A Time to be Silent (Part Two)

11 09 2014

If you didn’t read Part One, you must before reading this post!

*****

When we look at our lives through the lens of Scripture, we can make sense of our situations. Romans 15:4 states:

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

As I considered the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, I discovered many similarities between their episode and my own life:

  • I prayed diligently for God to intervene and resurrect a part of my life (Sorry, no details. Use your imagination!)
  • When this seemed improbable and utterly hopeless, I quit asking the Lord to move in my situation.
  • I resigned myself to a life of barrenness (not literally – I have seven children!).
  • God spoke to me through Isaiah 43:19 in January (and with this verse many times since) to say He would answer my prayer this year.
  • More bitterness, resentment, and anger toward the Lord erupted than I would have thought possible. “Now??? At my age??? Thanks a lot!”
  • Further, I didn’t believe what He said.

Interestingly enough, by this time, I’d found myself without a “voice.”

  • Every ministry I’d been involved in came to a close (except for Lessons by Heart).
  • I had nothing to write that was uplifting, encouraging, or even something with which to exhort others, which explains my few posts. :-/
  • We were at a new church, with few people whom we knew. I had no one to spew on!
  • Music was silenced as well – very rare for me.
  • Our circumstances were such that I couldn’t ‘process’ with the Lord in my customary way. It had to be done silently.

His timing was everything:

  • Much inner healing needed to take place in me before I would be ready for what He is currently doing.
  • I needed a preparation time; opportunities to practice the necessary skills in order to handle what was coming. This was done through our guest, and was what I suspected, as I wrote in Stupid Distractions.
  • My identity in Christ needed to be solid, or I would have self-destructed.

It would appear, then, that I am in labor…a messy process. At the end of all this is the delivery of a promised child. What it will look like is yet to be seen, but at last – and because of this story – I have hope.

His promise to me?

Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Sadly, I had a lot to work through with the Lord when He made this proclamation. It took several months to get to the place where I believed again:

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Numbers 23:19

 Don’t know the ‘due date,’ but I am, at last, rejoicing in the upcoming delivery!

*****

Some observations:

While Zechariah may have been unaware of what lurked in his heart, God wasn’t. It would seem that when He briefed Gabriel, their conversation might have been:

“Gabe, I need you to go tell Zechariah that he and Elizabeth are going to have a baby.”

“A baby? That’s…well…great. Hey, didn’t they quit asking for one years ago?”

“Yeah, but the time has come. He’s not going to be as excited as you might expect.”

“At his age, shocked might be more along the lines of expected responses.”

“Well, Zechariah and I have some things to sort out. His first reaction will be to question Me. You need to shut that down. We don’t want his issues with me to take the shine off Elizabeth’s joy.”

“How shall I do that?”

“Well, let him know that he won’t be talking to anyone until after their child is born. That will give us enough time to work things out.”

You see, although Zechariah had been offended by God, yet God called him and Elizabeth righteous and blameless. God understood the why of Zechariah’s reaction. It was time to address the matter. In other words, God does not hold our offenses toward Him against us, but continues to pursue and woo us.

He’s been doing this with me again. (And I thought I was through believing lies about Him. 😦 )

He loves us with an everlasting love. That amazes me.

Despite Zechariah’s lack of faith, God was faithful and answered their prayers at the right time. His delay went way beyond giving a couple a sweet little baby. He had something very special in mind for them all.

With God, timing is everything. He knows far more about what’s needed and precisely when. For this couple, having John so late in life was actually an act of mercy toward them. They would be spared the horror and pain of John’s untimely death. Instead, they would be there to greet their son when he slipped through the veil between this life and the next one.

This has been a lesson learned – even after I knew it all!!

His patience and lovingkindness overwhelm me. Concerning the issue at hand, I have been faithless. I gave up asking Him to act a few years ago…figured I’d have to wait until heaven for relief.

I doubted His goodness and His love for me. I didn’t realize how confused my understanding of Him had become. While I can state with conviction that you are loved by Him with an unending, deep, and passionate love, I’ve believed this didn’t apply to me.

In His perfect timing, He brought these things to light so we can get them settled. I am soothed by His gentleness as He tends to these wounds in my heart. Truth is the balm He uses to heal what was so diseased.

I wonder, what have you learned about your own life as you look through the eyes of Scripture? I’d love to hear about your lessons!

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25 responses

2 12 2014
Kim Sweeting

Hi Tami…your test is a compliment on the greatness God has placed in you and the grace that is available to sustain you…..much beauty has already risen form the “ashes”…be encouraged one step at a time.

2 12 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your encouragement. This has been a time of deep inner healing and restoration. It will be interesting to see what the next season looks like!

