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Waiting on God in the Valley

12 Sep

Ever feel like screaming:Waiting on God in the Valley

God, where ARE you? It’s the eleventh hour, and I’m beyond impatient waiting on you to show up!”

In a crisis situation, that desperate plea sounds pretty reasonable, right? We’re frantic, and we cry out. There’s nothing wrong with that. David did this repeatedly in the Psalms. God isn’t afraid of our honesty. In fact, He welcomes it.

Even so, there are four fundamental misconceptions with these statements, and believe me, I’m guilty of wrong belief myself!

  1. God is not with us.
  2. He might not respond, so we have to get His attention again.
  3. It really is the eleventh hour.
  4. It’s about us.

As for Number One, can I just say here that Immanuel means “God is with us”? That is Who Jesus is. I could say “end of story” or “enough said” at this point, but that often doesn’t satisfy me, so here’s a bit more.

When we believe in Christ, confess our sin, and accept Him into our lives as Lord, He gives us the Holy Spirit as a deposit and way to know He is with us.

How can we ask where He is when He is Immanuel? It would be like saying His name is a lie, He’s not Who He says that He is, and He doesn’t really live inside us as the Holy Spirit. Once we trust in Him and invite Him into relationship with us, He doesn’t go anywhere.

He never leaves. Never.

Matthew 1:23, ESV, Apostle Matthew relaying the Word of the Lord

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV, Moses speaking

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

As for Number Two—God not responding—this one shows our humanness so well. Don’t we feel unheard so much of the time? Don’t we often feel we have to scream and wave our hands to have people listen? I often feel not listened to when someone asks me a direct question, I answer it, and they have no response. That one gets me half out of my mind in frustration.

But God. God doesn’t ignore us. He always responds. We often don’t see it from our limited viewpoint because His response is not always what we were wanting—even demanding—but He definitely replies.

1 John 5:14, ESV, Apostle John speaking

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us (emphasis mine).

Can we look at this verse in its entirety? Can we see what it’s really saying?

It’s saying He hears us. When? If we ask anything according to His will. Do we really want an answer outside His will anyway? God is good. Anything outside that would be unfavorable toward us, yes? I can live with that understanding. I can find peace in it. Can you?

As for it being the eleventh hour. Really? We know this beyond a shadow of a doubt? Are we time lords? I know many who are waiting for:

  • That call back from a therapist because their situation feels so dire. Will this be a good match?
  • That scan to come back. Will there be shadows? Nodes?
  • That answer from a dear one in response to a tough subject. Will they understand? Will they take offense where none was meant?
  • That solution on how to proceed with schooling when finances are depleted. Will there be a new direction to go in? Will this education be wasted?
  • That career lead to know where they will land for a while. Will the family have to move? Will it be worth it?

Sometimes we feel we are down to the wire. We think we are waiting for God to ride in on a shiny white horse and wave a magic wand over our situation. We think we need rescue.

Can I tell you from personal experience and a long history of trying to do it my way instead of following His lead that:

Rescue already happened on the cross. 

That’s right. Your knight in shining armor has already come. Your answer is already accomplished.

John 19:30, ESV, Apostle John speaking

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

You are merely waiting for Him to reveal it to you, and that’s where He refines us.

And as for Number Four: It never was about us. It’s now about Christ who lives in me. 

Galatians 2:19-20, ESV, Apostle Paul speaking

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This summer hit a low point in my life. Dad started chemotherapy for his sixth cancer in the past 34 years. I’m still waiting for some things to settle out with the ongoing care of my special needs son. The shrapnel from our past year of nonstop advocacy for one child crashed into the other two. Some days it felt like keeping my head above water was all I could do. Valley walking isn’t fun. We all know this.

If you already trust Christ, these promises are yours in the valley.

If you don’t, they are absolutely your inheritance as soon as you acknowledge to Him that you are a sinner (as we all are), that you need Him in your life, that you believe in what He did on the cross for you, and that He died and rose again for you.

It’s a phenomenal gift. If you receive it, you can walk in amazing relationship and peace that Immanuel is absolutely and forever God with you. He always hears you as His beloved child. Your situation is never too late in God’s time. And as much as He loves you, it isn’t about you. It’s about His glory revealing itself by loving a world through you.

That valley suddenly has a purpose to it and a way through it that, while not always pleasant, arrives at its mountaintop with God’s grace, strength, peace, love, and joy given along the way. It means hope in your life even when, like me, you are still waiting out the answers and looking for the higher ground on the horizon.

Won’t you take my hand?

Better yet, take His.

