Undoubted Grace

The Power In Our Pause

Do you ever feel like your plate is filled with a never-ending list of nothing-ness. You wake up at the crack of dawn, full of expectation in what will get accomplished that day. You make your to-do list and begin checking it off. You get to the end of the day and although you have accomplished a lot, you still feel a lacking?

That’s where I found myself in the fall of 2014. I had just finished a grueling residency where I had very little time. Prior to that was 4 years of dental school, and 4 years of undergrad. By all intents and purposes, I was accomplished. In my heart, however, there was a longing.

I want to explain here that I am a do-er. I see a problem, or feel a dream brewing in my heart and use this as a cause to action. God has blessed me with an iron strong resilience to see the things I promise come to full manifestation. Because of this determination, however, I took this idleness as a sign that there was a next thing planned for me. I began putting my focus into what I felt was God’s next step. So, in my heart, I decided God’s next step for me was a husband.

I filled my walls with words of encouragement, and scriptures about fruitfulness. I began speaking my promised husband into existence. I began making myself available whether it was dating websites, or in seeking a church. The focus of my attention was on making this God given dream, reality… I’m sure by now, you all can see the problem in my actions. Everything I have just spoken of was done in my own strength, and in my own timing. I was taking a promise that I believed God had given me (and still believe he gave me), and applying it to my own time constraints and my own understanding. When I brought it to God, it was simply to list to him all the things I was doing to be faithful to the promise. In essence, I was forgetting a key point to the whole process of promise manifestation. That key was God’s will.

A God promise, done outside of God’s will, cannot manifest. When we cut him out of the life that he planned for us, we may have all of the pieces, but no direction as to how to put them together to make a masterpiece. We become like a full symphony without direction. We’re just, making noise.

So how do we stop this cycle and begin playing in sync with the Director of our lives? The secret is as simple as taking a breath. In these moments, we just pause. We take a step back to let God re-evaluate, to tune us up, to cut out the fluff. We get back to the simplicity of the melody that is the life He has planned for us.

To do this, we must get quiet before the Lord. We have to be willing to let everything go. Let go of our fears, control, and plans. We must trust Him. To build trust, we have to know that this walk and our relationship with the Father is designed completely to grow our faith and trust.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but  is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9  

Think of it like this, Our Father in his omnipotence, knows that we lack trust. He also sees all the potential that he placed within us, and the plans that he has envisioned for us. Because he knows we lack trust, he beckons us to lean on him, to faith jump if you will. He starts small, perhaps it’s a prompting to say good morning to someone whom you don’t usually speak to, or a simple change in the route to work.  When the outcomes of these small “leaps of faith” are positive, it enforces our belief and our trust that God is guiding us, and that he is always with us.

Our Father knows that in order to fully perfect us; so that we do not perish under the weight of our circumstances, he must build up our faith. I’m reminded of the Israelites who experienced great miracles at the hand of their Father in heaven, but time and time again questioned God’s goodness. To protect them from their lack of faith after leading them out of Egypt, the spirit of God lead them into the wilderness.

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Exodus 13:17-18

Like the Israelites; we are sometimes lead into the wilderness for our protection, and as a way to build our faith.

All of this is great, shout worthy even, but… What’s the practical application of this? Well it’s in the pauses and our resting that we hear his whispers. It’s in these moments, when we quiet the outside voices and allow ourselves to be immersed in God’s voice, through his word, prayer, and worship that we can hear his leading, and follow His plans for us.

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2 thoughts on “The Power In Our Pause”

  1. Ashley,
    I just wanted to share with you that I woke up early this morning with a heavy heart and mind about my health and some procedures I have gone through recently and with the though of more to come. I was frustrated and anxious about why I had to take the steps I do. “Cancer center first, then pulmonologist.” After reading your post today I now realize, first of all to have faith! I also realize now that it was more logical, although time consuming, fearful & painful to rule out cancer first and foremost. During that time waiting for results, I thought the worst and the outcome was that God wasn’t finished with me yet. The cancer center was a sad place. People were very broken hearted, some crying & some with no hair. I was fortunate to be un-diagnosed with cancer. Tests were negative. I have a new lease on life.
    But my heart is broken for those strangers I left sitting in that waiting room. God does take us on the “scenic rout” sometimes.
    I appreciate your posts and emails, you do make a difference!
    Thank You!

    1. Kim! First of all thank you for sharing your testimony, and for being so transparent about your feelings! I praise God for your words as they are an encouragement to me! You are so right! God does send us the scenic route, sometimes just to stir up our hearts towards others, so that in that stirring we can begin to be his hands and feet in those broken areas! I am praising so hard right how at your good news! And renewed in my resolve to pray for the broken, particularly those battling cancer! Thank you again for sharing and thank you so much for your support! It means the world to know that the message that God wishes to get out is indeed getting out! I’m so humbled and honored to be used!

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