Most of us are tired of waiting, so being asked to wait even more seems unrealistic. Who likes a waiting room? Each one of us wants our “turn” to be released from this difficulty. We may have seen others overcome addiction. But our situation feels hopeless, unchangeable and unnegotiable.
Waiting, therefore, requires a vital ingredient to sustain it – hope. To decree hope onto a person may prop them up emotionally for a moment, but it requires an anchoring in their soul. That’s where your quiet time with the Lord is so vital – He authors hope and can plant it inside of you. His hope is supernatural – it isn’t of this world and it’s not dependent on circumstances. It is formulated from the security He provides despite what happens.
Still, waiting is a disciple like none other. It will squeeze us through a narrow channel filled with darkness, fear and exhaustion. The Bible talks in great deal about the merit of waiting – and there is a reason for that. Waiting is a dreaded, but very real part of our life. That’s why we need God’s perspective and His help.
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31(ESV)
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9
In the waiting room, there is an active focus we gain and there is a level of participation that goes above and beyond our effort. This involves the fruitful lifestyle of prayer and intercession. Prayer is a resource we’ve been given to activate God’s power on behalf of someone else. If you struggle with God, or don’t know how to access Him, this is the time to find out why. Look into resources that can help you (we have some resources listed at the end of this article). Invite God to help you explore your own heart and what might be you holding you back from trusting Him or experiencing Him in fullness.
When Despair Clouds Hope
If you find yourself without hope, you are a carrier of deep, deep pain and disappointment. That pain is something God cares about and wants to address. Pain can drive us to seek help. It can also drive us to despair if we don’t know what to with the emotion.
The biblical definition of despair is “without resource.” This is a place where a person feels so worn out, so used, so taken for granted and so empty from effort they feel without resource.
Alongside despair, cynicism can quickly root in our hearts. When we’ve been hurt over and over again; when days and nights, nights and days seemingly carry on without a response from God; when our circumstances don’t change; when we feel we gave everything we had, we can be without resource internally. This can create disbelief in God.
While it’s justifiable to feel despair, it is a tragic place for a child of God. You are the recipient of God’s love, the object of His affection, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
Not only that, lift your eyes up to heaven right now. Look at the sky and the world around you. That is your God who created it. He isn’t without resources. He has resources. All resources. It may feel He’s not helping you, but there is something that needs to be done in your heart.
The peril of resentment
People that begin to swim in despair tend to grow bitter, resentful and angry. Once the heart grows hardened by resentment, it can be difficult to speak into it. People grow bitter because they feel a victim and feel powerlessness.
To be a victim of someone else’s bad choices is one of the most unjust positions in the world. But to allow our hearts to be contaminated with bitterness is self destructive. The reality of someone else’s choices can affect us so much, our lives can spiral downward as if we too are using the drugs, alcohol, etc. How unjust!
Breaking away from resentment isn’t “just forgive him or her.” It runs deeper. It has pain, deep pain and hurt, underneath it. If this applies to you, the hurt you’ve experienced and the loss that shadows your hope needs to be processed, felt and validated. Remember, being powerless is being positioned for God’s resources. No matter the darkness of our situation, we can make a choice. The choice we have isn’t to change the addict or our circumstances, but to open our heart to let God replenish the lack in us. It’s to give our hurt to Him.
No one can tell you to “just feel better.” No one can tell you “it’s going to be okay.” That is a journey that you have to choose to engage in. You may fight an internal war that takes you into a pit so intense you don’t think light is possible. But look up – you have a Creator and a Redeemer. He is in the pit with you. And He has a way out!
How you gain peace in your life is a choice, even if it doesn’t feel like one. You don’t have to ride the rollercoaster with your addict. You can find strength and hope apart from what __________ is doing. At the end of each day, go to that place of quietness we spoke about earlier. You can gain spiritual strength. If you feel too tired, too exhausted, just come as you are. Bring nothing but yourself and the needs you carry. Expect God to give answers. Expect God to come through for you. Listen to worship music, read the Word, and declare out loud what He says. If you are too weak to do that, bring someone with you who can until you gain enough strength. – perhaps a counselor, a friend, a ministry leaders or someone you trust
Waiting bears fruit. It will push you into a lifestyle built on faith, rather than sight, but not without agony. God is taking the pain of your trial to shape you, just as He wants to do the same for the addict. You might not see the benefits of that at first, but God knows that He is developing inner strength. He knows that this trial in your life is preparing you for your own future. Here’s God’s promise to you right now, declare this out lout and then paste it somewhere to read over and over again:
There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7
If you feel worn out, tired and without hope, build your sanctuary. Find a prayer journal to write out anything and everything that you feel and experience.
Here are some songs to add to your collection of quiet time:
- Thy Will
- Tell Your Heart to Beat Again