Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality

Category Archives: Completely His

The Pain of Waiting Patiently

As we are waiting [for God to deliver His dreams through us], we will more than likely gain many spiritual stretch marks. Birthing God’s dreams may stretch your faith, your finances, and your relationships with family and friends. Remember that God doesn’t call us to do things that we can accomplish in our own strength. He only calls us to God-sized tasks, so that when the dream becomes a reality, we know God did the work and God gets the credit. When ordinary people attempt God-sized tasks, it stretches us tremendously. But this stretching doesn’t have to cause us to snap. It can be an extraordinarily strengthening exercise, if we submit to all that God asks of us in the process.

…You see, pregnancy and childbirth are filled with many moments of waiting, but it is not a passive waiting at all. How can we actively wait? Think of a waitress in a restaurant. She watches as her patrons eat, frequently checking in to see if there is anything else she can do to fulfill their expectations. She is attentive to their needs throughout their dining experience, but doesn’t rush them. Or think of a weary traveler waiting for his taxicab so that he can return home to his family. He waits on the sidewalk, keeping his eyes peeled for the cab, his suitcase nearby. Think of a young woman waiting for her love to ask for her hand in marriage. She wants him to initiate the engagement, but consistently makes herself available. She diligently communicates her affirming feelings toward him, letting him know that she will not reject his proposal.

Waiting may simply mean returning to the last thing that you felt prompted by God to do, then asking yourself, Have I been obedient? As a parent, I try not to overwhelm my children by asking them to do something until they have finished the last thing I’ve asked them to do. God works in similar ways. He guides us step by step, refusing to overwhelm us with the big picture until we can handle it. He doesn’t call us to run spiritual marathons until we’ve been obedient to the little things and mastered basic training.

 

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Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Experiencing Intimacy With God

Only Adam and Eve experienced intimacy with God to the extent that God intended, walking and talking with Him in the beautiful garden He created for their enjoyment. But because of their disobedience and the resulting Fall of humankind, no one since the Garden of Eden has enjoyed such fellowship. We are incomplete, imperfect, and impatiently craving that which our souls simply cannot find apart from an intimate relationship with our loving God.

As the bride of Christ, we eagerly await His return so that our relationship may be perfected once again. We clamor to experience the fullness of God — to hold His hand… sit in His lap… gaze into His loving eyes… feel His warm embrace envelop us… hear His laughter and sense His good pleasure in us. While we will only experience such intimacies and ecstasies with God on the other side of heaven, we can still experience great joy in our relationship with Him on this side of heaven.

            
Relating to God so intimately is not a new phenomenon or strictly a charismatic movement. Actually, Judaism is full of wedding and consummation imagery. Each Friday night, Shabbat [the Sabbath] is welcomed in as a beautiful bride. The relationship between God and the Jewish people has long been described as that of lovers consummating their pledge to each other.[i] They pursue what was intended from the beginning. They attempt to perfect their love relationship with the Lord. They express their commitment to the utmost degree. They are His people, and He is their God, and they bask wholeheartedly in one another’s attentions and affections.

If you are like me, you crave this kind of relationship with your heavenly Bridegroom as well. But we must remember the principle mentioned earlier — all love affairs are carried on in private. To experience such depth, we must get alone with God, tune out all distractions, and focus on hearing His voice. This can be a challenge in our fast-paced, hurry-up, gotta-run world. Most of us feel we don’t have time to look up, let alone sit still. However, it is true that: “Power flows out of stillness, strength out of solitude. Decisions that change the course of lives come out of these quiet times.”[ii] 


[i] Rabbi Ted Falcon. Ph.D. and David Blatner,
Judaism for Dummies (New York, NY: Hungry Minds, Inc, 2001), 103.

[ii] Bill Hybels, Honest To God? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 25.

 

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Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.