Immanuel, God with you. Always.

*This blog was first a featured column at Your Tewksbury Today.

**It has also been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Grace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Me, Coffee & JesusDance With Jesus, Blessing Counters, Breakthru Link-Up, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Sunday Thoughts Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Link-Up, Bonbon ‘n Coffee Linkup, Faith ‘N Friendsand Christian Mommy Blogger.

More anecdotal stories about an everyday relationship with God can be found in Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day (includes Book Club Discussion Questions).

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22 responses to “Waiting on God in the Valley

  1. elizabeth959803

    September 12, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Beautiful, Bonnie…and so timely. I was just talking with my tween the other night about walking through a valley. She is in one now, having “lost” her 2 best friends to messy moves. They are still her friends, but they are not where they were before, where she could see them every day or every week. She is missing them painfully. I will share this with her gratefully, because I’ve run out of mom wisdom to use to try to comfort my sweet girl! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      September 12, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Oh, thank you, Elizabeth. Something similar happened to me in high school. That is so hard. Praying for her heart to adjust to the new normal. He is faithful to keep the friendships we need alive and to also fill in the void where we need new ones.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. Christine Carter

    September 12, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    He never leaves. Never. <— Thank you for this. For this entire post full of such hope and encouragement and wisdom!!

    This among so many other things you wrote- spoke to me so deeply:

    "And as much as He loves you, it isn’t about you. It’s about His glory revealing itself by loving a world through you." Oh, how I love that so very much. YES!!!

    Lets continue on, my friend. Through the valley… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      September 14, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thank you so much, my sweet friend! Valley or no valley, Chrissy, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He is loving the world through you.

      Like

       
  3. Alana

    September 21, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing on Pick your Pin! This really touched my heart and is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      September 22, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Thank you so much, Alana! I was so incredibly honored to be featured there this week! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Tai East

    October 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    This is an awesome post, Bonnie! Your words are such an incredible blessing. Thank you so very much for sharing and for linking up! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      October 19, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      So excited to see your link-up, Tai! I’ve been a bit MIA in the blogosphere of linkups. So excited to find yours! Blessings to you as well!! Been praying for you!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Tai East

        October 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        Awww, Bonnie! Well, I’m glad your back and I’m honored to have you link-up with me! And thank you so much for your prayers! I truly appreciate it! Love your heart! You’ll have to email me and catch me up on how things have been going with you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
  5. Tai East

    October 23, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Good morning, Bonnie! Just wanted to let you know that I’m using this post as my feature for today’s blog hop. Thanks so much for sharing! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      October 23, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Oh, Tai…that made my day! So kind of you! I put the “featured” picture at the bottom of the blog. 🙂 Thanks so much! I’m so honored!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Tai East

        October 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

        Awww! You are most welcome, Love and so deserving! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
  6. welcomesue

    November 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    My second bonnie i met today online (I have a daughter named bonnie, age 27) – yes – so true – when i yell and insist, it means I don’t trust the God I say I trust. Great post! next to you at me, coffee and Jesus this afternoon in CA.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      November 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Welcome, Sue…thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it. Where in CA? I lived on the Central Coast 4 years and then Bay Area for 7 years. Give Cali a hug for me. Miss its weather (says this Boston girl with wool socks on already!).

      Like

       
  7. Bonnie Lyn Smith

    November 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Reblogged this on ☕ Espressos of Faith ☕ and commented:

    I was recently reminded how many dear ones are in a personal valley right now. I hope this brings them fresh encouragement from the only One who offers the living water to refresh our spirit.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” — Jesus (John 14:27)

    Blessings,
    Bonnie

    Like

     
  8. thisbeautifulride328

    November 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Beautifully written!! Yes, for sure, God is with us. I’ve been feeling alone, like God doesn’t hear my cries. These are words I needed to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      November 6, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Oh, thank you so much for stopping by Espressos of Faith and sharing your reflections! I really appreciate it! We sure can feel alone sometimes….and it’s the enemy’s way of making us think we are far from God, when really He is always with us. Blessings!

      Like

       
  9. Edith

    November 3, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Very encouraging! I love how you ended this. We can go through anything if we know that God, our Heavenly Father, is with us. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

     
  10. Hopeful50

    November 6, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Waiting is so hard. Valley’s are deep and lonely. Glad to visit and share today from the Mom-Gene!

    Like

     
  11. debbieputman

    November 7, 2017 at 9:13 am

    So much good here, all I can say is Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      November 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Thanks, Debbie!!! I appreciate you stopping by Espressos of Faith.

      Like

       

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