In the last couple of days, my husband and I have received an answer to a prayer we have prayed for a long time. So long that we felt like giving up at times; thinking that the Lord had a different plan and He wasn't sharing it at the moment. It has been a long road of preparation, sacrifice, and perseverance, and to finally be at the end, well, it's a little surreal. Almost like the dog who finally catches the car it's been chasing. What do we do with it now? It is also humbling; for the Lord is gracious, and abounding in love, overwhelmingly so.
One of the many things the Lord has taught me during the 'waiting' period is that even then He is gracious and abounding in love. He is good. Always. When He answers yes to my prayers, and when He answers no. When He gives, and when He takes away. His is God, and God is love. In the midst of the storm or the deafening silence of the doldrums. Often my perspective of what is good and what is not is skewed by my own sin and iniquity; by my own filthy rags. But He is righteous and holy and His ways are perfect and His perspective is clear. Trusting Him is a whole lot easier when I know what He is doing. But where is the faith in that? He has broken me and carried me and taught me more than I could have ever imagined in the last few years. The last few years when I thought I was just 'waiting' He was changing me, conforming me, molding me. And preparing me for what He has ahead.
But have I followed the Lord's instruction to redeem the time He gave me? Have I used the waiting time to grow? To till, and water, and clean out the weeds, and give nourishment? Have I redeemed the time He gave me where I was waiting? To love others, and to share Christ with them? To show them His way, His love, Him?
I am so thankful to the Lord for the prayer He answered, and for how He has drawn me to Him, for the intimacy with Him, and for the time He has given me now. I pray I redeem it for His glory.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."