Welcome to Day 1 of Part 4’s Chapter 3 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna (with Bettie‘s help) is bringing forward the first free will offering of blue thread and she invites you to join her and Bettie in prayer.
Do you ever feel that the waiting process is a waste of time, or a time when nothing is being accomplished? There are times when we, Bettie and Anna, feel that way—when it seems that we can do nothing to bring about any change.
But it is precisely in the waiting time that our Lord has designed a beautiful promise for us, hidden within the offerings that He asked His children to bring for the building of the very first Tabernacle.
“Take a sacred offering for the Lord. Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord: 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread;” Exodus 35:5-6
Interestingly, if we look at the root meaning of the expression “wait for”, we discover a beautiful gift threaded into our waiting:
1 “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before you!
2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze
and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before you!
3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
4 Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:1-4
For we find “wait for” means:
I. [קָוָה] verb wait for (probably originally twist, stretch, then of tension of enduring, waiting: Assyrian ‡ûû II, I. wait, ‡û, cord; Arabic be strong, strength, also strand of rope; Syriac endure, remain, await, threads, so ᵑ7 קַוִּיןspider’s threads, web); —
Now, let’s recall the blue (heaven) thread the people of Israel gifted for the Temple curtain. As we “wait for” our God to act, are we not then invited to bring those our hearts ache for to Jesus, that they and we might be woven into that thread, into the hope of glory, through Christ in us?
Does Jesus not beckon us to come to Him, to be bound more tightly to the Promises of His Word, through the stretching and growing of our own hearts in the waiting? Is He not teaching us to abide in Him and His Word to us, as we learn to cast our burdens upon Him in the waiting?
Oh but we know this process of weaving is not without pain. Bettie has been dealing with a physical kind of pain in her joints that feels like a rubber band or a rope is being twisted tighter and tighter around her painful bones. It reminded her of this pain that our hearts feel as they wait.
Sometimes it truly feels like a rope is twisting the pain tighter and tighter around our hearts, and that we might fall from the pain of the waiting, doesn’t it? But Jesus turns the waiting around for us, and offers a cord of hope to us, through His Word. A cord that He wraps around us to keep us from falling, as we lift our loved ones up to Him in the faith He imparts.
As Corrie ten Boom waited upon the LORD, she endured a suffering most of us have never known. She lost most of her family in the war and went through imprisonment, solitary confinement and time in a concentration camp. She watched her sister and many others die in horrific circumstances. Through her life testimony we are given a beautiful and practical example of how that cord- the hope of glory – wraps around us and holds us up in the painful weight and waiting.
Let’s read along with a portion from the Bible study, Life lessons from Corrie ten Boom – part 1 (http://bible.com/r/6jC):
The day after Betsie died, Corrie is told that she is released and she travels back to the Netherlands. Already by 1946, she travels all over the world carrying all her possessions in two suitcases. She then still has to learn again and again to cast all her burdens unto the Lord.
One day the Lord talks to her about it and speaks to her heart: “Corrie every time you present your sorrows and burdens to Me, you do not leave them in My hands, but take them all back and carry them all day long day like a heavy suitcase. Why do you unpack to immediately pack again? If you present your burdens with prayer and supplication, could you really leave them with Me?”
Corrie began to follow her LORD’s prompting, leaving her burdens in His safe hands, and as she did so, she found such peace, as the Words God spoke to her, rooted in her heart and bore abiding fruit in her life. This is a palpable peace that flowed out to touch those around her, and still does today, through her living and abiding testimony to the goodness of God.
Perhaps, like me and like Corrie, you know what it is to “take [the burdens] all back and carry them all day long day like a heavy suitcase”? I remember one day, as I visited a Rend Collective concert with a dear friend, how God uncovered a burden of pain in my heart. He touched upon that pain and made my tears flow, as He showed me that He too was weeping with me. As I sung “Weep With Me“, I felt Jesus take me in His arms.
But after He had wrapped me in His arms that night, I went back to picking up that burden of pain, again and again, rather than leaving it in the safe care of my LORD. I chose to sow unto my flesh, clinging to my pain, and not to Jesus and His Word to me. Praise God, He persevered in love and kindness toward me, just as He did with Corrie. That cord of hope – Jesus in me – did not and will not fail me, or you, in our faithlessness, for God cannot ever disown Himself – the hope of glory – in us.
Jesus is now showing me too, how to cast my burdens upon Him and leave them there. He is teaching me to slow down and wait upon Him in prayer, so that I can better recognize the enemy’s attempts to weigh me down with the very burdens I have already released.
Even as I sat to send Bettie a draft version of this post, I found myself asking her: “Would you pray for me over this that God would let no word remain that is not of Him?” And sure enough, it was God’s sweet prompting to help me see that in the draft version I had indeed leant down to pick back up the very burdens I had given Him already. Praise God for His sweet promptings to wait upon Him.
So, no, that waiting is not a waste, but such a gift of grace. For, through the pain that is uncovered in our waiting, as we long for the Promises of God to unfold in our lives and others, Jesus is in fact revealing His very own longings in us and for us and our loved ones. And He is reminding us to give Him those longings, so He can turn those longings into sure and steadfast expectations of His goodness and mercy, rooted in His Word, that then weave the thread of heaven around us – His Body – in love .
And He is growing us in relationship with Him through it all, so that when we too depart for heaven, our testimony to His goodness shall continue to abide in His pure and perfect love for His people, just as Corrie’s is, drawing many more unto glory.
Yes! The word of our testimony and the blood of Jesus shall overcome the accuser of our brethren. For, Christ is weaving His eternal and enduring Word around us all, binding us to Himself unto eternity.
Would you join us, as we close in prayer?
Father, thank You for that cord of hope – Your living and abiding Word- that You are wrapping around us and our loved ones, even now, as our hearts ache to see Your Promises fulfilled. Thank You for giving us Your Son and leaving us Your Holy Spirit that we might be Your hands and feet of love on this earth until You come again.
Forgive us for the times we have taken back the very burdens we have surrendered to You. Continue to teach us, as You did Corrie, how to leave them in Your safe and capable hands, that Your peace might flow in and through us to bless those around us, now and in the future. Prompt us also, just as You did Corrie and her family, to love and pray for Israel, for Your beloved Jewish people, who are not just living in the nation of Israel, but who are spread around this world, even in our very own neighborhoods.
Thank You that Your heart is filled with compassion for us, as we experience the labor pains You speak of in Your Word. Thank You that You weep with us. We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Thank You that in this hope we were saved. Thank You for empowering us to hope for what we do not see, to wait for it with patience. Thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, as our hearts ache, but thank You that the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:22- 26).
Father, thank You that in our weakness, You are so very strong for us. Thank You that as our flesh and heart fail us in the waiting, You remain the strength of our heart and our portion forever (Psalm 73:26). Thank You that though we are experiencing trouble in this world, we can rest in the knowledge that You have overcome this world (John 16:33). Thank You for making us overcomers in Your Name, for making us victors over the enemy and His accusations of condemnation against us and our brothers and sisters in Christ, through the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony.
Father, show us Your glory, not sheltering us from the momentary suffering of this world, but using it to grow Your patience and steadfast mercy in us, that it might have its full effect on us, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Grow a holy fear in us, that we might bow in absolute awe before You, humbling ourselves beneath Your mighty hand in all circumstances.
Thank You that even now Your Word tells us that we are seated in heavenly places with You. Open our eyes, that we may behold wondrous things out of your law and instructions to us. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.