The LORD Who Promised, and Wavering in the Wait
I began my quiet time this morning a little tired. Wanting to just rest in Him. To stop the hamster wheel of my mind with the anticipation of another upcoming week leading to another red letter day. Fearing another Groundhog Day, now 117 months in a row. I began my morning with a very real and very vulnerable question:
What happens when you believe God for something …
I mean really believe Him … and you’re wrong?
My faith was wavering this morning. Quivering in the wind. And I went hunting. In the back of my Bible, there are two verses listed for waver and wavering.
(Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful.
The root for the Greek word wavering literally means to be terrified as was the case in Luke 24:5. Very early in the morning after Jesus was crucifed, the women came to the tomb. And the stone was rolled away. And the tomb was empty. And two men were there. And the women. Were. Terrified. A fall-on-the-ground kind of terrified.
I wondered at that. What it is that is so darn terrifying about stepping out in faith. Believing in the impossible because God has spoken it. I think it has something to do with the in-between. The middle part of the unknown. The anticipation of glory. And the unnerving unknowning of what, exactly, will happen. And the lingering question of will He really show up? It’s in the moments when things don’t really make sense. And they kind of go against all logic and reason, neatly fitting into the “impossible” category on some unwritten form. And you’re trying to piece together the things He has said. Like the disciples did with the at-the-time confusing parables Jesus spoke in. The references to tearing down the temple and rebuilding it in three days. The allusions to His death. Taking snippets of things that sort of begin to come together, but it’s still all a fuzzy question mark of confusion. And second-guessing. And circling around in your mind while the Angels stand by smiling.
The women were thrown into fear when they first recognized the early signs of miracle and found two angels standing by them.
The same thing happened in Acts 10:4 when Cornelius encountered an Angel. And in Luke 1:11-12 when an Angel told Zacharias that his prayers had, indeed, been heard. And answered. And his wife would finally be pregnant.
More often than not, when an Angel appears to someone in the Bible, his first words are Fear not.
what is it about the anticipation of glory that’s terrifying?
I began trying to pinpoint what I am afraid of. Why standing on a stage in front of 200 women and boldy and confidently saying that we believe that God will give us our miracle pregnancy, without the assistance of drugs or fertility treatments is kind of terrifying. I did a good old-fashioned brain dump in my prayer journal:
I’m afraid of mishearing You. That somehow, these hours I’ve logged for all these mornings have actually been conversations with myself. And I’ve been too busy talking that You didn’t have an opportunity to break in. So You smile. And wait for me to finish.
I’m afraid I’ve twisted Your Word. Somehow manipulating it into exactly what I want to hear. Looking only for particular catchwords like Womb. Watch. Wait. Creating my own repeated phrases, words, and stories because those are the things I want to see. Like shopping for a new car. You never noticed how many of them were on the road, and suddenly they’re everywhere.
I’m afraid of a mirage. Numbers 23:19 says emphatically that God is not a man that He should lie. The Hebrew word includes a metaphorical definition of water quickly drying up and disappointing a traveler. It’s not in His character to do that. I know that. But I’m afraid of sabotaging myself. One of the most dangerous signs of impending death from hypothermia is your body tricking you into thinking it’s blisteringly hot when it’s -15° outside. So you strip your clothes off in a desperate act, moments before freezing to death. I’m afraid that I’ve been in this season of waiting for so long that my mind is playing tricks on me.
I’m afraid of being happy. For this long, emotional season to come to an end. Particularly as I navigate November and technicolor memories surface. I’m afraid of this story being tied up with a pretty red bow. I’m afraid of not knowing how to be happy. Of not knowing how to dance inside the realm of answered prayer because my eyes haven’t adjusted to the light.
When the women went to the tomb, they encountered two Angels and laid down, terrified.
When the disciples were terrified at the windstorm that nearly capsized their boat, they found Jesus laying down in the back sleeping peacefully.
LORD, help me to lay down and rest. To find a place for repose. And to remember that overanalyzing my fears really only amounts to worry, which never accomplishes anything. Help me to not be weak and powerless in my faith. Help me to not shy away from anything powerlessly at the idea of Your sovereignty. Help me to not consider my own body or the deadness of my womb. And help me to not waver at the promise. At Your promise. Given to me.
Strengthen my faith, LORD, that I might be able to give glory to You. For You, Who promised, are faithful.
And then, before setting everything aside for another day, I opened my Bible to the very back cover and found the list of 13 names of God written years ago from a study I had done. All Hebrew. All Old Testament references. And I added one more. This one in Greek. With a New Testament marker: