“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
My youngest brother has referred me to that verse on more than one occasion, in moments where the youngest becomes the eldest and role reversal kicks in! Not your typical ‘go to’ verse. But, one that’s loaded with wisdom. Let me come back to that in a moment…
A verse that resonates strongly with me, is the following (I’ve underlined the words I capitalized in my journal):
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23
That word ‘unswervingly’ is a tricky one. God speaks to us all in different ways. Sometimes his still, quiet voice is crystal clear. Other times we need to continue to pray and wait for confirmation. Discernment in hearing his voice is key and may be a topic I’ll discuss another time. Other times, there seems to be deafening silence.
What happens when the message of hope/promise/God’s voice appears clear? And then, nothing. There’s a danger during this waiting period, to go through periods of doubt or discouragement. This is the period where being rooted in faith is tested. God promises, and he delivers. But in the meantime, we must trust even if the obstacles seem insurmountable, despite not seeing a way how, and despite the enemy trying to knock us off balance and uproot our faith. Unswerving, steadfast faith is the key ingredient to the promise coming to fruition. Easy to write about, not so easy in action!
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
What. A. Promise!
Back to the opening verse which refers to dogs and swine and ultimately comes across fairly harsh. When I first came across this verse it seemed more than a little random. But it holds a lot of value when understood. In order to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, in order to avoid being shaken in our faith or our trust in whatever God has revealed to us, we need to hold that which we treasure, close to our hearts and essentially guard our faith. Don’t leave it exposed for the wrong people to pull apart or cast opinion or plant seeds of doubt. Be discerning. God does not work within human logic. He tells us:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Let’s not limit God, by allowing our faith to be compromised.
And during the waiting? He is there. As Kristene DiMarco sings in ‘Take Courage’, “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting”.
It’s in the waiting that the up-and-down-and-all-around tug of war between holding onto faith and letting doubt creep in, happens. And it’s in the waiting that we learn to fix our eyes only on Jesus and block out all else.
It’s in the waiting that He draws nearer and allows us to see His grace and mercy and compassion. It’s in the waiting that He allows us to feel His overwhelming peace amidst the chaos around. It’s in the waiting that He shows us that His love is comparable to no other. It’s in the waiting that He breaks us and molds us and renews us. It’s in the waiting that He reveals our identity in Him. It’s in the waiting that he increases our wisdom and understanding.
It’s in the waiting that we have to seek Him out, through consistent reading of the Bible, praying, and praise and worship. It’s in the waiting that we need to draw nearer and allow our relationship with Him to deepen. It’s in the waiting we learn to discern His voice. It’s in the waiting that we have to stay joyful, full of praise and a thankful heart.
When you think about it, the waiting is where all the magic happens!