When You’re Waiting on God {Part 2}

WHEN YOU'RE

Last week we discussed how to change our perspective on waiting by rephrasing our words from, “I’m waiting on God” to “I’m hoping in God.” If you missed that post, you can find it here.

So, let’s be honest. Waiting is not easy. Whether we’re looking for a package in the mail or an answer to prayer, my guess is none of us wake up with a burning desire to wait. Yet, God is showing me how He uses the time we spend waiting on Him to achieve His divine purposes in our lives.

Waiting builds dependency on God.  

We may try, but the truth is, we generally hold little power to fix the broken places of our lives. We need the Lord. The longer we wait, the more we discover just how desperate we are for the power, provision and protection of God.

Waiting builds humility.

We are not the champion of our circumstances, but God is.  Waiting teaches us to release control and accept a position of prayer. When this happens our hearts become more open to God’s will and submissive to His timing.

Waiting builds faith in God.  

The more experiences we have with waiting, the more we get to see God’s faithfulness in our lives. Each experience adds another drop in our bucket of confidence that God will always see us through to victory.

My friend, as easy as it is for me to write these words, the truth is these lessons are not learned overnight. They grow in each of us as a result of our humble submission and trust in the Lord. Yes, waiting is hard, but it also helps us grow in the Lord. If you are in a season of waiting, may I encourage you with these words from Romans 11:33:

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and ways!”

Yes, the Lord is perfect! Let’s worship Him today for His wisdom and ways that are far beyond anything we can comprehend!

When You’re Waiting on God {Part 1}

 

WHEN YOU'RE

Two hours in the grocery store and we were both spent. I neared the front of the store with an anxious toddler in tow and one thing on my mind. Getting home. I scanned the checkout lanes for the smallest line. Spotting a lane with only one person I raced to place my items on the conveyor belt.

After a few moments in line, it became apparent a problem had occurred with the order in front of us. I smiled and looked on; hopeful my less than interested lad would hang on just a little longer. I knew he was tired,but soon the whole lane knew as he loudly professed, “I’m ready to go!”

I did my best to assure him we’d be on our way home soon, but my momma efforts fell short against his strong, three-year old determination. He was ready to go!

As our wait continued to grow, so did my son’s lack of patience. In a near melt-down moment, he grabbed his newly acquired toothbrush and toothpaste off the conveyor belt and proclaimed he was going home. I reminded him his items had to be paid for to which he placed them back on the belt and continued to wait.

In time, we checked out and finally made our way home. Later, as I processed this experience, the Lord spoke to my heart about waiting.

In Lamentations 3:24 we read, “I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.” (NIV, emphasis mine)

In this verse, “The Lord is my portion,” means Jesus is our inheritance. As believers, His life, His love and His kingdom is ours through our relationship with Him. The verse continues, “I will wait for him.” In other words, I can choose temporary fulfillment in people, positions or possessions or I can wait upon the Lord and have everlasting fulfillment.

A quick look at Lamentations 3:24 in other versions of God’s Word, revealed the word “wait” to also be referred to as “hope.”

In the NLT, Lamentations 3:24 says, “I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him.””

Now, here is where God shed His light over my perspective on waiting.

There have been multiple times when my prayers have been followed up with a period of waiting. In these times God has reminded me, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Yet, because I’ve focused on that which I’m waiting for, rather than on God, my peace and confidence has wavered. At times, I’ve been known to take matters into my own hands and act apart from God, because waiting felt too passive.

Today, the Lord is showing me how “waiting on Him” is actually an act of “hoping in Him.” Waiting on God, is anything but passive. In fact, it’s a courageous act. One which makes our hearts fertile ground for God’s transformative work.

Next week, I hope you’ll come back as we dig into how waiting on God transforms our lives for His glory.

In the meantime, if you find yourself waiting on God perhaps you can rephrase your words to, “I’m hoping in the Lord!”

Be blessed my friends!

Corn and Black Bean Roll Ups {Frugal Friday Recipe}

Today I’m excited to kick off a new feature on Raising An Arrow, “Frugal Friday.”

My goal is to help you stretch your dollar and save you time by sharing a tips and recipes a couple of Fridays each month.

Today, I’m sharing a recipe my husband often refers to as, “a top five meal.” It’s simple, economic, and oh so yummy! A friend shared this recipe with me years ago, but it’s never gotten old. It’s on our dinner menu at least once every month.

I hope you enjoy!

Corn and Black Bean Roll Ups

Ingredients:

7 Tortilla Shells

1 can enchilada sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can of yellow corn (drained)

1 small onion diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: 

In a skillet, place a little olive oil and diced onion. Sauté until translucent. Add black beans, corn, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes.2016-05-06 17.09.57

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a potato masher, lightly mash beans and corn.

