sold and we moved on with life. Praise God.
The pray, wait, pray, turned into our own marvelous miracle from God. To God be the glory, great things He continues to do…in the wait.