For those of you out there who are in this tearful journey of waiting, I wanted to just give you a verse that I've been repeating over and over today. Today was a hard day. Not with Nathan - he had a few fussy minutes, but he was able to calm down quickly.
No, today I got yet another "Not now" from God.
I'll be honest. It hurts. I feel like just at the moment when I am really feeling covered in prayer and content with my life, I realize again just how much I want something that, by all I can tell, is a good thing to want and how badly it stings when God still says no.
So today, Nehemiah 8:10 has been on constant repeat in my brain: "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
I've been thinking over each part of the verse and it's given me some comfort today. It doesn't say that the joy of the Lord might be our strength or there's a chance that someday we'll have joy and on that day, it will be our strength.
Just "the joy of the Lord is your strength."
It's present tense.
I've been thinking a lot also about Hannah in 1 Samuel. She prayed for years and years for a child and God continued to say no, over and over again. I've always, always wondered why God said no for so long. It says that children are a blessing, which in my mind would make them a good thing to want. Was her heart not right yet? Did she still have something to learn? Was He waiting until she was willing to give her longed-for child back to Him?
Or, perhaps it was something else altogether.
I love what Nathan's Jesus Storybook Bible says, talking about John writing the book of Revelation: "And he knew, in some mysterious way that would be hard to explain, that everything was going to be more wonderful for once having been so sad."
Maybe that's why God allows us to wait. Maybe because He knows that all this frustration, all these tears, all this sadness is going to make the day when we are finally holding that blessing in our arms ever so much more wonderful because we have longed for it, prayed for it, ached for it for so long.
I'm still praying for you. I'm praying that we learn contentment with what we have, thankfulness for what God has done and is doing in our lives, and how to find strength in the joy of the Lord even when we are struggling with His plan.