“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray.”- Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”- Isaiah 55:8 (ESV)
In Chapter 5 (“When Waiting Feels Offensive”) of Still Waiting, Ann Swindell confesses that when she couldn’t understand why Jesus withheld healing, she vacillated between hope and something else. As she pointedly states, “there were times when offense crept into my heart and leapfrogged my hope, my tenderness, even my faith.”
Yes, Ms. Swindell notes, sometimes it’s hard to reconcile the truth of God’s goodness with worldly reality. It’s hard to trust God’s goodness in the midst of pain, brokenness, and struggle.
Furthermore, at some point the Bleeding Woman easily could have chosen offense and anger. Yet, she chose to trust Jesus rather than walk away from Him. Ann summarizes:
“When we have begged and demanded from God all we can, and when He still doesn’t change our situation, we’re left with a choice: we can choose offense with him, or we can choose obedience.”
In conclusion, the author lists specific results of offense. Thus, Ann stresses that offense:
- puts us in the judgment seat over God
- sets us in the place of declaring what God should do, how He should work
- tricks us into thinking we possess the right to condemn God
Today’s question: How has waiting taught you the deepest spiritual lessons? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “The sustaining face of God”