Fill tortilla shells with mixture, roll up and place in a baking dish.2016-05-06 17.09.11

Cover with enchilada sauce.

Top with cheese.

2016-05-06 17.17.30

 

 

 

 

 

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

2016-05-06 17.37.05

Jump Start Your Mentoring Conversation

questions to jump startyour mentoring conversation

Today, we continue our three-part series on investing in others. You may have heard of this type of investment referred to as discipleship or mentoring. All three terms point to the same idea. What’s most important is that we are making an intentional effort to sow into someone else’s life for the purpose of helping them mature in Christ.

As I read through your comments last week, “being present” was a common theme. Many of you agreed with the importance of being present. However, out of all the P’s we discussed, being present, can also be the most intimidating. I’ve heard it said before, “what if they ask a question I can’t answer.” If that happens, I believe there is great value in showing that you don’t know. As mentors we are called to be real rather than perfect, and our mentees will appreciate our honesty.

When asked a question that I haven’t known the answer to the past, I’ve said something similar to, “I don’t know, but let’s find the answer together.” Or, “I’m not sure, but I will find out and let you.”  Every time I’ve responded like this, I’ve been met with a sense of respect rather than disappointment.

Being present is the ground where the fruit of our investment will grow. As you and I spend time with our mentees, here are five questions to jump start our conversations:

  1. How are you?
  2. What has been the high/low of your day?
  3. What is your story?
  4. How is God working in your life right now?
  5. How can I pray for you?

As you and I pay attention to the life of our mentees we will be able to ask more thoughtful questions. Our time in conversation will enable them to see how much we value their life; accountability will grow, and best of all, we will both mature in our walk with God.  Yes, this journey may be a little time-consuming and perhaps intimidating, but I assure you it is well worth it for the sake of our future generation and God’s Kingdom!

After all, Jesus said, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Let’s do this, friends!!

May I pray for you? If you’re in a mentoring relationship or you would like to become more involved in mentoring leave a comment below, and I’ll add you to my prayer list. Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Linking this post up with the beautiful community of writers at Grace & Truth.

5 P’s of Biblical Mentoring

 

 

Investing in another believer means helping them reach their full potential in Christ while providing wisdom and instruction for them to grow as a disciple.

A season of challenging experiences had brought me to my knees. At the speaker’s invitation I went forward and bowed my head in prayer. In a matter of seconds, I felt the embrace of a single arm around my back. Tears crept down my face. I leaned into the Lord and remained still. When her praying ceased, I lifted my head and found a former student.  Just eight years before, her tiny body had filled a seat in my classroom where I had poured into her soul; now she was pouring back into mine. Standing to my feet, I embraced her with a hug and heard God speak gently to my heart, “the investment has come full-circle.”

Investing in another believer means helping them reach their full potential in Christ while providing wisdom and instruction for them to grow as a disciple.

My former student had found her place in God’s kingdom as an intercessor for others. This wasn’t a surprise to me, but what I hadn’t foresaw was the day she would invest in me.

God’s Word tells of multiple women and men whose intentional investment led to another believer achieving their full potential for God.

Naomi invested in Ruth following the death of their husbands.

Moses mentored Joshua before he rose to leader over Israel.

Paul poured into Timothy, often referring to Timothy as his son.

These examples remind us of our discussion last week when we talked about God’s command for older women to train younger women. (Titus 2:3-5)

As you and I step out to invest in others here are five ways we can make our time more meaningful and focused on God.

  1. Pray – Prayer is the key that unlocks all potential in your mentee and in your mentoring relationship. James 5:18 says, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (KJV)
  2. Be Present – We can give our mentee encouragement through a text or a comment on Facebook, but what will always mean the most is our presence. Physical presence is matchless.
  3. Proclaim God’s Faithfulness – Psalm 71:18 says, “…let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” God has done great things for each of us. Being a mentor provides the opportunity to tell someone else about His mighty acts.
  4. Plant God’s Word – God’s Word changes lives. It breaks strongholds and it’s filled with wisdom and instruction. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
  5. Permit your mentee to be open and honest with you, and always foster a safe environment with mutual respect and trust.

Perhaps you agree with the concept of investing in another person (or mentoring), but you feel uneasy when you think about yourself doing it. May I be honest with you? I feel the same way. But here’s what I know: uneasy does not equal unqualified. Uneasy just means we must lean into God a little more and trust He will lead our paths as we make ourselves available.

Next week we will take a look at five conversation starters mentors can use to engage in meaningful conversation with their mentees.

If you have not subscribed to Raising an Arrow, I hope you will. This is your chance to have biblical inspiration for your faith, family and frugal living delivered straight to your inbox. You can start your free subscription now by entering your email address in the white box at the top of this page.  (Mobile readers will need to scroll down the page) Have a Blessed Week!