Waiting Moments: Be a Warrior not a Worrier

One of the most difficult moments in life is the waiting moment. It is a time when everything seems still, a stillness that feels like stagnation. Waiting moments could range from little things to major landmarks in our lives. It could be waiting for a job, marriage, a child, visa, admission, scholarship, breakthrough in ministry and many more.

There is usually a feeling of uncertainty, stress, sometimes fret, frustration and impatience. Waiting moments are not sweet moments. During these times, our character and faith are tested and, unfortunately, many of us fail the test. Some of us run ahead of God, usually in the wrong direction.

We seek shortcuts, the consequences which we face later. Some also resort to complaint and murmuring which sometimes result in blasphemy. My personal attitude has usually been of anxiety and worry which leads to frustration. These are normal human reactions but the word of God teaches us a different approach altogether, that which is contrary to our normal reactions.

The key scripture is Philippians 4:6:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.”

We see in this scripture the right attitude in moments of waiting. The sum of it is that we are not to be WORRIERS but WARRIORS. So, prayer is very crucial in waiting moments. We are to re-channel the energy used to complain, cry, curse, murmur, and blaspheme into prayer. Instead of counting our loss, we are to count our blessings (they are a lot, trust me) and give God praise.

Anytime worry knocks at your door, pray. Anytime anxiety shows up, begin to thank God, blessing Him for being in control of your future. Your assurance is that Jesus has got your back covered:

“Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

It is a great privilege to pull all your burden and worries on Christ and go to rest. Jesus truly cares. Roll it, roll it all on Him! He cares!

Photo: FreeImages.com/Joshua Parent

No Regrets Where God Leads

I have noted that usually I don’t know what I really want. I am unfamiliar with my deepest desires. There are surface desires that I pursue based on my limited knowledge. It is only when God establishes His will regarding a particular matter that I realize that “Ah, this is what I truly desired!” It turns out that these desires are deeply seated so much so that I barely recognize them.

God is all-knowing (omniscient indeed). He searches our hearts and knows our deepest desires. David puts it better by saying,

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed (Ps. 139:15-16, NRSV).

Here are some examples that describe what I said in my opening paragraph.

For many years, I kept running away from a man who was going to be my husband. It was only after God had helped me accept him that I realized he was the only man I had always wanted for a husband. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Is. 55:8).

When I got pregnant, I said I wanted a girl mainly because she will help with house chores. I prayed for God’s will anyway. It was not until I got a boy that I realized that what I really wanted was a boy. My joy knew no bounds. I wanted him to look like his dad and grow to take charge of his daddy’s affairs. God’s ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8).

One other example was when I wanted to start my masters. I desired to travel outside the country. I was then working with the International Programmes Office of the University of Ghana. I had interacted with a lot of foreign students who encouraged me to pursue further studies abroad. You should have seen how hard I worked on foreign applications and how much money I spent on application fees. I was praying every dawn for favour with my applications. I was consumed with the desire to travel.

But the Holy Spirit (He is our helper indeed) directed me to pray for God’s will concerning my masters, which I did, yet still holding on to my desire. It was later that I began to see myself in my dreams working with the then director of the Institute of African Studies. I knew right away that God was directing me. So I went online to make inquiries about masters in African Studies and applied.

Graduating with MPhil in African Studies at the Great Hall, University of Ghana.

To cut the story short, all my foreign applications failed; there was no funding for me. I ended up with Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. I was taught by the director and lo and behold, I became her graduate assistant. The best part of the story is the wonderful learning experience I had, with very supportive course mates and amazing supervisors who took personal interest in my thesis.

“Ah! There could not have been any better place for me than this. Thank you Lord for your constant leadership,” I found myself saying a number of times. Indeed, God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Is. 55:9).

I can go on and on, but my point is “We make our own plans, but the LORD decides where we will go” (Prov. 16:9, CEV).

God is the Master planner. He will give you step by step directions that will lead you to your destination. Many times, like the fog light, you will only know what is ahead as you make a step in obedience to His will. So, in all aspects of your life and regarding all issues including the insignificant, seek His will for he cares and is willing to direct (1 Pet 5:7; Prov. 3:5-6).

There can be no regrets where the Lord leads. You try it!

A Moment of Testing. It’s Only for A Moment

I begin with a quote from John Piper:

We will have everything we need in this life, including painful things necessary to bring us to glory.

This week has been a moment of testing. A test of my patience, a test of my faith, a test of my resolve, and a test of my joy. I got betrayed by a very good friend, and it cost me some good amount of money and time. I also lost my step-sister on Thursday.

But yesterday morning, in just a moment, in just some seconds, under the razor of the tonsor, God spoke to me in a way that I never imagined. He spoke through the barber as he shaved my hair. The message was clear. God spoke from His word, and as I sat listening to the prophecy that was coming through this young man, my eyes filled with tears.

He spoke about my soon-to-be launched book and how it was going to impact greatly on the lives of people. He spoke of the challenges I had faced that week and how He was going to turn all of them around for my good. He spoke to me. He spoke to me…through a barber.

It was in a barbering shop…with Christian music playing at the background. It was a barbering shop with printed sheets of scriptural verses pasted all around (cf. Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18-20). There was no way anyone who came to the shop could avoid reading them.

He spoke to me. He spoke to me. And by the time he was done cutting my hair, I had received healing, I had received encouragement, I felt a heavy burden lifted off me (cf. 1 Cor. 14:3). That wasn’t all. In the afternoon of the same day God spoke again, this time through my wife: “When challenges raise their heads, you count your past miracles and believe that this one too will be a miracle.”

God speaks to us in so many ways. He has prophets in both the mundane and spiritual moments of life. He doesn’t speak only through those with titles such as ‘prophet’, ‘pastor’, ‘reverend’, ‘bishop’. He speaks through His children, in whatever profession they are. And the great thing is, whenever He speaks, He speaks from His word, so you know He is the One speaking.

Let your profession and workplace be a tool for helping someone find joy, encouragement, comfort, and salvation in the Lord.

God is faithful. No matter what you are going through, if you hold on to Him, He will crown you with victory. You won’t drown.  

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa. 41:10)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isa. 43:2)