Written by Guest Writer, Stephanie Hulett
Some of the hardest seasons of my life have been when I have had to wait for something. Whether I was waiting for an answer, waiting for direction or waiting for something to change, it was difficult. I didn't like feeling stuck and it was frustrating to me to be put on hold. My waiting consumed my thoughts and I even lost sight of the important things. I ended up losing my focus.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us... "to FIX our eyes on Jesus, He began and finished the race of life and endured the cross."
Matthew 20:28 tells us... "He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life..."
While Jesus was in the waiting he was "a waiter." He lived his life serving and loving others. He didn't let the wait stop Him from living and doing what He was called to do. He continued to live His purpose by serving and caring for others. He was not consumed by the waiting season but was driven by loving others. We can be strong and courageous in the wait by fixing our eyes on Jesus and serving others.
In the waiting season there can be times of silence. We can feel abandoned or forgotten by God. Our minds become our enemy as it fills with doubt and fear. It is like being in the waiting room at a hospital when we are waiting to hear news about a loved one. The clock seems to have stopped ticking and time stands still. It seems like forever until we hear something.
God tells us to FILL the silence... fill it with music, encouraging sermons, laughter, positive people, uplifting books, and of course Gods Word. We can be strong and courageous in our waiting if we fill the silence with thoughts of faith and joy.
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us “... if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise."
Lastly, in the Bible, the word wait is interchanged with the word hope. We can change our perspective about our waiting if we see it as a season of hope. Hope in the One who calls you His beloved. Hope in the One who knows your name. Hope in the One who saved your soul. We can turn it into a season of expectation, anticipation and possibilities. We can be strong and courageous in our seasons of waiting if we turn our wait into hope.
Psalm 27:14 tells us... “Hope (wait on) in the Lord! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope (wait on) in the Lord!”
Isaiah 40:31 says... “but those who hope in (wait on) the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”
I pray that while you wait, God would continually remind you to focus on others as your thoughts and minds are filled with the expectancy of a new day. Be strong and courageous!!
I recently started running again. I am using an app to help me train for a 5k and I always find that the middle part of the run is the hardest. At the beginning I have energy and I am ready for what is ahead. As I progress with the run the more tired I become.
I am realizing that our life is a lot like going on a run. Every journey we go on has a beginning, middle and end. The middle is defined as the center of something. We aren’t closer to the one side or the other, we are at equal distances. I believe, in life the middle is always the hardest. I want to share 6 things that God has shown me through Mark 6:45-48 that has strengthened and helped me get through my “middles” in life.
At once, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and start back across to Bethsaida. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. Then he told them goodbye and went up on the side of the mountain to pray. Later in the evening he was still there by himself, and the boat was somewhere in the middle of the lake. He could see that the disciples were struggling hard, because they were rowing against the wind. Not long before morning, Jesus came toward them. He was walking on the water and was about to pass the boat.” Mark 6:45-48 (CEV)
1. Jesus often calls us on the journey with little detail.
It says that “Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and start back across to Bethsaida.” Jesus told the disciples enough information for them to get into the boat and go. He didn’t give them all the details because they probably would not have gone if they knew a storm was coming. I believe God only gives us certain details because we can’t handle all the details. I know that if I knew about all the uncertainty and hardships of the middle areas I may have planned my journey a little differently or may have not gone at all.
2. We need to train before we get to our middle
I just started running about a week ago (haven’t ran in 5 years!). So If I told you I was going to run a marathon tomorrow you would probably think I was crazy! It takes marathon runners months of training to be able to run a marathon. Even with all the training they say that most runners suffer from leg cramping, dizziness and much more. Just like a trained marathon runner the disciples were trained in something: fishing. They had years of experience and they knew what to do during a storm. But the Bible says they were still struggling.
So many times we reach the middle of our journey and we have no training to rely on. My inability to run a marathon tomorrow is like a person trying to make it through the middle without any training. We never read our bible, never spend time with God and we expect to get through the middle with little to no difficulty. The middle is a hard place, but learning to lean on your experience and training while you go through the middle will ensure you reach the destination God has for you!
3. Our faith is tested in the middle.
In the middle we are most vulnerable. It is the time when the devil comes to steal and destroy the destination God has for us. This is the time we have to put into practice what Gods word says. I encourage you to surround yourself with people that will help you get through your middle situation because the devil will do anything to get you to go back to your previous shore.
It says the disciples were rowing against the wind… I am going to take a guess here and say the wind was pulling them in the opposite direction of were Jesus said He would meet them. They kept their eyes on the destination ahead. It was tough but they focused on were Jesus called them to go. So when your faith is being tested remember where God called you and focus on your destination.
4. Jesus may be silent but He is still Present.
It said that Jesus went up to the side of the mountain to pray. I believe that he was preparing for the destination ahead of them. When God is silent I believe it is because he is preparing our destination. In His silence I believe we learn the most about ourselves. In those times, I have seen my strengths, my fears and also my weaknesses come through. Its provided me an opportunity to work on being more like Him.
5. One more stride and you are closer to the destination.
I use an app when I run and it tells me when I am halfway done with the workout. So I know that with just one more stride I am closer to the end. Many times when we are in the middle we simply give up. We are so caught up in the hardship of the middle that we forget we are only one more stride away from being closer to the destination God has for us!
6. He’s got it under control. So stop Worrying!
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost, and they started screaming. All of them saw him and were terrified. But at the same time he said, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” He then got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. The disciples were completely confused. Their minds were closed, and they could not understand the true meaning of the loaves of bread.” Mark 6:49-52 (CEV)
If you continue reading Mark 6 you will find that when they reached their destination people were waiting for Jesus. Their next destination was full of miracles and a huge part of Jesus’ ministry. The middle prepared the disciples for this destination. They realized that He was truly the Son of God. So remember Mark 6, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” God gives us middles to prepare us for the destination.
We were having a great time at our community pool with my kids when my 4 year old son, Landon started having his third melt down of the week. I forgot his new swim noodle and he was devastated! Usually I can just explain the situation and he will go on playing, but not today. He couldn’t control his anger. He started screaming, crying and hitting. It got to the point were I had to start packing up to leave. Not sure how I was going to get to the car with a 1 year old, a screaming 4 year old and all our swim gear, I began to pray about what to do because he was not going to follow me to the car. At that moment a lizard come out from the bushes and I said to my son, “Well if you don’t come with me you will have to sleep at the pool with the lizard.” He looked at me, then the lizard. Then, with a little fear in his eyes, he began to follow me out of the pool.
The next day I called my mom and started talking to her about my frustrations and how I just didn’t know what else to do. I knew that all the changes in our life were affecting him but I knew that I needed to get him out of this habit of reacting with anger. As my mom was listening she said, “Have you prayed about what to do with Landon when he gets upsets? God says that he has equipped us with everything we need.”
2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT), “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
So I got off the phone with my mom and I began to pray and search God’s word. As I read and prayed God gave me James 1:19-20 and from the verse I wrote a three step process for Landon to do when he gets upset & angry. I even found a story in James 3 about how anger affects us and rewrote it so Landon would understand it and I even added pictures and youtube videos.
As I was getting ready to print out the document to go over with Landon, God nudge on my heart and reminded me that this is also something I am dealing with. He was right… I do deal with anger. I find myself going from 0-100 with my kids or my husband and it was something I have been waiting to change in my life. So I rewrote the title from “Landon’s Memory Verse About Anger” to “Landon & Mommy’s Memory Verse About Anger.”
This plan has helped Landon and me with anger. Landon & I still become angry at times but we are learning how to respond correctly. Every time we start to feel angry we go through our three steps and it helps us refocus and respond correctly.
Today, I want to encourage you to pray and search Gods word for your answer. Whether it is a situation with your child, your husband, a friend, your workplace or even an area in yourself, God has given us everything we need for every situation.
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
We recently moved to sunny Florida and to be honest there aren’t many days that are not beautiful!
We were eating breakfast one day and and my son, Landon, looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s a beautiful day!”
“Yes, Landon, it is a beautiful day” as I responded and looked out the window.
This conversation happened everyday for the rest of the week. Then one day we were sitting and eating breakfast and Landon looks at me and says, “Mom, it’s a beautiful day!” I looked outside and saw clouds, wet rain and nothing too beautiful. I didn’t want to discourage my 4 year old so I just kinda ignored the comment and went on eating my breakfast.
As I continued to eat my breakfast God spoke to me and said, “Landon isn’t wrong. It is a beautiful day.”
And we know that God uses everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brother and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” Romans 8:28-30 (NLT)
I have had a hard time with this verse lately. I know God is sovereign and I know there is supposed to be beauty in everything but I have been having a hard time finding the good in some circumstances in my life. I lost my sister in law in May of 2014 and I have been struggling with the good in this situation. It seems that there have been nothing but heartache and unanswered questions through all of this.
My son Landon taught me something on that rainy day. He taught me that even if our day or our circumstance isn't good that doesn’t mean beauty can’t come out of it. We have a choice every day to see the beauty in our circumstances. I will never understand why our family lost Debbie and will never understand the circumstances that happened because of it; none of it was good. It is painful and we miss her every day, but through this situation God gave me something. It was hard for me to find, but I choose to focus on what I now realize instead of the pain. The most beautiful thing that I have realized through this whole situation is that God NEVER changes! He is always with us and nothing can separate me from Him. That alone makes everyday a Beautiful Day!
And I am convinced that NOTHING can EVER separate us from GOD’S LOVE! Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s LOVE!” Romans 8:38 (NLT)
Hello my name is Tiffany. I am a mom to two beautiful children, Landon & Madelyn and a wife to my Prince Charming, David. A few of my favorite things are Disney, the beach, sharpies & post its.
Moms Are World Changers