Posts tagged waiting


So dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it you will perish. But if, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you turn from it and it's evil deeds, you will live…And since we are His children, we will share His treasures-- everything God gives to His Son, Christ, is our, too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering."

Romans 8:12,13,17


Just this moment I sit in Terminal Six of LAX. A plastic seat is my spot to spy on a whole world of people rushing to somewhere. And since I missed my flight by just a few minutes, I now have hours and hours to wonder where they’re going.

While I wonder, the woman who wouldn’t let me check-in because I was two minutes past the deadline walks by. She’s smiling now, lost her scowl somewhere in the last couple of hours. For at least twenty minutes I was so mad— a victim of her crabbiness, held back from being where I wanted to be by a woman who insisted on controlling the one thing she could- me.

Choking poor-me tears, I had not choice but to surrender. But even as I gave in and paid the fees and trudged to my corner to wait, I heard that insistent tugging I’ve come to know so well.

That voice that beckons. The One whose whispers my self-pity nearly drowned out.

Choose, Diane. You can choose.

Really? Again? Isn’t that just denial? Shouldn’t I allow myself to connect with what I really feel— right now, right here?

And all the long way past the crowds of rushing people to the Starbucks in Terminal Four, I wrestled with the choosing. I wonder if anyone was watching me then as I’m watching now. Did they see the tears pushing close? Hear the thundering fury at my little-bit-of-day at home lost to lateness?

By the time my London Fog[1]was done, the choosing was easier. I heard Him clearer now.

Look for Me here.

Here in LAX, one thousand miles from home, surrounded by strangers. Really? Could this be His plan for me today— not just my mess-up? Could He possibly want me here right now, waiting in a crowded terminal instead of resting in my cozy cottage?

If some well-meaning soul were to flippantly toss out a “God is sovereign” platitude about now, I’d be more than a little annoyed. Sometimes, it seems, that’s just the easy punctuation point to silence someone else’s disappointment. Probably ought to be struck from the Christian phrase book lest someone like me say something less than Christian in response.

But the truth is, I believe it.

Here I sit, a surrendered-to-Jesus woman. How can I not view these “wasted” hours as His? How dare I believe that a tired, cranky airline employee is at fault? Or that I shouldn’t have stopped to talk with Veronica, the very woman Elizabeth is called to bring the love of Jesus to in her new apartment complex?

I am here on purpose. Maybe not something grand and applaudable. Maybe I’ll never know why. Maybe a fully-surrendered-to-Jesus woman doesn’t need to know why.

Maybe she just needs to surrender. Again.

Because when we dare tell Him, “Anything, anywhere, anytime”, He takes that seriously.

Sometimes that means big changes like moving from the comfortable to the daring.

But lots of times it just means allowing my own lateness to lead me to a place of watchful expectation… in Terminal Six at LAX… or in traffic… or in the budget that won’t quite balance… or anywhere.

I am waiting today… and somehow there is joy in this choosing. It’s not what I wanted… but I suspect it is what He wants for me.

God moves in mysterious ways… I believe that. But mostly He just moves in my every-days.

From a heart learning to choose,


P.S. I’ve been so cheered by your comments this week! Can you tell us what it is you are learning to choose?

[1] A delicious, comforting concoction of hot Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and a bit of vanilla sweetness



Trust in the Lord and do good;

Dwell in the land and feast on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord…

Psalm 37:3,4

(NASB margin)

For several weeks I’ve pondered a quandary: How should I order my morning Bible reading for 2014?  Should I read it thru fast? The 90 day plan? Or should I go chronological? There is something to be said for getting the stories in their right order.

Which way is best? Which way is best for me? What does God want?

And all I hear as I ask is nothing. Like I’m missing something. As if His silence is a waiting pause… Like He’s waiting for me to know what He’s already said.

I think listening to God is sometimes like that. Long silences that pull me close. I stand on tippy toes to catch the words. Lean in to hear.

What is He saying?

My disorganized mind needs lists. Left without direction, I wander in circles, taking inordinate amounts of time to get nowhere.  I want a system; a chart with boxes to cross off.  A way forward to achieve what I want.

And so on January 1 I start with a chart. It’s the one I watch my God-following man plod through every year. Every single year. It took time for him to devise his way. A beautiful balance of Old and New, wisdom and worship.  He slips it between the yellowed pages of his well worn Bible, marks it forward , knows right where he’s headed.

I try.

Day One: Genesis 1,2, Matthew 1, Psalm 1, Proverbs 1.

A 20 minute read, ½ hour at most. I have the time, I have the will.  I’ve done this before.  I can do this.

But those beginning words…a poetic weaving of mystery and science, of who He is and who I am.  The Beginning pulls me into a heart so huge, I am caught and held in wonder. I cannot hurry through. I dare not.

Created in His own image… God patterned them after Himself… to be like Ourselves.

Perched in a window, mysterious morning fog veiling the view, I cannot get past those first words. Cannot help but reach into the closets of my mind, filled with so many sermons and studies, so many silent mornings, so much beauty.

That word, “good”, tob in the Hebrew; it means so much more than simply fine. More than a good dinner, a good book, a good day. He created light and it was beautiful.  He delighted in the best-ness of His made-by-hand craftsmanship.

Which means… that He made me with all my messiness. He saw the crazy chaotic workings of my brain, knew all about the random way words would catch and hold me… and He saw beauty. Not a mistake. Not someone who needs something to get it all together.

He said it was good.

And I’m an hour into this Listening time, still lingering in the first few verses of the first chapter of the first book. How will I ever drink it in fast enough? Shouldn’t I hurry up? Who gets behind on day one?

That’s when I hear the whisper…

And what is it you want? 

I want to learn. I want to achieve. I want to get it all in. But mostly, really, I want to fill up. To savor each delicious bite of goodness He offers, to chew and ponder and swallow His way of truth.

I want those toxic, addictive, go-to words of not-wisdom cleansed out of my system of thinking and knowing and feeling. I want to fill up with Him.

And that’s when I know I’ll never stick to the chart. Because I can’t. Because I shouldn’t. Because He made me random and slow and He says I am beautiful that way.

Instead, I’ll follow a path. I’ll start in the beginning of the Beginning and meander through to the end. I’ll take my own sweet time. I’ll taste and twirl and swallow and write it down in tidbits that stay with me. Then I’ll start over.

And all the while I’ll “feast on His faithfulness”. Climbing into His lap, I’ll open His Book wide and ask Him to read it to me. I’ll listen to the rumble of His voice with my broken ears right up close against His chest. I’ll feel Him. I’ll learn more of Him and from Him.

I’ll be just who I am with Him… because He says I’m beautiful.

From my heart,


P.S. What about you? Do you have some sort of plan to direct the steps of your walk with God through His Word?

Might you take a moment to share it with us? What has worked and what hasn’t?

I’d love to know.

P.S.S. Here is Phil's Bible Reading Chart. It's also posted on the website for A Jesus Church. The great thing about this method is that it keeps you going back to Jesus' words all year long… and you'll fill up with the straight-forward wisdom of Proverbs by reading it through every month. 



Ruth 4v13-17

Ever After (Part Five)

(Click here to listen to the sixth Ruth teaching)

Verse of the Week




More Words from the Father 

Philippians 1v1-11

Philippians 2

Philippians 3v14-21




From my Heart

Pages from the past: March 1987



Waiting…so much of our life is spent waiting.

Such a lot of our time is spent on boring, mundane details.

Yet fulfillment does not come

from excitement, adventure, challenge, importance;

but from doing the will of the Father

with all our heart and soul.


The purpose of my life is not to do something

big and important for God,

but to empty myself,

to be a “clay vessel,” as it were.

To be used and used up by God

in everything I do.


Thus the mundane is of eternal importance,

the boring, an adventure in spiritual enlightenment.

The Creator of the Universe, the Savior of all peoples,

the Comforter of our hearts-working

in and through me!

Magnificent wonder!

Thank You Lord.


From my heart,






When Does Life Begin?

Dare I answer this question? No, definitely not. Let the scientists, biologists, politicians, and activists argue, blog, chant, and pass their laws. I wouldn’t dare poke my head in their conversations.


But God, the creator of life, does dare.


I’ve listed a few of the Scriptures most frequently referred to which give God’s answer to the question:


1. Psalm 139V13-15 -The Psalmist sings of this life-affirming truth-

“For You created my inmost being

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You

when I was made in the secret place,

When I was woven together in the depth of the earth,

Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

Were written in Your book

Before one of them came to be.”


2. Luke 1v44 -Elizabeth tells Mary of her unborn child’s response to the presence of Jesus-

“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears,

The baby in my womb leaped for joy.”


3. Jeremiah 1v5 -The prophet Jeremiah recognized God’s appointment before birth-

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

Before you were born I set you apart…”


4. Isaiah 49v1 -The prophet Isaiah describes his calling before birth-

“Before I was born the Lord called me…”

The Scriptures make it crystal clear that life begins at conception, blossoms at birth, and bears the image of the Creator throughout all the days of our lives. So we’ll let the talking heads argue all they want while we celebrate God’s affirmation of the worth of every human life.





The End

Ruth 4v18-22

Seemingly tacked on to the end of our story is this list of names. Not much of a read, just five short verses - one long sentence. We usually let our eyes just sort of skip this part. Genealogies seem like simply a list of hard to pronounce names, of little interest to our hurried lives.


But wait.


Hold on.


Look closer.


There are ten names brought to our attention. And each of these names represents a real man, with a real wife, and real kids. A family. And in every family lives a story - God’s story-involving love and laughter, dreams and drama. His-Story.


Just as you and I cry out to be known and seen as significant, so these stories of real people call from the pages of our Bibles to be examined and explored. Who were these people? How is it that their lives followed a path that put their families into the back story of the King of Israel? They begot royalty. Somehow they laid a foundation for future greatness.


Let’s take some time this week to turn aside from our usual rush and dig up some of these jewels of wisdom dropped around the treasure of God’s Word. Let’s snoop and explore, reading between the lines and coloring in the lives of these men who God chose to mention in the closing lines of Ruth.


You might just discover your own keys to the Kingdom.