2 12 2014
Kim Sweeting

You’re welcome Tami…God’s seasons of deep processing are never easy but the end results are priceless…… it may be interesting to see what your next season looks like, but I believe it will be more interesting to see what you look like in the next season….selah…:)

14 11 2014
worthless_romantic

I’m learning that more than half of the time it’s not about us. Notice that Elizabeth had to wait all of those years for Mary to be old enough to carry a child. Maybe the wait is not about you, maybe God is preparing others around you for what is coming.

14 11 2014
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, timing is everything – and the hold-up is not necessarily us.

I hadn’t thought about Elizabeth’s wait being Mary’s age. That’s really good.

Makes me wonder what timing matters have us on hold!

Knock ’em dead this weekend. They’re gonna be blessed by your contribution! May God be magnified and exalted.

9 11 2014
Pastor Roland Ledoux

Sister Tami;
You are a living example that prayer works, for you and yours have been in our prayers. We all go through these times, the sad part about it is that it is rarely taught and so many of God’s children go through these times with no clue that it IS a natural AND spiritual circumstance. It isn’t on the mountaintops that we normally grow. It is in the valleys where at times it is dark and forest covered and we can’t see the light. But the Holy Spirit still has a pathway laid out and when we stick to that path, no matter how dark it appears, His will is ALWAYS accomplished.
I don’t know if I shared with you before, but I have fibromyalgia and at times the pain can keep me from typing but it doesn’t keep me from reading, so when I can’t post, I spend time going through the sites I have placed on my links page. This keeps me inspired and helps me to continue to meditate on His word. I have NO complaints because of His word. When I feel up to it, I love to feel the keys under my fingers and then I usually don’t know when to stop.
I’ve learned that just because I may not “feel” up to posting, the Lord in His wisdom has PERFECT timing and it is always right on, not just for me, but those He has chosen for me to encourage or edify. I no longer question my timing, because I have learned it is HIS timing. I’m just the brush, or the pen in His hand; Sis, much as you are.
This is what makes this medium so precious in this day and age, it is accomplishing the building of the Body of Christ, the SPIRITUAL body to come together and share their gifts and ministries. Ministry is service. We don’t lead by lording it over those the Spirit brings our way, we lead by going ahead, on the front lines so to speak, and show by example how to Love, how to trust, how to persevere! We are orchardists and farmers, sowing the seeds of the Spirit and what comes up is then the Fruit and the seed of that Fruit grows in places we may never be aware of; kind of like story of Johnny Appleseed.
I truly loved Part 1 and 2 of this. It was very much to the point and laid out so perfectly. I love your writing and wish I could write as clearly. But, God gives us each gift to fit our characters so that there is a place for everyone who Loves Him to accomplish His will and not ours.
I am so happy to see you have started posting again and even though it takes a while for me to “make the rounds” it will be a joy the next couple of days to catch up!! As so many others, your writing inspires me and gives me time to meditate on God’s Word.
So, Sis, ’til the next one, God bless you continually!!!

9 11 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thank you for all the encouragement. This has been a particularly tough season for me, and faith that there IS light at the end of the tunnel is what I cling to with the little strength I possess.

God promised to do a new thing this year, and He is. It’s messy in the middle, though.

Thank you for every prayer you speak on my behalf. It is, no doubt, why I experience unexplainable peace on a frequent basis. Some of my other friends here in Blogtopia are also lifting us up. That’s the Body in action. Wonderful, isn’t it??

I’m sure writing is still my call, in part. I hope to be posting on a regular basis in the near future, Lord willing. It’s not yet time. {sigh}

\o/

13 09 2014
Kari Anne Dorstad

I’v learned something i knew but just could’t get a clear focus on .I just came across Matt chandler on you tube and heard his sermon on the Prosperity Gospel. I know its a false doctrine, but i still find myself seeking this or that ,asking God for husband on days when i feel like i want a husband, and then the next day thanking him for unmarried life. Well now i can clearly get up each morning and say Jesus is enough no matter what happens.That is the message of the Gospel, That is the Good news period. Following Jesus is not going the make me rich or healthy popular or famous. I might not ever get married or even be on earth when My grandchildren graduate.. He has promised me eternity with him and that is all i need.

13 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

That’s good stuff, right there!

12 09 2014
Prodigal Chick

I have missed you!! This has blessed me. I have been in labor as well and have had nothing to say coherently. It is mind boggling and spirit soaring as to the exact same road you and i are traveling right down to the same scriptures!! Oh how magnificent are the plans of our God if we don’t faint!! Actual labor and birth was easier! At least we had a good idea of when we would deliver and what we would deliver. I have had to force myself to be still and know that He is God, His plan will be born when He says so and until then it is none of my business to be obviously sure!! This plan of His is large and vast and bigger than I can wrap my mind around. I can’t see it but I can feel it….the heartbeat….the pressure, the contractions. With Every passing day the life of it gets stronger and stronger. It calls out to me from the secret place, totally invisible to me. The labor is excruciating beyond description. My life as I knew it is unrecognizeable, never to be the same. But at the end of the day I yearn to get the prize…..and we all know that nothing worth having comes easy or without pain. I am right where I am supposed to be in His plans!!

