Wanting Season | Waiting Season

The vessel must first be prepared before the water is poured out. Twenty five years may be a long season to wait but remember, God-sized promises require mountain-moving faith.

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Have you ever tried waiting for something that seems to be too elusive? I tell you, you are not alone.

Abram was given overwhelming promises by God. He was promised to be a father of many nations, as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the sea. What a promise! Now, if only Abram is at the prime of his youth and his wife, Sarai was not barren. But we know the story. God fulfilled his promise to Abram and indeed, he became the father of many nations – the father and epitome of faith.

It took the couple 25 years of waiting for the fulfillment of the promise that they will bear a child. By the time God was ready to fulfill His oath, Sarai was already 90, and Abram 100. It was very humanly impossible for them to bear a child, and yet God delivered his end of the covenant.

Now let’s talk about the 25 years of waiting. T-W-E-N-T-Y-F-I-V-E years. Let that sink in for a moment.

I could think of a lot of things the couple would have thought about the promise while waiting. Perhaps they just ran out of options so they just “going with the flow” about the promise. Perhaps they have been tired of waiting so “come what may, we’ll lose nothing anyway”. Perhaps they just keep themselves preoccupied daily so they will not feel the pain of longing for a child during the day, and just shrug off the feeling during their solitary moments. Promises are supposed to energize us, and perhaps it also energized and kept the couple in high hopes! But 25 years, really?

We can only guess, and the Bible is silent.

Oh, but it gave us an account when after a few years since the first promise was given, Sarai, still barren, tried to help God to fulfill His promise of a child when she urged her husband to sleep with her maidservant Hagar. This act, though outrageous in today’s standards, was a common practice during Abram’s period of time.

Yet God was not happy with it.

Sarai did not inquire of the Lord, and Abram willingly obliged with his wife’s urging. The result: a patch up solution to a God-sized situation. Ishmael, the son born out of the maidservant, is not in the plan, and it resulted to a generational problems for his descendants. This reminds me of Eve urging Adam to take a bite of the forbidden fruit, leading to disaster. I see a pattern here – when the man of the house refuses to take the helm of authority in his household when he is clearly in the capacity to do so, problems arise. But this calls for another topic. When we try to fulfill the promise in a way that is not what God intended, it will not result in the blessings that God has promised.

As we wait upon the Lord, our longings are amplified and the temptation to “take over” is at its peak. Waiting makes us stronger, but it will sift us first. It will reveal us, scrutinize us, and bring us to our knees. Waiting is not easy. If it is, then patience will no longer be considered a virtue. Waiting makes us vulnerable – it separates the impatient from the virtuous.

Waiting is not easy. If it is, then patience will no longer be considered a virtue. Waiting makes us vulnerable – it separates the impatient from the virtuous.

The Israelites failed in waiting for Moses as he was in the mountain, communing with God. King Saul failed in waiting for Samuel and took the role that wasn’t meant for him. In Jesus’ parable, the lazy servant who was given one talent failed in his “waiting season”, so as the half of the ten virgins as they wait for the bridegroom. Sarai almost lost the promise with her impatience.

Though waiting is excruciating, help is always available, and so is hope.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. – Habakkuk 2:3  

I remember an old VBS song we used to sing when I was still a child:

I will wait upon the Lord
And delight myself in Him
Waiting in the Lord
Trusting in His Word
I will wait upon the Lord

I believe that there is a big reason why God made Abram and Sarai wait for 25 long years. It was not because He wants them to suffer, for them to lose hope along the way. He wants to make a statement – that the baby He’s going to give them will be born out of a miracle. He wants the world to know that when God delivers, it’s going to be BIG, and it’s really worth the wait.

But are they ready for the promise? Will they continue to believe God’s promises despite the delay? The vessel must first be prepared before the water is poured out. Twenty five years may be a long season to wait but remember, God-sized promises require mountain-moving faith.

The vessel must first be prepared before the water is poured out. Twenty five years may be a long season to wait but remember, God-sized promises require mountain-moving faith.

