There comes a point in every waiting season where we face an internal struggle. Where there is faith living and breathing, there is a fight taking place. The fight is to believe, to keep our eyes open and looking to Jesus, to press on in what’s before us while we wait and hope for something marked for the future. And during these seasons of waiting, there are questions we start to ask in our heart – of ourselves and of God.
Do I believe He is who He says He is? Do I trust Him to do what He’s said He will do? Will I call Him good today, while I’m living in this season? Will I call Him good tomorrow and next month and a year from now, should the season continue?
How long will my wait be? Are you still moving and working in this thing? Do you see my struggle as clearly as you see the days I persevere? Did you change your mind? How do I know that you’re going to do this? When will I be on the other side of this?
These are the “how long, O Lord” moments.
These are the moments where you want to trust the Lord, but faith is wearing thin like fabric that’s been hit by the sun in the same place over time. Still there, but beginning to wear.
The beauty in these moments is that our questions draw us to Jesus. When we begin to ask things that only God can answer, it carries us straight back to Him. It ushers us into engaging in another conversation with Him, one that is needed for our faith to grow.
Abraham was no stranger to this. He was promised a child, among other things, as he set out on a holy adventure with God. His “how long, O Lord” moment happens in Genesis 15. He approaches the Lord with his questions and his doubt, engaging in a conversation about the waiting and the trusting: “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless…” The phrase, “for I continue childless” is also translated in this passage to “for I shall die childless.” At this point in his life, Abraham believed he wouldn’t have what He heard the Lord tell him he would have. He didn’t think the Lord would follow through with the promise.
For I continue.
God, I’m still waiting. I continue. I am still longing. I continue. Lord, what will you give me?
I love that God is big enough to shoulder our questions. His response to Abraham is both firm – reiterating the promise He made to him, correcting his doubt back over to belief – and gentle – engaging in the conversation with kindness. He guides Abraham to look up. He does the same for us.
We don’t look at what is missing. We don’t look at what’s not held in hand. We don’t look at our feet as we shuffle ahead. The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want. We look up, to the God who sees us, knows us and cannot be anything less than faithful to His character and His Word.
We look up. We carry on those conversations with Him in our waiting. We ask the questions that lie heavy on our hearts in times of struggle. We confess where we’re lacking in faith, and let Him lead us back to truth and remind us of who He is. We remember what He has done for us in the past, keep our hope in Him for the future, and engage with what He sets before us in the present.
We trust the Lord – with our questions, with our desires, with the promises He’s given us and the things we’re believing Him for. We trust Him enough to turn to Him with all of it – our present and our future. We trust that our continuing doesn’t mean we’ll never see the other side.
We look up and we keep looking up, trusting Him all the while. For we continue, but we do not do so alone. For we continue, but we continue with help and with hope.