On Sunday, March 25, Karin Kruger shared a testimony about all that God is teaching her through a significant season of waiting and trial. We hope that her words continue to be encouraging to you as you seek God amid any hardship you are experiencing.
Waiting is a significant form of suffering. The prolonged season of waiting I am in often brings me to the end of myself. Feelings of being overwhelmed, discouraged and hopelessness has a way to incapacitate me. But I am learning that this is God’s grace to me. God is using my desperation to draw me to himself. The Holy Spirit is showing me my heart as I wait, in ways I never expected. I see how my hope often is in the outcome I desire and not in the faithfulness of my Savior’s grace and love.
We have three children. When our oldest son got married in 2010 and left for Africa our youngest daughter was 15. It was difficult for her to accept the fact that this was God’s good for us all. She felt God was braking up our family. The loss of relationship with her brother was overwhelming to her and revealed her rebellious heart against God; a rebellion that grew over the next few years.
It was a very challenging season. The tension sometimes felt unbearable. Dreams had to die. Hopes were crushed. Grieve became my companion day and night. I remember crying and praying “how long oh Lord, how long does this have to last?” Then in 2014 she ran away and we have not seen her since. (We do have contact once or twice a year through Skype messaging.) I remember thinking this is too hard, I did not think that I will survive the minutes, let alone the hours. Then the hours became days, the days weeks, the weeks became months and I prayed, Lord surely not years… Please Lord don’t let it be years. It has been almost 4 years now.
Waiting is a significant season of suffering. It is a season God calls his children to often and it is in this lonely season (by God’s design) that I am growing in my understanding of my Father’s care, love and sustaining grace.
We all wait for something. You might be waiting for a spouse, or maybe you are praying for health, it might be for provision in regard to a job or finances, maybe you are waiting for a baby, or a family, or reconciliation with someone you love, or the salvation of a loved one. I also do not know how long you have been waiting for and how long you will still have to wait, but this is what I am learning and this is what I know.
God is with you and me. Always. He sustains us and he will continue to do so. Our Father desires for us to know him. I wish I can tell you this is my understanding and posture before him every day, it is not. Yet, he is faithful and he is opening my eyes more to the kindness and grace he provides daily. His grace that I am so blinded too, because I am consumed with my suffering and my prayers that are not being answered yet… My way and in My timing! This impatience blinds me to the grace of sweet friends and community I enjoy in this church. It blinds me to the grace God gives me every day to seek him and find him in his Word. It blinds me to the grace of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, comforting me and shaping me to be more like Jesus. My impatience and pride also steals the joy of my salvation and the rest there is in knowing the precious truth of being adopted as God’s daughter. I need an eternal perspective in exchange for my “here and now” desires. I remember my prayers years ago, they were short. Lord have mercy on my daughter and save her. Use this mess for your glory and her good. Until one day as I was praying this prayer again, the Holy Spirit whispered “this mess, this loss and grieve and sadness is my good for you Karin, right now. I am at work and my glory is being displayed.” This was not easy to hear or to understand and I wrestled with the Lord. How is this possible? I wrestled because my hopes and dreams were so much different than this story God is writing … and it certainly did not feel good. I grieved the loss of relationship and hopes I had for my daughter and our family. Coming from a broken home myself, I thought that providing a loving home will be a treasure and gift all my children will appreciate and cherish. The foundation of this hope was misplaced.
But God is at work, he is redeeming every second of this trial, every sleepless night, every tear I cry and every moment of my grieve. He shows me his faithfulness in sustaining me through the days I thought I will never survive. My grieve is driving me to his throne, and in his kindness and mercy he is revealing himself to me. He is redeeming my season of waiting. I am growing in my understanding of who he really is and I am able to love him more.
God told Isaiah that his ways are higher than ours. This humbles me. It is a fight to surrender and to continue to surrender but I have grown in my understanding that He is a Great Redeemer. God will not let one second of my grieve, tears, and my frustrations be without purpose. He lives in me and he comforts me, he helps me to wrestle with him, to behold him, and to worship him. It is in the wrestling and waiting that I see my Father being faithful and kind to me, even as I am still waiting and praying for my daughter’s salvation and reconciliation to her Savior and our family.
I love how David wrestled with the Lord, he has left us a wonderful example by praying for a contrite and humble heart. This prayer of David is one of my favorites and has become my prayer too.
“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.” – Psalm 25:4-6
I know that my understanding is limited, I do not always wait well and I have no patience, other than what the Spirit provides, yet my Savior is sustaining me, helping me and teaching me his ways. He has given me grace to wait, to wait for him, to wait in him and to trust him as I wait and wrestle to enjoy and love him more. I am being transformed…
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
This is my hope, I will see my Savior soon, and He will make all things right, and I will be with him forever. Amen!