So often I want to post something on this blog, but I honestly feel like I have nothing to say. So I will continue on in the weekly (or so) posts, trusting God to give inspiration if I am to blog more often. As I was thinking through this week in review, the anticipated (possible) 12″ of snow this weekend, knowing that neither were blog-worthy, God drew me to a very cool passage of Scripture to study through and share. I feel so confident that I am posting relevant things when God appears to give me inspiration just when I need it.
And that is exactly what the passage of Scripture dealt with this morning: waiting on God, even if it is dark. That was like double confirmation that I was in God’s plan for me. Below are the verses from Isaiah 50 in the NIV Bible:
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.11 But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
When I think of meeting with the Lord, so often my mind envisions the experience wrapped in light. I am not sure why? But I am starting to see the benefit of waiting in the darkness for God to do what He has determined needs to be done. As I relate that to the plan God has before me for this year, to be obedient to at any given moment, I have had to think through the whole light and dark idea.
I think of darkness as bad, and so often in Scripture in represents something evil. And I think light is good, as Christ even calls Himself the Light of the world (John 8:12). But this is only one take on light and dark.
When it comes to waiting for God in the darkness, the verses above from Isaiah seem to indicate that it is something God desires. Darkness can be quieting. Darkness can be an encouragement to deeper thought. Darkness is God’s way of saying, “I have promised to work things out for your good and my glory, and I just want you to wait for what I am about to do.”
Abraham was promised that he would have descendants as abundant as the sand on the seashore, but instead of waiting in the darkness of no specific details concerning that statement, he decided to “help” God by sleeping with Hagar to get heirs that Sarah didn’t seem able to produce. If he had waited in the unknowing darkness for God to do what he promised He would do, how different might history have been! Ishmael was the patriarch of 12 nations in the Middle East that would war against Israel throughout all history.
Oswald Chambers said, “Never try and help God fulfill His word.”
In the Isaiah verses, God is speaking to Israel, warning them not to get ahead of Him, convincing themselves He isn’t at work simply because they perceive darkness. He warns them of what lies ahead if they create their own light (go their own way instead of waiting) and walk in it: They will lie down in torment.
As I review the week I am steamrolled by this idea: Am I willing to wait in the dark, that place of calm and quiet where encouragement from God awaits me if I remain? Or am I often pushing forward into places where I am not created to go? Honestly, I cannot help but think I am where I am today because of many instances of “helping” God when I should have been waiting in the dark.
This past week saw a return of some old struggles, which just wanted to make sure I knew had only been dormant, waiting for the chance to wreak havoc again. I know N.E.V.E.R. to turn my back on disordered eating. It never leaves. It can only be tamed and brought under some semblance of control, even that it is totally temporary. What I deeply desire to understand is how to be so filled in Christ that the strength He affords will allow me to overcome. I will be the first to tell you that I am not there, but in my 59 years, I have never desired it like I do today.
So this concept of waiting in the dark intrigues me greatly. It scares me to imagine God giving me over to tormented living. Yet again, that is why I am led to believe that I have acted in the dark rather than waiting, because I feel so tormented on most given days.
The past week saw the loss/gain of the same pound and a half at least a dozen times. Weighing daily allows me to see that, but it also allows me to evaluate eating in direct relation to this roller-coaster. I ended the second weigh-in Wednesday 1.6 pounds down from the previous one. I was sad to have had such a crazy week, desiring that first week’s weight loss to have occurred again. But that is unrealistic, I know. Weight loss always follows this pattern of giant loss out of the gate, and then realistic loss after that, as long as momentum is maintained.
Disordered eating H.A.T.E.S. momentum in the forward direction. But I have to remember that God does not. And He is my biggest cheerleader. His desire is for my success, as long as my eyes remain fastened on Him.
I have not been tempted by any shopping. I have read my Daily Walk Bible everyday. I have been recording my 1000 Gifts, although trying to find three every day was unreasonable for my life. Some days I have 5, but others, none. I have been making dinners and thinking about peace and prayer as often as God brings them to mind.
Prayer is hard. Not hard to actually engage in, but hard to hold as a focus. Instead of finding longer times to get out a journal and document prayers, I realize that the benefit of that is mine entirely. So I have been keeping the vision of “pray continuously” (I Thessalonians 5:17) as a more noble goal. It is so easy to offer prayers while driving, prayers while working, prayers while reading Scripture, prayers while grocery shopping. It feels more intimate and engaging.
It really is all about ending the year in a place where serving God is going to be just the flow of life rather than great effort. It means changing from this person I have allowed myself to become into the me that I want to be, the me that I was created to be.
I had this grand vision that they year was going to be an uphill, in a constant positive direction, but this past week has reminded me that I am still not ready to DO HARD. I might be ready to “do harder than I was” but I have to move into just plain HARD. More involved than I can even imagine. Without that mindset, failure awaits me, I am sure.
So a new week awaits me, and the snowy weekend I was anticipating seems to be sitting somewhere else for now? Ten to sixteen inches of snow was to fall between noon today and noon tomorrow, and so far not much of anything. I will struggle with a lot of anxiety if the entire thing fizzles out? It is 30 degrees outside and what has been falling for an hour now seems to be freezing rain?
Need to pray against that now….