Have you ever found yourself trusting in the promise, and not the Provider of the promise?
You know that God has promised you something, and you believe in that, but you lack the faith in how He will provide? If you are like me, you know what I am talking about. You have the disbelief that the Creator of the universe will actually provide what He has spoken. You find yourself asking But how can it be? without the response following Let everything you have said about me come to pass.
The angel shared with Mary exactly how God’s plan would unfold, well at least how she would conceive a child anyway, and that the child would be great. The angel didn’t promise that Joseph would be by her side, at least scripture doesn’t note that anyway. The angel didn’t promise that the road would be easy, and that they would have it all figured out. He just promised it would happen. The Promise. Jesus.
And Mary’s response was Let everything you have said about me come to pass.
I am a planner. I want all my ducks in a row, I want to know what tomorrow holds, and I don’t really do well being “still”. Yet over the past couple months, God has been asking me to “be still”. I kind of wonder if Mary was like me. Getting ready to be married, with dreams of starting a family. Wanting to have everything prepared, and knowing exactly what the coming days would bring.
But then, she gets a visit from an angel that tells her that her life as she knows it will be changed forever by the birth of a son, and she places her faith in the God of the promise. I can only imagine that she was able to make it through each day by doing one thing. Being still, and knowing He was God.
In the beginning of this year, I asked God what He wanted of me in the year ahead. He said Be highly expectant. And so began the year. I wasn’t exactly sure what highly expectant meant, and what I was supposed to be highly expectant about, but I knew that if He was asking me that He was probably going to exceed what could be my highest expectations of this year.
I could have never dreamed of the plans He had for the year ahead, but I do remember praying in expectancy that He was going to show up in ways that I didn’t expect Him to.
I remember asking God what He was doing in certain areas of my life? I entered this year so uncertain about so many things. I remember that there were times that I had just enough faith to keep taking the next step in front of me. (If that is you, keep taking those steps!)
I learned what “being still” meant. Many nights as I would lie in bed waiting for Charlie to go to bed I would put a pen to my journal and just start writing to God. Someimtes I filled pages with tears, and other times with praise. And as have looked back, I have seen that as I was still, He began to do the unexpected.
If you knew what I was doing, you would approach the promise with confident faith
I didn’t expect that God would show me why loving others was worth it, yet I have found beautiful friendships in the most unexpected places. I didn’t expect my faith to grow through the uncertainty of storms, yet my husband and I walked through Hurricane Maria with more trust in Him than we have ever known. I didn’t expect Him to move mountains, and I definitely didn’t expect that sometimes those mountains were fears in my heart. I didn’t expect Him to show me that He can make the impossible reality with the smallest bit of faith. And I didn’t expect Him to lead me to make the biggest leap of faith I ever made as I told Him I was willing to risk everything in order to follow Him.
I have been continually moved to tears by His power and goodness this year. And now I know that His promise was that He would do more than I could every ask or imagine as I trusted in the One who asked me to be highly expectant..
What has He promised you? Maybe it is something specific, or maybe it is just that He is good. Maybe He promised that He is good, but you can’t see that truth right now. Maybe He promised that He was faithful, but you don’t see Him providing. Maybe He gave you a promise, and it is years later and you are still waiting.
To me this picture of Olivia captures the look of expectancy. And I have seen it on her face a lot lately. This week I saw it on her face as I was dropping her off at a “newish” person who was watching her. If I could guess what she was thinking it would be “I wonder what adventure we are going on today”… all while knowing it was going to be wonderful. I want to have faith that has expectancy like a child, and like Mary, not knowing what is ahead, but continually trusting that what He speaks is true.
God, I want to be found held resting still in Your arms, and although not knowing what is ahead of me, knowing that You do and that is enough. I want to be found trusting in You who makes the promise. Crush my unbelief. I want to be more concerned about who You are, than what You promise. But as I approach Your promise, I want to be found approaching it with expectant confident faith in You who provides the promise. I want to have faith like Mary, that may not understand how everything will happen, but still saying “Let everything you have said come to pass”.
How about you?
Thanks for stopping by today. A few months ago I invited my friend Jen to share her adoption story “Waiting Expectantly“. Her story has inspired many. Next week I will be sharing a new post from her “The Fulfillment of Promise” where she reflects on God fulfilling the promise He made to her and what that has meant to her this Christmas season. If you would like to receive an email notification when that and any of my new blogs are posted, please enter your email address below!