Grace in the Waiting - Carol Krum
While watching the movie, Paul the Apostle, I was struck by the great grace that was upon these people as they hid away waiting for direction from God. They knew if they left where they were, they may be killed. But they also knew if they stayed and were found, the same would be true. It was that grace of God that sustained them in their “waiting” One definition says grace is a divine influence upon the heart for the purposes of God to be fulfilled in your life.
When Paul pleaded with the Lord three times for the “thorn in the flesh” to be removed from him, he was told by the Lord, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9. How many of us can identify with Paul in our own story where we have cried out to the Lord to come to our aid and “fix” whatever needed fixing? Yet in all outward appearances, He didn’t do anything visible. The problem was still there! We kept asking and we kept waiting!
But when we look at this scripture and we use it as a transparent spiritual template to place over our situation, what do we see? Initially we are unable to see or feel anything significant that has changed. It usually doesn’t become apparent until much later when we are faced with yet another season of trial and tribulation. It is then that we begin to get a glimpse of something that is different. The roots of our faith have gone deeper because during that past experience of pain, we became so desperately hungry for God to hear us, that we were constantly seeking His hear for answers, comfort, peace, and His blessed assurance that all would be well.
Is it not in those very places where we begin to see the greatest changes taking place within our heart, where patience is being birthed on a deeper level, where we begin to see from God’s perspective rather than our own? These are the times when more of Christ is being formed within us. Is that not our prayer, that there would be less of us and more of Him? That is why Paul was able to declare, “I would most gladly boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Oh, the divine influence upon our heart for the purposes of God to be fulfilled in our life!! This is a work that takes time on this side of Heaven and we must learn to trust in the waiting, because what is being formed in us is so much greater than what we can hope for or imagine. When we see that we are being swept into another season of “waiting”, may we recall the words form a song that says “Look where you are. Look when you have been. Don’t you know that I can do it again?” It is His great grace upon and within us that sustains us and holds us together, enabling us to remain in a position where His Spirit can do a deeper work within us that will make us more like Him, equipping us to do His Kingdom work on earth as He did.
The Lord recently gave me a little word picture to help describe what happens when He gives us His grace. It was like a spiritual magnet upon us that forcefully pulls the favor and blessings of God directly toward us, giving us what is needed in any given moment to live a holy life, when our life, circumstances or character is being attacked by our Adversary. His grace is powerfully present in our time of need, even when we are unable to see it, giving us the supernatural ability or miraculous faculty to sustain, endure, or maintain our call – for all He is enabling us to become in Christ.
I love what Paul says about what grace looked like in his own life in 1 Cor. 15:10 –
“By grace and only by grace I am what I am, and it was not without having its effect.”
May these words be written about each one of us at the end of our earthly assignment! And may He great grace of divine influence upon our hearts be made visible by the way in which we live our lives.
Carol Krum is the Partner Coordinator at the Spokane Headquarters and our resident encourager in joy.