Waiting on the Lord versus just giving up. Listening to Him to tell me when to move versus acting based on my desires, wishes, or what I think God should do. That is how my prayer life and spiritual walk has been for some time now. Praying for light, but seeing darkness among the very crops for which I have been praying. Continuing to plant seeds here, but looking around to see them wither and die in front of me.
There is a lot in the passage from Isaiah 30:18-26 that mirrors my walk right now. As I sat reflecting on its truth today, I could not help but see the parallels.
He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries (v 19).
And cried I have. I have laid before my prayer wall with tear-stained cheeks wondering why God keeps directing me to do something. To pray continuously. To keep trying. To not give up. And feeling like those pleas are not reaching past the ceiling. Feeling like, maybe, that still small voice I heard was my own, and not His at all. That maybe this is not His will at all, but all my own. I have pleaded for Him to “just fix it.” I have said the same prayer over and over and over until I have wanted to rip it off the wall and burn it.
I’ve called for help.
I’ve heard nothing.
Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you (v 20).
I’ve called for help and heard nothing. And I have certainly suffered for what He has asked of me. Hurt. Rejection. Criticism. Discouragement and disappointment. When the way I was told to go doesn’t produce the fruit I hoped I would find.
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you he will say, “This is the way you should go.” (v 21).
This is the hardest part-surrender.
To a will that is not my own. To an outcome I may not like. One I definitely cannot see. It’s teaching me to wait. And I’m not so patient. It’s teaching me to relinquish control, when I want to be in control. It’s teaching me to trust, but I have soul deep trust issues.
It’s teaching me that it’s not my will, but His. And isn’t His always better than mine?
I may cry now. I may feel I am surrounded by darkness, and that all these seeds of grain I am planting are returning void and useless.
But there is a purpose in this season of suffering. While God harvests this turmoil here in my heart, he is also harvesting a victory:
Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock (v 23).
There will be reward for your obedience, January.
There will be fruit for your labor, January.
Don’t give up now. Your tears mean something. They are not wasted. Your prayers are heard. Your work is not in vain.
I’ll show you if you just let me do the work.
If you just trust me with this harvest, I’ll show you what those tear-stained prayers will produce.
Don’t give up. Keep praying. Keep listening. God will do the rest.
He is the God of the harvest.