I’m so very bad at waiting.
Seriously, this is not the way I usually live my life. If I want something, I go out and grab it and push my way through the obstacles until God slams a door in my face. Most of the time, He’s left those doors wide open, and I’ve plowed through, following after Him. But right now, in the immense hallway of life, I’m not even sure which door to start at anymore.
Last year, I was running through open doors at amazing speeds. Before I left to study abroad in Scotland for a semester, I wrote this post. I had been enjoying my free copy of Josh Garrels’ Love & War & The Sea In Between, and every song on that record seemed to speak to my situation in some way. Specifically, “Beyond the Blue” was my summer theme song, and I held on to truth that I had no idea what awaited me on the other side of the ocean, but I knew my God would be there and whatever He had would be amazing. In the post, I quoted these lyrics:
All things will work by a good design
For those who will believe
And let go of all we cannot hold onto
For the hope beyond the blue.
Said I let go of all I could not hold onto
For the hope I have in You.
As I wait here in America during this uneventful, confusing season in my life, I feel like I don’t even know how to get beyond the blue, let alone where it would lead. I don’t even know if I’ve found the right shores yet. My music preference has changed to Garrels’ Jacaranda, and his songs about waiting and promises and glory speak to my heart. For example, today I was listening to “Desert Father–“
But we run free, and weep gracefully
In a world dark and cold.
Hold on, all you who wait by the blue shores
For Him to part the water,
Show us a new way,
The impossible dream
Through the deep and the unseen–
Carry us home,
Last year, I was ready to let go and jump into the unknown beyond the blue. This year, I want to do that so desperately, but first I have to find the blue shores at the edge of the desert and wait for God to part the waters.
Today, my dad said to me, “I just think it’s amazing that God’s brought all these people into your life from all over the world, all these connections, so that you can stay with them when you go abroad….” And I just stared thinking about how, yes, I do have a lot of friends in a lot of different places, and I wish I could go spend time with all of them right now, but I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean for my life at this very moment.
But I do know it means that God is up to something. He’s up to something crazy. And it probably won’t play out into my summer plans, but it might play out into something ten years from now, who knows? My God knows. But I don’t.
He’s up to something. And meanwhile He’s caring for me in the desert and teaching me about promises.
Caleb was forty years old when he first laid eyes on the Promised Land. Ready to rest after the escape from Egypt and the trek through the desert, he saw the land flowing with milk and honey and proclaimed that it was good and that God would deliver it into Israel’s hands. For his faith, God promised him that he would receive the sweet land on which his feet had tread as his inheritance.
But Caleb had to wander thirty-eight more years in the desert with his disbelieving brothers. Then, he fought for seven more years in the conquest of Canaan. And then, at age eighty-five he had to drive out the remaining Anakites from the territory before he finally got to rest in the land God had promised him.
Caleb received a promise, and forty-five years later, after much suffering, hardship, and toil, it was fulfilled. And the whole time, Caleb is praised as following the Lord “wholeheartedly.”
I have no idea how long it’ll take for God’s promises to me to be fulfilled (I’m not even sure I’m clear on exactly what they are) but I do know that in the midst of it all, I want to follow my Lord wholeheartedly. I will wait for Him to lead me to the sea, part the waters, and take me beyond the blue again.