When You’re Waiting on God {Part 3}

WHEN YOU'RE

Today, we conclude our series, “When You’re Waiting on God,” with the story of Hannah.

Hannah was a girl well-acquainted with waiting. Her experience led her through times of discouragement and depression, but she never lost hope. Hannah’s story is often told to illustrate the power of prayer, but when we dig in a little deeper we can also learn a few lessons about waiting.

Let’s Begin with a Little Background.

Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah had two wives – Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. Hannah longed for children, but was unable to conceive. Peninnah would often poke fun at and taunt Hannah because of her barrenness. As a result, Hannah experienced deep emptiness and sorrow.

Each year, Elkanah would take his family to Shiloh to make sacrifices at the Tabernacle. This trip was painful for Hannah, as she watched Peninnah and her children interact with one another. On one particular occasion the family was eating a sacrificial meal when Hannah got up from the table and went to pray. In deep anguish, Hannah cried out to the Lord,

“O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if You will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to You. He will be Yours for his entire lifetime…” 1 Samuel 1:11

As Hannah was praying Eli, a priest in the tabernacle, stood nearby. Eli saw Hannah’s lips moving, but did not hear her speaking. He concluded she must have been drinking and reprimanded her. But Hannah replied,

“Oh no, sir!  I haven’t been drinking… but I am very discouraged, and I was pouring my heart out to the Lord…for I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16

After hearing her heart, Eli said, “Go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

With joy, Hannah exclaimed her thanksgiving and returned to the meal where she began eating and was no longer sad.

Learning from Hannah’s Prayer.  

First, Hannah made a commitment to give her son back to God if He would answer her prayer.  Anytime we are waiting on God doubt and discouragement will try to creep in and tempt us to believe God is not going act. In reality, God sees everything and is in complete control. Instead of following falling victim to these feelings, we can commit to professing God’s sovereignty over the whole earth and remain steadfast in our belief that He is indeed for us and not against us.

Second, just as Eli misunderstood Hannah’s deep anguish when she was praying, so also we may be misunderstood in our circumstance. In these times, it’s vital to remember God’s sovereignty and determine to stay glorify Him regardless of what happens.

Third, Hannah didn’t let Eli’s comment cause her to withdraw or fret, instead she responded with the truth and received Eli’s blessing. As a result, she was able to return to the meal joyfully and begin eating. Sorrow no longer had a grip on her. Hannah’s example encourages us to choose joy over defeat when we are waiting. God’s desire is for us to live joyfully and with confidently in Him regardless of our circumstances.

When Faith Leads to Fruitfulness

Years later, Hannah returned to the Tabernacle to give praise to the Lord for giving her a son. Her commitment to God and persistence in prayer while waiting ultimately resulted in significant fruitfulness. Hannah was eventually blessed with not just one, but six children.

Friend, if you are in a season of waiting, I pray Hannah’s story encourages you to profess God’s sovereignty over all the earth while persisting in prayer. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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