It’s hard to sit still.  Ask any three year old.

Or better yet, ask a grown-up who’s waiting for something to happen or move forward and nothing is happening or moving forward.  But she’s asked to sit still anyway.

I love the Bible stories of courage and valor and rushing to meet the enemy head-on, or doing the brave things requiring loads and loads of faith.  There are other times, though, when God says to just sit still.  Or stand still.  Or do nothing.  And those kinds of stories don’t always get us as inspired.  It’s our nature to want to DO something.

It’s hard to sit still.

I have a situation at work right now where all I can do is sit still.  It’s driving me crazy.  I’ve prayed, and continued to pray, so I know it’s all under God’s control.  But I want to DO something to make things move faster.  I want answers. I want to know what’s happening behind the scenes.  I want to know what the future holds.

When Ruth had done everything she could to present herself and her situation to Boaz, Naomi gave her advice.  “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out.” (Ruth 3:18)

When 600 chariots carrying angry Egyptians were racing toward the fleeing Israelites who were trapped at the edge of the Red Sea, Moses told them “Do not be afraid.  Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.” (Exodus. 14:16)

After Paul exhorted the Ephesian church to put on the whole armor of God and be ready to fight, he followed up with, “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. (Ephesians 6:14 NLT).

Sometimes we’re called to do something, sometimes we’re called to sit still. Or stand still. That doesn’t mean God isn’t working something behind the scenes.  It doesn’t mean we’re cowards or that we’ve given up.  It just means we need to have the faith that when we’ve done everything God has asked us to do, and then He says to stay where we are, He’s up to something.

Sitting still IS hard.  But maybe it’s just a little exciting as well.

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.  Job 37:14

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  Psalm 46:10


“I feel like I’m becoming the poster child for hope deferred”.

Oh, the flair for the dramatic one can feel free to express in a journal! Yes, I actually wrote that this morning. I do some of my best writing when it’s just between me, my journal and God. Except now it’s out there, and it’s between me and whoever is reading my blog today.

Hope deferred seemed to be the theme of my week. I thought a situation was going to turn out differently than it did. I even spent a day fasting and praying over it. And God answered, as He always does in response to intercession. But it appears He didn’t answer in the way I thought He would.

The “hope deferred” reference came from Proverbs 13:12. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Oh yes, bring it on. Amen. I agree. Etch it on a plaque or hang it on a sticky-note above my desk.

And if that’s all there was to the verse, I could embrace it and wallow in it and hold it out to God and say, “See? I knew this was all in vain”.

But that’s not the end of the verse.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life”.

To defer something doesn’t mean it’s cut off. Hope deferred is not the same thing as being hope-less. God will continue to be faithful. He will continue to work all things for good. He will continue to provide and protect and sustain and bring trees of life out of seemingly barren land.

Maybe being the poster child for hope deferred really isn’t all that bad (as long as the picture on the poster is a good one, of course!). If God can use these sometimes wacky, sometimes entertaining, sometimes wistful dramas in my life to encourage others to keep holding on, keep believing, keep trusting, then it’s OK. I’m OK. And in time, it will all make sense and I’ll see what God was up to.

Defer my hope if you need to, Lord.  I’ll even be on that poster. And I’ll keep watching and waiting for those trees of life.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. Psalm 71:14

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31


I think it should have been pretty obvious.

There are these two blind men sitting by the side of a road.  Jesus comes by with a huge crowd following close behind.  OK, so here’s the omnipotent Miracle Worker and two sightless men.  Simple enough. Obviously they needed to have their sight restored. And Jesus had already been doing amazing and unbelievable things – raising the dead, feeding thousands, walking on water. I get the feeling these men are going to be healed.

But Jesus doesn’t just jump right into the healing.  When He hears their cries for mercy,  He stops and asks them a question instead.

“What do you want Me to do for you?”  

Really?  Wasn’t it obvious?  But there was something about hearing directly from these men, in their own words, exactly what they needed. You kind of wonder if they thought He was kidding.  But they didn’t skip a beat.  They answered quickly, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened”.

So, if I was sitting by the side of the road and Jesus came by and asked me exactly what I wanted Him to do for me, what would I say? Would I stumble over my words? Would I try to sound all spiritual and mature? Would I stutter and avert my eyes and say something generic like, “Well, Lord, whatever You want”?  Maybe.   But then, would Jesus take my lowered chin in His hand, lift it up, look me in the eyes and say, “Really, Sharon, what do you want Me to do for you?”

Jesus wants us to ASK.  No stuttering.  No shyness.  He has asked us a question.  And He lovingly waits for the answer He already knows we want to give, but are too hesitant to put into words.

Don’t just cry out.  Don’t be shy.   Be specific. Tell God what you need, what you want. He already knows. And in case you were wondering about the end of the story,  the blind guys did receive their sight…and followed the One who gave it to them.  (Matthew 20:29-34)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16:24

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble.  You will prepare their heart.  You will cause Your ear to hear.  Psalm 10:17

Then you will call upon Me, and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  Jeremiah 29:12

(Originally posted in April, 2010)