Thursday, April 10, 2014

Waiting Patiently

One of the most humbling and awesome aspects of being a home school teacher is that I am afforded the opportunity to learn, every day.

I learn lesser-known science or history facts, math concepts like number bonds, and revisit prepositional phrases on a daily basis. All of this takes me one step closer to a life-long goal:  to be announced as a contestant, along with a nuclear physicist from Washington, D.C. and a neurosurgeon from Queens, as "Sandra Stotler, Skirt-Wearing Home School Mom of Four" on Jeopardy. 

I will wave with my pale, white arm, secured inside my collared, buttoned up pastel polo shirt, not fearful of hair interference, for it will be secured in my ever-present pony tail/headband combination.  My denim skirt will be long and flowing, my eyeliner will be faint and waterproof, and years of tapping my hand to the table (much like a gavel) to maintain classroom order will present a HUGE buzzer advantage.  My adeptness at swiftly printing on a marker board will assure that Final Jeopardy will be answered in ample time.  In my wistful view I see the category as being "Early Growing Patterns of Sunflowers", because although we have planted many, not one of them has ever, ever become an ACTUAL sunflower.  Or maybe it will be, "Post Pregnancy Mispellings", where I am quizzed on words like mispellings, carotts, definately, and other words I used to be able to spell before I had babies.  If so, I will gladly take the parting gift of cleaning supplies and Tupperware, happy to have had the chance to go to the "big city" and stay in a fancy hotel and eat in very expensive places that my wicked imagination will not allow me to do almost ever (Starbucks). 

But my favorite things to learn are the things that my Heavenly Father teaches me.  He blesses me with quick instruction sometimes.  I am sooooo thankful for that, for this mama doesn't make studying and prayer the priority it needs to be, and yet He still loves me and wants to teach me. He very often does this when I am in the middle of teaching my kids about His goodness during our morning Bible Story Time.

Yesterday, as I was teaching out of Matthew 8, I got to the part where the disciples had followed Jesus to the boat.  The boat was a place of rest for Jesus, as the multitudes were pursuing him relentlessly, seeking healing for their infirmities.

 (*Side note:  not what I learned this time, but one other time I got to thinking about how Jesus certainly had the most important work on this earth ever, and HE got away to rest.  Think about that, martyr-mommy.  Go to bed and get some rest.  Take time away to study His word and pray, and to care for yourself in other ways.  The dishes will still be there in the morning, and that is OK.)

Well, Jesus went to sleep, and then a big storm blew up, and before you know it the disciples were in a panic and ran to wake Him up:
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.               -----Matthew 8:23-26

As I was teaching this to my kids, I got a little smug thinking about how His disciples were in a panic (like I wouldn't be, right?  The only reason I could ignorantly be smug like that is because I have the benefit of reading the ending, and I wasn't actually in the boat).  Then I am instantly put in check:

Because I realized that I am in a panic and trying to wake up Jesus.

And I am doing it because I am fearful, and have little faith in the Lord in this matter.

Ouch.  Thank you Lord for showing me!  

Then I get to confess it to my kids.

You see, our family is in a bit of a storm right now.  Nothing a big deal, but a bit stormy and we are waiting on God to provide for a need that truly only He can provide.  And while I KNOW that He will, and that He will do it in His ways and His time, and that He has proven this to me over and over and OVER again. . . . 

I am still trying to wake Him up, to reassure me. 

There are times in my efforts to be a disciple and follow Jesus that He allows me to be privy to some of what He is doing in my life.  The Bible states that "we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face".  If you have ever looked through glass, you know that sometimes you can see things pretty clearly, but at other times you practically can't see at all.  This is one of those times I feel like God is keeping the details of His provision mostly to Himself.  It is a time where He wants us to walk by faith, to trust that He will provide in His time.  And WOW, have I discovered that I do NOT wait well at all.  

I am a doer.  I am a fixer.  I am a problem-solving, creatively-thinking, action-taking, security-loving woman.  I am NOT a good waiter.  

Which is probably why I need this practice.

You see, Jesus was right there in the boat. Just because He was quiet did not mean that He wasn't in control.  He knew the storm was raging, and He held those disciples right in His loving hands, even in His silence.  

Oh, how much I have grieved the heart of my Lord because of my lack of faith. We can make big mistakes when we try to take charge of a situation because we don't want to wait on the Lord.  I think of Abraham and Sarah waiting for the son of promise, and how they took matters into their own hands.  Our job is just to serve the Lord and continue to follow Him, and faint not.  Just like my children have the job of being obedient and don't usually get to know the details of our decisions, my job is to be like them:  obedient, following, trusting, ready to serve. . . waiting.  

If you are a true disciple, and you are following Jesus, then you are in the boat together.  You might be going through a trial right now that you can't make heads or tails of, or can't see the other side of, and find yourself asking why this has to be.  He gives us the broad answer: 
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not grow weary; they shall walk, and not faint."  ----Isaiah 40:31

Lord, help us wait on You to work in Your ways.  Help us to serve in simple obedience and to wait with patience on You, while you exercise us to strengthen our faith.  

Love to you all on this fine day,


  1. I enjoyed that, thanks for sharing.

  2. I enjoyed that, thanks for sharing.

  3. Praying for you, friend. Ah, how I can relate to being in the boat and feeling the panic as the storm comes up! Thanks for the reminder to trust. He is good. Can't wait to see how he provides and blesses your family in this process. Thank you, Lord, that You continue the process of shaping us.

  4. Sandra, as always I received a blessing from reading your blog. God has shown me much the same lesson - We make rules for our children and they don't understand our reasons or they don't want to wait it out but at the heart of the matter - we have their best interest at heart. I relate that to God as my Heavenly Father - no matter what I think of the situation he allows me to be in, he ALWAYS has my best interest at heart! As much as I love my children, God loves me even more. What a comfort that is to a weary traveler! Love the song you posted as well. I too lack patience and I even fail to pray for it - because I am afraid God will give it to me!! I can't wait until you share your ending with us and we can praise God with you. Melinda