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Seeking God’s Wisdom in Our Waiting Periods — Video Devotion

To learn how to stay faithful through your waiting periods and through the disillusionment that can easily follow, download a free copy of our Becoming His Princess Bible study (HERE) and check out our weekly video segments HERE. You can also listen to and/or download the audio for each week, free, HERE. (Make sure to return to our YouTube Channel a week from today to check out week five, which centers completely on waiting faithfully and what God is and might be doing through those difficult seasons.)

Faith, Hardships and Trials, Hearing God, obedience

When Patience Grows Thin

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

It was a beautiful fall day, but all I could think about were the negatives. My patience was growing thin every month seeing one line instead of two. I wasn’t prepared for the wait my husband and I would endure to have a baby. Just as God quickly arranged our marriage, I thought He would as easily bless us with a growing family.

Instead, we were left to wait and wonder. I had been praying endlessly for patience and a child, but I hadn’t asked God why it hurt not to have it right now. It’s a good thing I decided to call out to Him because He had surprising answers.

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When I find myself waiting on God to move, deep down I know I should set my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2) with an open heart for His plan. But in reality, I turn inward. I grow selfish and impatient, convinced that I’ve waited longer than anyone else. I grow envious of the people popping out of nowhere who are enjoying the things I’m praying for. My inward and outward attention hinders me from looking upward for wisdom, and thus, I’m tuned out from insights God wants to reveal.

My ugly attitude that morning didn’t match the beautiful fall day, and it was likely God who nudged my husband to ask, “We can keep trying, so why is getting pregnant so urgent?” I was stumped because I couldn’t pinpoint the reason for urgency. For weeks, I asked God to search my heart (Ps 139:23), and He showed me my anguish was not the negative pregnancy tests.

I wanted a baby and I longed for the break from my career travel demands maternity leave would grant. Hidden deep in my heart, God had a new calling for my talents. He used my wait to reveal it to me, but only after I summoned the courage to ask Him why I was hurting. It felt counterintuitive that He would call me to leave a steady job and team that I love, but I couldn’t ignore the peaceful curiosity of pursuing this new path He was making known to me.

We are still patiently waiting to see if growing our family is in His plan, but God lifted the heavy burden of urgency. My changed heart no longer wishes for changed circumstances. A changed heart no longer requires changed circumstances. Click To Tweet

WL_Changed Heart_Kelli Thompson_Blog

What if waiting isn’t a test of patience, but an opening for God to REVEAL His divine direction?What if waiting isn't a test of patience, but an opening for God to reveal His divine direction? Click To Tweet We can fear what God is asking, or we can anxiously await the opportunities He provides.

Let’s talk about this! How can you call on God and tune into the hidden wisdom He can make known during your wait?

Living loved

Listening for God

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My eyes popped open. Did anyone else hear that? To my relief, all heads were still bowed in prayer. Good thing—then no one would notice the tears that gently slid down my face as I struggled to keep it together. My heart pounded. God had just spoken to me for the first time.

I’d experienced my Heavenly Father’s magnificent voice, and I wanted more.

Because God first spoke to me in the context of worship, I anticipated that again. It made sense that I would hear from Him in church—His house, where everything was about Him, and where He had my undivided attention. However, as week after week of worship passed with no divine encounter, I began to feel discouraged.

Was that it—the one and only time I’d hear from God?

But, something deep within knew differently, and numerous verses in the Bible indicate otherwise:

“and when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.”” (Isaiah 30:21)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

And even though I was relatively new to the concepts of Christianity, I knew that God desired a relationship with me. How could I have an intimate connection with someone if we didn’t speak regularly? I have ongoing communication with family members and close friends, so why should it be any different with God?

Then, I had get painfully honest with myself. If I know someone well, I can identify them simply by their voice. Could I do that with God? The way He spoke to me the first time was undeniable, but would it always be like that? Did I know my Heavenly Father well enough, through reading and studying His Word, to be certain I’d recognize His voice again?

christa-quote-listening-7-16iIt was clear that I needed to adjust my thinking. I’d made worship the exclusive place where I could experience God, assuming I had to physically go to church to encounter His presence. My attitude was an ignorant. “Ok, God, I’m here. Talk to me”I was limiting a limitless God, expecting Him to show up when, where, and how I wanted like an actor responding to their cue. Thankfully, God is much bigger than the confines of my expectations.

I wondered how many times I’d missed opportunities to connect with my Heavenly Father, because I was too busy looking for Him elsewhere—how many times I’d drowned out His still, small voice with the clanging of my own demands.

So, I quieted my soul, let go of expectations, and asked God to speak to me. I also began to dig into my Bible. Pretty soon, I started to hear Him. Sometimes it was a clear, resonating sound within—leading, guiding, affirming, or correcting me. Other times, it was small and sweet—a whisper to remind me He was near, a verse from Scripture that jumped off the page as I read, or worship lyrics that continually ran through my head. I felt Him speak to me through creation, heard Him when others’ words sparked something inside of me, and experienced His presence in ways that are simply too difficult to articulate.

As my relationship with God blossoms, I marvel and rejoice that the Creator of heaven and earth desires for us to be in constant communion with Him. He doesn’t need us, but he wants us—to be close enough to rest assured that we are known, seen, heard, held, and above all, loved.

Let’s talk about it! Do you hear God regularly, or is it a struggle to decipher His voice above the noise of life? What can you do today to draw closer to Him and position your heart to listen?

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Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(R), NIV(R) Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. (R) Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Living as Imago Dei, Video Devotion

Lord Jesus, Come … but Wait

Patient Evangelism by Wholly Loved's Christa Cottam. from Wholly Loved Ministry on Vimeo.

Crimes against children, human trafficking, senseless violence, debilitating disease and fractured relationships leave my heart pleading: “God, please rescue us from this broken world!”

But I also beg God to wait, because there are so many who don’t know Him yet—the stranger at the grocery store, my neighbor…my brother, and I’m left wondering, what can I do?

Paul states in Romans 9: “My grief is so intense that I wish that I would be accursed, cut off from the Messiah, if it would mean that you, my people, would come to faith in him!”

Let that sink in. He would hand over his salvation if it meant others could have theirs?!

Do I live with that same sort of passionate urgency to reach those who don’t know Jesus?

If we knew Jesus was coming today, we’d desperately proclaim the Gospel to as many people as possible so that no one would spend eternity without Him. But, since we don’t know when He’s returning, and others could die at any time, shouldn’t we live with that same desperation every day?

If you’re like me, the answer is “Yes, but…. I don’t know how”, “I don’t know what to say”, “I don’t know the Bible well enough”. And even if we can get past those insecurities, we don’t want to be that weird Christian who rides their bike around the neighborhood with a megaphone, shouting “Jesus is coming!”, ultimately pushing people further away, right?

The good news is that every Christian is equipped to share the Gospel … we just need to remember two words: Imago Dei.

Our greatest purpose is to represent Jesus as His image bearers. Embodying Him in all that we do—through our words, actions, attitude, work ethic, and demeanor no matter our job title, economic status, health, or age. When we live for Jesus, others will notice. And when they ask what it is about us that’s so special—when we’ve got their attention, then we get to share the Gospel. No megaphones or shouting, no script, not even a list of Bible verses to rattle off…. we just tell the story of how we met Jesus and how He rescued us. Simple, and beautiful.

Are you eager to reach others who don’t know Jesus? Ask God to ignite your passion, and then wear His love daily for all to see as you learn to live wholly loved.