The New York Times

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If you're in a place of waiting and wondering, take heart. The years of quiet service are a treasure. God must develop our character in the quiet if we're ever to be used effectively in public.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Devotion:

Have you ever wondered if the dreams tucked in your heart will ever come to be?

Me too.

I still remember sitting on my bed as a young girl and staring down at an old typewriter my dad brought home. I was fascinated with the way the keys struck the paper. I started to string together words — sentences — paragraphs. I whispered, "Maybe one day a whole book."

But the whisper got buried in a tangle of other things.

All the while the Lord had a plan. A hope. A future. If only I would seek Him, I would find Him, if I would seek Him with all my heart. Not just my Sunday heart. Not just my quiet time heart. But, seek Him in it all.

Seek Him.

Surrender to Him.

Trust Him.

Turn to Him.

Obey Him.

Say yes to Him.

Realize how significantly God can use inconvenience, interruption, and unlikely twists. Instead of always praying, "God bless me," I started praying, "God unsettle me. God inconvenience me, interrupt me, and redirect me."

The road was bumpy and hard. There were years of quiet service with no light on the horizon that God would ever use me beyond my own mailbox.

While others were chasing dreams, I was scraping dried up Cheerios from underneath the sticky farm table. And in that place I learned so much. "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:14, NIV).

Maybe you are in that place right now? Waiting and wondering if your calling will ever come to be. The road ahead seems so long... almost impossible. Take heart. The years of quiet service are a treasure. God must develop our character in the quiet if we're ever to be used effectively in public.

Yes, there were years of quiet for me. And those years were so very crucial. There was a rich purpose to the wait. There always is.

Then one day I saw a lady share her story at my church and I dared to whisper to my husband, "Could I? Should I try?"

His smile said, "Yes."

And I remembered the old typewriter. The words. The sentences. The whisper of a book. Of all the moments that rushed by long forgotten, that one snagged in the corner of my mind and lingered.

Seventeen years later, I wrote a book I thought only a handful of people would ever want to read. The message I never dreamed I could live. A book about my raw and secret struggles with food and how I learned to crave God above all else. My mess, touched by the Messiah, turned into a message.

And after years of waiting, I find myself staring down once again. This time my tears leak over one little square inch of newspaper... the New York Times bestseller list. An unlikely nod from the world that very rarely even looks in the direction of a Jesus message.

Today I whisper, "Thank You Jesus... thank You for the years of quiet service. Thank You for Your reminder to wait on Your timing. Thank You for healing me and allowing me the honor of breathing hope into so many other women with the same struggles. It was all worth it. Every day spent waiting, learning, developing and trusting. And in the end, the great joy isn't hitting a best seller list. The great joy is discovering how good and necessary times of waiting really are."

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect plans... Your perfect timing... and the perfect way Your development happens in my times of waiting. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflections:

In what area is God calling me to seek Him for direction? How might God be using my season of waiting in good ways? I will turn to Him. Trust Him. Obey Him today.

God uses inconvenience, interruption, and unlikely twists. Today I pray for God to unsettle me, inconvenience me, interrupt me, and redirect me. There is no better place to be than in the center of His will while waiting.

Power Verses:

Psalm 27:8, "My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, LORD, I will seek." (NIV)

Micah 6:8, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (NIV)

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