Abram and Sarai waited and made it through their season of waiting. In the end, they were rewarded with a promised son. But more than the child, growing closer with the Lord in those 25 years is the biggest reward they could ever have. And why not? Generations later, Abraham is still regarded as the father of faith and a faith hero the Israel looks up to.

Are you in a season of waiting? His promise still stands, and your faith will soon be rewarded.   

God’s Kind of Love

Tama si Princess: tuwing ganitong panahon, sagana tayo sa 3K: may Kilig, may Kabog, may Kirot…. It’s love month once again and I am about to share with you something about God’s kind of love.

The world defines love in these three emotions:

KILIG

– the superficial indication of a “desired” love. I say “desired” kasi ang kilig ay something desired, kasi ito ay desirable. Hindi ka kinikilig sa taong ayaw mo, lalo’t hindi sa kaaway mo. Ang kilig ay nararamdaman lang kapag ang taong gustong-gusto mo ay kinakausap ka, tinetext ka o kahit lumapit lang sa iyo. But we all know that love is more than just the kilig factor. Jesus was never kinilig when He was praying in agony in Gethsemane, much more hanging on the cross. But we all can say that that act is the perfect demonstration of love.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, bininigyang liwanag mo ang umaga ko.”

KABOG

– the unexplainable feeling of being tense because of someone’s presence. Kinakabog ka kapag dumadaan ang kinakikiligan mo. Dinadaga ka kapag kinausap ka na ng crush mo. This is the kind of feeling na kapag tinamaan ka, all sanity seems to leave you. Nawawala ka sa sarili mong katinuan. Hindi makapag-isip ng tama. The world thinks it’s cute. But God’s kind of love doesn’t change like shifting shadows. Hindi pabago-bago at hindi dependent sa kapaligiran. Though He’s head-over-heels in love with us, He still knows that we need to be disciplined if we need to. Never Siyang kinabog ipakita ang Kanyang pagmamahal sa atin.

Their pick-up line” Kapag nandyan ka, kinakabahan ako. Para ka kasing araw, kapag lumitaw na, alam kong late na ako”

KIROT

– the sudden gush of emotion that makes you swear you will never fall in love again. Makirot sa pakiramdam kapag iniwan ka ng mahal mo. Ang gusto mo mamanhid ka na at wala ka nang maramdaman. Ayaw mo nang makinig sa payo ng iba. Ni ayaw mo nang kumain. Nagiging bitter in the end. But God’s kind of love, no matter the amount of heartaches and pain He receives from us, still keeps us as if we never offended Him. He never became bitter on us.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, pasikat ka na, masakit ka pa sa mata.”

The world defines love in these three superficial definitions. But God did not just define love. He exemplified love. He demonstrated it. While we were still sinners, He died for us.

Minsan sa mga Bible readings ko, o kaya kapag nagninilay-nilay ako, whenever I encounter verses telling me how God loves me, I am over-awed. Sobrang nakakamangha. Imagine the God of the universe loving me and making me feel loved? Hindi po talaga kayang i-contain ng mga mumunting isipan natin kung gaano kalawak, kalalim, katayog ang pag-ibig ni Hesus. I remember times in my life na papasok ako sa office, tapos bigla na lang akong kikiligin, ngumingiting mag-isa sa jeep o kaya sa bus. Kasi di ko ma-contain yung sarili ko. Kapag nag-uumapaw ang presence ni Lord, nag-uumapaw din ang emotions. What happens inside is revealed on the outside.

