Wednesday, June 5, 2013

{Faith and Fitness}: Waiting...A Physical and Spiritual Need

As I was praying and preparing for this blog post the Lord laid this concept on my heart. This post takes a little step back from Health/Fitness complete view on things and really dives into the NEED physically and spiritually for the time the Lord ordains for us to rest in Him. I hope you enjoy :) 

Waiting......This word can evoke a myriad of emotions in people. As I say it I can feel my heart beating faster and my frustration mounting. To wait, now that is a concept, and one that I might add, many Americans do not like to encounter. We have become a nation that is used to drive-throughs, Face timing, the "magic" diet pills that cut 20 lbs of fat in 2 days, speedy delivery or your food is free, entire meals ready in minutes, we even have faster internet service, each company boasting that they have the new and improved means to get you your information the quickest. If I am being completely honest, and I promise to always be, I get frustrated when my information is not always at my finger tips, I get a little out of sorts when I have to wait an extra 2 minutes for my computer to sign on and I almost feel lazy when I look at my calendar and it is not filled up day to day.  But I have to stop and think; “where does the idea of waiting fit into all of this”?  What are we missing in all the busyness? What am I not grasping as I look forward to the next health goal that Im trying to attain? What am I overlooking in these times of waiting, where patience is required and faith is strengthened?  

It is a biblical truth that the Lord ordains times of waiting.  Hannah, barren and heartbroken waited year in and year out for her womb to be opened, to be given a son; Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers and taken away from everything he had ever known, Job had his family, possessions and health stripped from him in one day. All three of these are biblical examples of waiting and longing, even yearning for the Lord and his promises to be fulfilled. Often as we wait or when we get tired of waiting, we begin to fill the void that can only be filled by God, with activities or useless actions when we are called to “Be still and know that I am God”. (Ps. 46:10)

 I am in such a time as this right now as we speak. I have found myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted all the time and I realized I  have been  spending less and less time with the Lord and more time milling over and trying to control every aspect of my life and manipulating things to happen in my time and in my way. No wonder I am exhausted. I have been trying to be lord of my life and refused to wait for the Lord and his timing. I am refusing to die to myself and have been pretty certain that the way I have been living is far better than what my Creator and lover of my soul had planned and specifically ordained for my life.  I was once told, “no matter what season you are in or where the Lord has you, BE PRESENT”. 

How often are we there physically but our minds and hearts are on other things. It wasn’t until I was forced to stop because of utter exhaustion that I was able to take a survey of my life and realize that my priorities were out of whack.  We  have all been called and ordained by the Lord for a specific purpose and often we miss  most of his leading and gentle nudges because we are  blinded and deafened by our activities and own desires. We cannot see the Lord working or hear his voice if we are screaming out our own agenda day in and day out.   Webster’s dictionary defines waiting as:remaining inactive; to be available or in a state of readiness. If we are called into a time of waiting we are to remain inactive, not in seeking the Lord but in pursuing the meaningless, useless idols and events that waste our time and energy. (Psalm 46:10) 

Have you ever just stopped? Stopped the planning, moving, talking and just been still? So many of us cannot handle the silence because we are a culture that likes to have every second possible filled with something, whether it be Facebook, TV, music, friends, or event after event. We refuse to stop because if we were to be still we would be forced to face our sins, our short comings, our areas of pain that we continue to push down. And yet the answer lies before us, “Be still and know that I am God”. The Dictionary also defines waiting as being available or in a state of readiness, and this is essential as well. In periods of waiting we are not to just sit there like a bump on a log but we are continue to seek the Lord and his face and his will for our lives. Romans 12:2 tell us “We have been called to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2). Continue to seek Him though he seems distant.  We have the promise that the Lord works on his own time and his timing is perfect. God never breaks his promises. Romans 8:28 tells us that “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” and still many of us try and manipulate people and situations to fit into our idea of how life should be. The Lord uses times like this, periods of waiting, to grow us in Him. 

Will we continue to see his face and relationship with Him even when we do not have the answers? When we don’t know what our next step will be are we trusting in Him and waiting to see his hand move and his gentle voice telling us to move forward? Stop and think, the Lord sees all, he knows all, and he is in the past, the present and the future. He has gone before and has a specific purpose for every creature and every event. We see only the here and now.  We can draw on past events but how much better is it to stay in constant contact with the one who is in all areas and present in all times. So if you are like me, crying out for the sovereign Lord to answer your prayers and lead you in the next step stop and rejoice that His timing is perfect, his way is better than anything we can imagine. He promises “to keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on [him].” (Isaiah 26:3) So stay constantly connected with the Lord and do not fall into the habit of listening to the world, the enemy’s whispers and venomous lies.

My friend, my fellow companion in life’s journey, lets rejoice and find peace in this ordain time. As we cry out to our Lord, let’s rest in the fact that he loves us enough to give us only the best and that is what he is preparing our hearts for. You may not have the answer yet because he is still molding you and growing you to be prepared for the next step.  In the times of waiting where answers are few and tears are many, rejoice that we are covered in His everlasting love and presence that is constant and overflowing.

To see the previous posts in the {Faith and Fitness series}, go here.

About the Author: Lauren Barksdale is the founder of Soul Fitness. She has a BA and Masters in Kinesiology from Dallas Baptist University . She coached volleyball at Birdville High School in North Richland Hills for the last 5 years. In college she played volleyball for Baylor's club team and at Dallas Baptist University. She has been married to Ben Barksdale for 5 years and has two children; Evie Grace who is 3 and Hudson who is 10 months old. Lauren has a passion for health and fitness and incorporating that into everyday life as a Christ follower

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