You’ve read nothing but the title of this and I already know what you’re thinking. Waiting, a gift? I know, you think I’m confused; like no, it’s what I’m waiting for that is the gift. The waiting part is definitely not the gift. I get it, I was right there thinking the same thing until the the Lord showed me something really refreshing about the wait the other night. I was reading Psalm 37, a handful of verses that we’ve all read a million times..well at least verse 4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” We’ve all read that one a million times, but what about some of the others, like verse 3? I mean, I had read it before, but I never really ever thought much about it or anything because it was verse 4 that I was focused on.
I remember Psalm 37 being one of my favorites growing up. As a young girl, I had made the promise to myself and to God that I would put Him first. I remember always going to God when I really wanted something. I would tell Him, what it was that I wanted so badly, why I wanted it and all the reasons I thought it was best. But every single time, after I finished sharing my wants and my desires with him, I ended by telling Him the biggest desire of my heart. “God, right now this is what I want, and right now I want it so bad, but in the end, I really only want what you want for me. I know your plans for me and your desires for me far exceed anything I could ever dream up myself. And ultimately, that’s what I want, beyond my feelings today, I really only want what you have for me.”
So, let’s talk about verse 3 now, because I’m sure you’re still wondering how the wait is a gift, right?
Right away as I began reading the verses in Psalm 37, certain words began to pop out at me. Words that, before, blended right into the page, so I underlined some key words along with the words that popped out this time. I looked up the definition for each of these words to help me think a little deeper. I think the true definition of a word can bring a lot of clarity, perspective and shed a new light on a situation or thought. So here’s what got my attention:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
When I read this, the words “enjoy safe pasture” jumped off the page. The Lord was definitely highlighting this for me, so I underlined those words and looked up some definitions. We all know what the word safe means and we know what a pasture is, but like I said, reading the true definition of a word might just open your eyes. Even as I’m typing this, I am just so excited to share this with you, because my mindset was so mixed up about waiting. I think we can all agree that waiting isn’t the most enjoyable thing. It is frustrating, boring, it sometimes makes you feel like you’re being punished, or that you’ve done something wrong or have just been forgotten, especially when it seems to drag on and on. And I think sometimes those feelings can be valid but this verse just really changed my perspective. Look at this!
Safe: Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk: not likely to be harmed or lost.
Pasture: Land covered with grass and other low plants suitable for grazing animals, especially cattle or sheep.
How many of you find yourself in a season of waiting? Otherwise known as a safe pasture? Waiting is not punishment, you’ve not done anything wrong, don’t let frustration take you over, because you have been strategically placed in this safe pasture for this specific amount of time. You have been placed in this safe pasture where you will be protected from danger and risk; out of harms way and the Lord has covered this safe pasture, your season of waiting, with everything you need. I love this, in the definition of pasture, the word suitable is used. The definition of suitable is: “right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose or situation.” You have not been forgotten, no, but rather, you’ve been strategically placed for a time, in a place where you will have access to significant nourishment, wisdom, and relationship with your Heavenly Father. When you think of your season of waiting as a safe place rather than a confined punishment or a dark tunnel that has no end in sight, you might just begin to enjoy it. Whatever it is that you’re waiting for, a new job or career, a spouse, a financial breakthrough, healing, a child..the list could go on, but whatever it is, know that you’re in a safe place as the Lord goes before you to work things out.
Now, there were two other key words that I underlined in verse 3. The words trust and dwell.
Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone/something.
Dwell: Live in or at a specified place.
It says a firm belief, not a wavering, sometimes I’ll believe kind of belief, no, a FIRM belief. Do I firmly trust Him, even when I don’t understand or don’t like how things are turning out? Do I firmly trust He has good for me and He’s not playing games with me when a want or desire goes another year unfulfilled? I’m not saying that you’re going to be all zippity-do-da zippity-day all the time, because I’ll be the first to admit, waiting is not easy. Even when you know you’re in this safe pasture and God’s timing is perfect. There are days you still feel discouraged and weary. But in the midst of those feelings, where are you turning? Hopefully to the Word and God’s promises, building up that faith and finding new strength in him, keeping your feet and faith firm as you wait.
Now here’s another favorite part of mine. “Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Dwell, to live in a specified place. That safe pasture, the season of waiting, don’t just stand there and hope it ends soon, no, dwell in the land. Live in it. Enjoy it.
