Not Ashamed to Wait

“Those who wait for Me with hope will not be put to shame.”

Isaiah 49:23c NLV

We love stories of overcomers.  We invite testimonies that end in victory.

We applaud members of the Body who have a “before” and “after” tale of how Jesus plus willpower took them from the dust of defeat to the pinnacle of spiritual success.

But we hide the strugglers and stragglers in the back pews.

If suffering lingers long, whether or not it is in the hands of the one who suffers to do anything about it, we cringe and pull back and hope they go away.

We don’t offer them the pulpit or the Sunday School hour to speak of how Christ continues to be the hope to which they cling.

Because deep down, we think there must be something wrong with them, something wrong with their brand or quality or strength of faith.  If they only got it “right”, they too, would have the victory.

We would rather shush the suffering than face the tension between God’s goodness and His sovereignty.

We shame them to silence by implying they have nothing to share until they are able to wrap their story with a perfect spiritual bow.

We add insult to injury when their need for help exceeds the allotted three weeks or six months or whatever arbitrary deadline we impose on the prayer list and our patience.

But maybe what God has for me and others who suffer long is not a victorious tag line that can be slapped on a photo or shared on social media.  

Maybe it’s only in the continued press of suffering that God reveals Himself in ways the non-suffering never see.

Maybe a dash to declare victory is actually rushing past what God has for us in deep pain and ongoing struggle.

Maybe waiting in hopeful expectation for what God is doing and will do in me and through me IS the victory.

We wait for Yahweh;
He is our help and shield.
For our hearts rejoice in Him
because we trust in His holy name.
May Your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh,
for we put our hope in You.

Psalm 33:20-22 HCSB

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

18 thoughts on “Not Ashamed to Wait”

  1. This is something that has always bothered me about church. As Kari suffered from a condition with no earthly cure from the time she was born, it’s been something I’ve struggled with. In our (previous) church, people would always get up and share about their victory, even healing from toothache was applauded from the pulpit. Yet those who battled on, with hope in the Lord, in spite of not yet receiving the healing that was prayed for and longed for, were never recognised except as needing…needing prayer, support, more faith…whatever. I longed to get up and say something, but wasn’t brave enough. I’ve been thinking about doing something about it in my new church, which I believe has a more Biblical perspective on this. Haven’t got there yet as I need to be very very careful that my motives are right.
    ,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Melanie. Your words have been so comforting to me since my husband passed away 2 1/2 years ago. Your words express the things I feel and know but cannot express. God’s blessings on you as you struggle alongside us, missing your son.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am certainly struggling and straggling today. Your wisdom helps me to accept the long road with a humble and grateful heart. The first lines of the Serenity Prayer are often quoted, but I find solace in these words of that same prayer,

    “Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    As it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    If I surrender to His Will”

    Thank you…from the back pew.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reminds me of one of my favorite most hopeful passages: Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. ❤ ❤ ❤ We are God's pride and joy. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Maybe it’s only in the continued press of suffering that God reveals Himself in ways the non-suffering never see”.

    I’ve read this sentence over and over. It rings so true. Because there is no victory at the end of this struggle. Only in the life to come. Thanks for your wise counsel.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oh, Melanie, this is absolutely beautiful and comforting to read. I am sad for the truth of it, though. Long-suffering does not fit in to the false prosperity message that so many Christians have fallen into believing.

    Liked by 3 people

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