Heto ang ilan sa mga love notes Niya na makakapagpakilig sa atin:

  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3
  • “People might let me down from time to time but God will always take me in.” Psalm 27:10
  • “Now I tell you to love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
  • God’s love pardons us for the mistakes that we made, is we are in Christ, we will not be condemned because through Him we are set free from sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

These verses and many more are enough to convince us na mahal na mahal Niya talaga tayo. Pero bakit kaya minsan, kapag may mga trials na dumadating, I tend to forget His kind of love? Kapag kinulang ako ng budget, nakakalimutan ko yung mga time na dinala Niya ako sa Nueva Vizcaya with only 20 pesos tapos pag-uwi ko 120 pesos na. Kapag di ako mapakali sa dami kong hinahabol na deadlines sa church, sa school, I tend to forget na it was Him who made ways for me to miraculously finish college. Kapag may kinatatakutan akong kausapin na tao kasi baka sigawan ako, mapagalitan, nakakalimutan ko na minsan sa buhay ko, mga abogado at matataas na opisyal ng eskwelahan ang nakaharap ko sa isang dialogue. Mga mumunting bagay pero parang nakakapagpabulag sa akin kung gaano ba naging katapat ang Diyos sa kanyang mga pangako sa akin.

One thing we have to learn: God is faithful.

The Greek word for faithfulness is pistis and it means “firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness.” It carries the idea of giving someone credit. An English synonym is, oddly enough, reality. You focus your faithfulness on someone who seems “real” to you.

This faithfulness that we’re talking about is not the “saving faith” kung kaya’t tayo ay naligtas. This is the seventh quality of the Holy Spirit and it simply means “believing the believability of God”. Oo nga’t nanininiwala tayo sa ginawa ni Hesus sa krus: na namatay Siya, muling nabuhay at muling babalik. Pero sa mga “reyalidad” na nasa harap natin ngayon, do we still “believe” Him? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will provide kung kinukulang na? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will deliver us kung nandyan na yung aso at inaamoy-amoy na tayo? Naniniwala ba tayo na He will sustain us kung nagpa-follow-up na nga yung supplier, yung manager o yung customer?

Maybe the reason why we are sometimes finding it hard to believe His faithfulness is because we are basing our faith on the wrong thing. There are two bases for our faith:

Faith based on what God does.

This kind of faith is dependent on the obvious. To him, “if God is not obvious, then obviously He’s not God.” To him, to see is to believe. This kind of person shows faith kapag may gumagaling na karamdaman o mga panalanging sinasagot. Pero paano kapag parang inactive si Lord? Ayun, nawawala din ang pananampalataya. Sabi sa Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Faith based on who God is.

This kind of faith is dependent on the character of God. He knows that “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. His faith is not greatly moved because he focuses on a God not greatly moved! In the midst of a society where the only thing we can count on is we can’t count onto anything, God is his guarantee. He knows that God answers prayers in different ways: healing for one and not for the other. Victory for one and not for the other. But still, his faith is on God.

One reason we know God is believable is because of his incomparable record of fulfilled prophecy. Out of literally hundreds of prophecies which have arrived at their time, every single one has been fulfilled exactly as God said, down to the minutest detail. In fact the closest length of time between the major prophecies and their fulfillment was 200 years. More glorious still is the fact that at least 61 were foretold and perfectly fulfilled during the earthly life of His Son Jesus!

Now consider this. From the journal Science Speaks, Peter Stoner offered the following calculated figures: if you take 8 prophecies out the 61, the probability of all 8 being fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. He illustrates it this way: take 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and lay them in face of Texas.  They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir up the coins. Blindfold a man and send him out to pick up the marked silver dollar. The chance he will pick u the right one is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.

If we add 40 more fulfilled prophecies to the 8, the chance would be 1 in 10 to the 157th power. Just imagine 157 zeroes! Yet all 61 were fulfilled just as God said it would be! Indeed God is believable! And He is coming back for us!

When He said I will provide, will you still doubt Him?

When God said He longs for you, do you still resist Him?

Now when God said He loves you, do you ignore Him?

And when He said I will come back for you, will you wait for Him?

This is God’s kind of love, a believable kind of love. Not the kind of love centered on superficial kilig, unexplainable kabog, and sudden kirot.

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Note: Some points written here were taken from the book Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Holy Spirit by Beth Moore.