This safe pasture isn’t a place where God wants us to just hang out and hope we get out soon. No, it’s a place where he invites us to dwell, to really live. Settle in and enjoy the quite, safe place. Get comfortable, because whether you’re there for a short time, or a really long time, he has something for you there and I’m not sure that we can fully grab ahold of what it is he has for us if we aren’t comfortable and settled. This allows us to really hear his voice without the distraction and noise of our own self trying to figure out why we’re in this place, and how long we’ll be here and the place we wish we were. Settle in, learn to be ok with waiting, and listen to what God might be saying to you or showing you in this season.
In 2015, if God would have given me the things I desired and was asking for, Tailored Faith Co. probably would not be a thing today. Why? Because, even though I’d like to think differently, I honestly probably would have been preoccupied with other things, and A. wouldn’t have even asked God how I could give back to my church (which is how my business began - you can read the story on the About Me page), or B. if I did still ask that question, I maybe “wouldn’t have had time” to do something I had no knowledge about because it would require time and learning and I could be doing other things, or maybe I would have tried it, but wouldn’t have pursued it much longer and would have never gotten where I am today with it. Did you know that I made jewelry every night and every weekend straight for 2 years while working a full time job, all because God asked me to and gave me a goal to reach? I was making no profit for myself for the first 2 years as I was giving 100% to my church, and I literally had no time to do anything else because I was set on doing what God had put on my heart. Do you think I would have kept going if I had my plate full with the things I was asking God for at the time? I don’t know, I’d like to think I would have, but just being real, I don’t know that I would have. I’m not saying that our wants and desires will keep us from doing what God has for us, but I am saying that timing is everything. And sometimes we have to go through seasons and certain circumstances to be able to see and learn something about ourselves.
He has something for you in the waiting and odds are, it’s a wild crazy adventure that would blow your mind. And he knows this safe place, this time spent waiting for what you want, is the best place for you to practice your firm faith in him and he knows it's the best time and place for something amazing to take place in and through you. Don’t waste your wait by standing still, constantly wondering when and how to get out because you will not only be miserable the whole time, but you will be missing out on a really special time to grow in relationship with your Heavenly Father.
If you’re in a season of waiting, and have found yourself miserable, tired, or discouraged, I really hope and pray this spoke to your heart as much as it did mine. Keep going, keep waiting, fix your mind on him and know you really are in a safe place. He has not forgotten about you, he knows not only what you need, but also what you want. He is a good Father who longs to give good gifts to his children.
I encourage you to open your Bible, and read Psalm 37. There is so much in that chapter and I know that if you ask him to encourage your heart and speak to you, he will. He will make words jump right off the page that will give life to your spirit just like he did for me. I would also encourage you to ask Him what it might be that he has for you in this season of waiting. Keep your mind open and be willing to give him your YES, because he has an amazing journey for you in this time. It might not look like anything you ever dreamed of, but when he speaks to your heart you'll know, and I encourage you to step out in faith. Make your wait worthwhile. You might find some unexpected blessings, lessons, and a deeper relationship with the Lord.
So do you see it? Do you see how the waiting can actually be a gift? The things he imparts to us, the lessons we learn, the person we become while waiting; it really is a gift. But I believe there’s a catch, and that is, we have to wait well. Waiting well doesn’t mean we won’t feel impatient at times, waiting well doesn’t mean we won’t feel discouraged at times, no, waiting well isn’t based solely on how we feel, but more so by what we’re doing while we wait. And I can bet that if we’re being productive in our waiting, if we’re dwelling in the safe pasture he tells us to enjoy, we’ll have fewer days of discouragement and impatient feelings while we wait because we are focused on what he is teaching us and what he is doing through us instead of trying to figure out why he isn’t giving us what we what and how long we'll have to wait.
One last note. I chose to post this sketch of me along with this blog because, the expression on my face to me looks like joyful surrender. Pure bliss, living in freedom knowing that He truly has it all figured out and I can live carefree before him because he is most careful with me (1 Peter 5:7). I had this drawn based on a photo that I sent to the artist, Giuliana, and my only hope for the sketch was that it would have the effect of my hair blowing in the wind (which she nailed). But what I didn’t notice until about the 4th time I looked at the sketch, was that she put the bar necklace I always wear in the sketch too. I didn’t have this necklace on in the picture I sent her and I didn’t ask her to put it there. This necklace holds a really special meaning to me and when I noticed that, I felt the Lord speak to my heart. He said “Jasmine, I don’t know why you feel like I don’t have the things you want in store for you. I’ve got it all figured out, every single detail, even the ones you didn’t ask for.” He really is a good Father. <3