12 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

Lol! My coffee cup…an unclaimed Christmas gift, reads “Be still” and has the verse on the other side.

I thrill at your words, for the “large and vast and bigger than I can wrap my mind around” bit is the same sensation I have – but haven’t a clue what He has in mind. It feels arrogant to state this, though, so I keep those thoughts to myself and mostly “ponder them in my heart.”

Life here is unrecognizable as well. Nothing like how I thought this year would go. Changes happen quickly, forever altering life. Craziness, I say!

As for labor…do they offer an epidural??? Lamaze isn’t cutting it!!

Love you!

\o/

13 09 2014
Prodigal Chick

Ha! At this point an epidural would merely take the edge off!! The appointment is for the appointed time. He will break us through with all pomp and circumstance necessary!! Sweet sister, there is nothing left for us to do but to stand still and see the salvation of The Lord!
Love you!!!!!!

12 09 2014
Susan Irene Fox

Oh, Tami, seeing Isaiah 43:19 could not have come at a better time for me!
While I have been pursuing an old task I was certain was from Him, I have been confused for some months, feeling called in other directions as well. Your post has given me new energy and insight. Suddenly, I feel like instead of carrying one child, I’m carrying triplets.

As scary as that is, the thought never before occurred to me. Thank you for a clarity I’ve never before had about all of this. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Again, SO glad you’re back. ❤

12 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

I am so glad I posted this now. I nearly didn’t because it seemed self-centered!

I’m not sure how long before my ‘voice’ is restored. In the meantime, God is doing work deep in my heart.

He had me remove the empty collar I wrote about early this year – and replace it with an anchor. I love how He is visual with me. 🙂

Can’t wait to hear about your triplets. 😉 How good of Him to let us be part of what He’s doing.

\o/

12 09 2014
Susan Irene Fox

Oh, Tami, it’s a huge adjustment…and sometimes it has felt like an anchor with me trying to keep from drowning! 😕

However, every new day seems to bring a new perspective. And you just opened up a world of possibilities. So thank you. He often speaks to me through other people. Luckily, I was paying attention. 😉

Now I just need to make the adjustment.

Nestle into the work He’s doing, and let that anchor keep you safe. Just another perspective. ❤

11 09 2014
nopew

Fascinating that I relate to so much of what you write. God took my music away, as I have written on my blog. I haven’t got around to write that at a Bill Gaither concert God gave my voice back, but not for performance.
Like you I rejoice in what God does for others, but when God healed me I was (and remain a little) skeptical.
Righteousness does not exempt us from more lessons on — righteousness! I confess my report card has a lot of red marks on those ones.
And my posting has become sporadic. I’m working on about three dozen articles, but they aren’t coming together.
Sorry to go on like this, but I was shocked at your situation and blessed that I’m not the only one. Perhaps it will bring you some peace to know that about me. Either way,
Peace

11 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

I’m thankful to know this resonated with someone. It felt like a ramble! Makes me feel okay to know I’m not alone. Thanks!

14 09 2014
nopew

I see by the comments I wasn’t the only one! I pray for all who resonate or are inspired by this article – and God behind it.
Peace

11 09 2014
vonhonnauldt

Gonna have to start calling you, “Olive” (Psalm 128:3) 🙂 As for “lessons,” I’ve learned that I’m dumber than a snail, and slower, when it comes to the things of God.

11 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

Aw, thanks. 🙂

11 09 2014
worthless_romantic

No one is allowed to quote Psalm 128 ever! This is a promise that has been forgotten and I’d like to keep it that way, thanks.

11 09 2014
lessonsbyheart

Sorry, dear friend. :-/. See you on Monday.

12 09 2014
vonhonnauldt

Sorry you feel that way, though I do recognize that Old Testament verses aren’t directed primarily to Christians. We can learn from them, however, cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11. It was meant to be a light-hearted comment.

12 09 2014
worthless_romantic

That was in fact “light hearted” as I am sure I will never be able to control what people talk about. I disagree however that the Old Testament is ‘just for the jews’ and that the only benefit we gain is simply story telling with a moral of the story type approach. I was in my room praying and the Lord told me to read Psalm 128 and He said it was a promise to me. I don’t ever remember reading that before although I’ve read the Bible several times. Maybe one day my ways will please the Lord and it will come to pass. I am getting quire old though.

11 09 2014
Yoshiko

I have been wondering

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