Writing a song
Building a business
Creating a work of art
Watching your garden grow
Leaving a meaningful legacy
Climbing that corporate ladder
Growing up and even growing old.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
God promises that He makes all things Beautiful in His Time. It's that later part, in His time, that proves confusing, even painful. Because waiting is hard as we look for fruit in the lives our children, pray for our own transformation, and work for that promotion in our careers. And how do we wait when there's work to be done? A family to grow, a spouse to continually woo, people to serve, brushstrokes to paint, revisions to write, another round of query letters to send out to publishers...
but those who hope on the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I believe that those who wait upon the Lord still run in the process. The waiting, mentioned above, isn't a nap followed by a surge of Holy power. It's an active participation with the One who calls us to fly. Running as we abide is rest. Soaring on His wings, can only be done when we cease from our own striving strength. No, waiting is not stillness followed by super-natural endurance. Instead, waiting is an active, living dependence as we run the course with Him.
This week I have the privilege of hosting 5 beautiful women at my home in Southern California. Four days of reading and writing, cooking and eating, laughing and learning, photographing and painting lie before us. And the overarching theme this year:
Recognize that the Lord is at work... as we actively participate in the process.
As we rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign, we'll spend our evenings together setting goals and encouraging one another to keep abiding. Pressing in and pressing on. Learning. And laughing, because faith that He is in control of this process takes the burden from our collective shoulders.
I am certain that The One who is making all things beautiful has an active role for us to play in the beautifying process. In our parenting, creating, working, becoming, ministering lives.
Today I am acutely aware of the (not quite realized) dreams each guest has brought with her to my home this week. One writer has crafted a masterful historical fiction that hasn't been picked up for publication yet. Another is organizing research for her next project. A gifted photographer is studying the business of expanding her clientele. While another learns the craft of video production. And then there's me... trying to discern what things of Beauty God wants to weave in and through me in the months ahead.
The LORD works out everything to its proper end... (Proverbs 16:4)
And so we trust Him as He works all things together for good.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
While I don't have the room to open up my actual Living Room to each and every one of you this week... let me encourage you today to wait upon the Lord for your dreams. Wait actively and purposefully. Write them down and make them goals, trusting and praising Him as you do. Whether you are waiting for God to mold your two year old's defiant heart into an obedient one, waiting on your spouse to notice you again, waiting on your boss to promote you, waiting on your agent to call you, waiting on friends to support you, waiting on money to sustain you.
He is able and faithful to bring YOU to a BEAUTIFUL end!
Obey, thou restless heart, be still
And wait in cheerful hope, content
To take what-e'er His gracious will,
His all discerning love, hath sent;
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.
Sing, pray, and swerve not from His ways;
But do thine own part faithfully.
That His rich promises of grace,
So shall they be fulfilled in thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed. Amen.
Georg Neumark (Cathering Winkworth, Translator) Inter-Varsity Hymnal
Because He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end,