Yesterday Luke and I met the appraiser at the house.  It was somewhat of a mad dash trying to get the floors cleaned and the bathrooms wiped down so the place didn’t so much resemble something that had been dipped in powdered sugar.  That ordinarily wouldn’t be a bad thing if in actuality the dippee was pastry-like and the sugary substance weren’t 7 months of dust.  As it is, my respiratory tract is in active rebellion and I was starved most of the day because there was no food unless I wanted to lick the dirt off the counter tops or eat peanut butter-filled pretzels which I hate.  No, I do not like peanut butter and I am not sorry for it.

Except on days when that’s all there is to eat.  That or dirt.

So, we are ending the end of this long and tedious building process and hope to be closed by mid-December.  In the meantime, we’ve been living lots of life and the Lord has been talking to me about things that may mean nothing to you but have tested my faith, my resolve, and most importantly, my attitude while I am waiting on the Lord.

I wonder if any of you are currently in a season of waiting?  For an answer that could change everything.  For a Word on how to proceed next.  For some good news for a change, for Pete’s sake, and yet you are scared to death you are about to hear the worst and that the proverbial rug is about to get pulled right out from underneath you.  And then there is what we do with ourselves in that excruciating meantime – the moments between when the thing first presented itself and that day when you will finally know.

I’ve been struggling with this one much and conducting a spiritual appraisal of sorts.  There’s this thing I am waiting on and I have had a very clear idea about what the answer ‘should’ be.  Up until this morning even, I was convinced that this was the only outcome that could possibly make sense, give me joy, or be in line with how God has guided up until this point.  Anyone else ever find themselves in situations where they’ve sought God diligently and all the ‘signs’ seem to align in one direction and then the exact opposite come to pass?  Do you think God gets upset when we ask, with humble heart, “Lord, what’s up with that?!  Are you just trying to kill me?!  Can’t this one thing just be easy?!”  

So, the Lord and I have been hashing through those kinds of questions and this morning I had a break through of sorts.  I felt He said, “Lisa, do you really want this if I’m not there?”  {Silence.}  Do I?  Do I really want the thing if He is not present in it even if the ‘thing’ seems so good or appears to be something that will bring Him great glory?  Or perhaps the harder question:  Have I set my hopes on that thing moreso than the Giver of it?   If the removal of that thing brings Him greater glory, can I be okay with that?  Can I trust Him with even that?

And though it panicked me to say it to Him, I answered ‘yes’.  Yes, I can be okay with that.  I can confidently say that I don’t want anything that becomes a barrier between me, my family, and His Presence and His approval over us.  Anything that I could scratch and claw and manipulate to be mine will only be a deadly abomination if His Spirit does not rest upon it.   Job 26:14 says “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”  I don’t understand all that He does, but He knows the way prepared for me so when I can’t clearly discern, or when I’ve thought I have heard from Him only to realize I misunderstood, then my faith has to trump my fear and disappointment and follow Him.  And here’s the kicker:  I have to go there free of bitterness or despair or I’ve gained no spiritual ground in the matter whatsoever.

After I prayed this through, the strangest thing happened.  I was at peace.  I’m not saying if the answer isn’t what I want that I won’t cry or that the answer to these times is to pretend the bad things are good.  Sometimes they flat out are NOT good.  But we can all be okay and continue to find refuge in Him because He knows.  He knows what it is like to give up something He loved for the greater good and that when we do the same thing we’ve joined with Him in His sufferings.  We’ve died with Him and in some strange way, that allows us to live like Him and for our souls to remain at peace as we wait. 

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”  ~Phillippians 3:7-10