How many of us can actually say we wait well? From traffic, to doctor’s appointments, to seasons of stillness, it can feel like God is dragging us along in moments of waiting where He is actually inviting us closer to Him. When I feel discouraged in waiting, I always try to reflect on His sustaining love.
The word sustain in Greek means “to support (mostly figurative) — comfort, establish, hold up, refresh self, strengthen, be upholden.” When we look through the Bible, we see how God’s love has sustained His children again and again. He provided manna from heaven to sustain the Israelites. He provided refuge for David when he was running from his enemies, and He offers the same sustaining love to us today. Jesus discusses this love in John 6 when He sees that people are following Him to be fed. The crowd sought Jesus, but they sought Him for physical nourishment, not sustaining fulfillment.
The Bread of Life
Often, we equate the love of the Father to the provisions He gives us. When we work for the approval of man, we never develop an understanding of the sustaining love of God. The Bread of Life isn’t about being wrapped up in perfect provision, but being found in the presence of God, hidden with Him. Whether the waves are crashing or the sea is perfectly still, God is still holding us. He will continue to hold us every step of the way. The beautiful thing about the sustaining love of God is this: when we feel like we’re set adrift on the seas of uncertainty, we can be sure in the fact that we have an anchor who holds us to the very end.
When I cried out to God in seasons of waiting, instead of taking me out of my situation, my anxiety, and my stress, He led me to a hiding place in the middle of them. It’s like when David ran from Saul and ended up in the cave of Adullam. I found myself in a very isolated refuge with God. Instead of appreciating the beautiful gift a refuge is, I banged against the walls in my spiritual hiding place, much like a child complaining about being sent to their room for time out. I became the ungrateful child, convinced my Heavenly Father was punishing me. I was angry at Him for every minute of it.
The Father’s Heartbeat
As it is with every tantrum-throwing toddler, I eventually became worn out and crawled into my Abba’s lap. In those moments of complete silence, I found the Lord in a way I had never found Him before. I had always looked at God like a strict parent. I felt an A+ was never good enough for Him, and I wasn’t trying hard enough. But when I surrendered in my refuge, He pulled me close, and I heard His heartbeat. His heartbeat isn’t found in the worthless striving I had pursued before. It is found in the silent moments in the cave, the refuge with just Abba and I.
When we are hidden with God, it might feel painful, but it will bring so much joy and freedom if we surrender. Psalm 18:19 is a verse I would cling to in this time: “He rescued me because He delights in me.” (NIV).
Delight. Not tolerate, not “puts up with me,” or “acts like He loves me,” but sheer delight. The definition of delight is to “please someone greatly.” I don’t see a lot of disappointment wrapped up in that verse. Do you?
We are not a burden to our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t take us under His wing out of obligation, but out of joy, He welcomes us into His family. We belong in His family. In that season of waiting, in that spiritual cave, I learned that truth changes everything.
This God-His way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. Psalm 18:30 ESV
Author | Savannah Price
Savannah is the founder and creative director for Fullness Co, an online devotional and Bible study company. She is also a worship leader and a director of a life skills teaching workshop for women in her area. She loves encouraging and uplifting others, no matter what season God has them in. You can check out Fullness Co here and find Savannah on social media @fullness_co and @savannahbprice.