Abeyance-a state of suspension, the position of being without, or waiting for. Not the place most of us desire to hang out. I should have expert qualifications by now having lived in abeyance more times than I care to count. I commonly view it as a negative. Is it? Or is it the assignment of negativity we give it? While I have questions, it was last night before I went to bed that God gave me an answer. During another session of praying, petitioning, and pleading for something to breakthrough and allow me to breakout and move forward asking when, When, WHEN???!!!, I heard a still small voice inside tell me that I was asking the wrong question. I was prompted to remember what was spoken to me five years ago in my kitchen-to go back and ask for the fulfillment of that promise first.
It was an ordinary evening in 2012 as I stood in front of the kitchen sink washing the remaining dishes after dinner, when I clearly heard that inner voice. “Go read Isaiah 61.” I have read through the Bible several times and have many verses hidden in my heart, but this chapter was not ringing any bells of familiarity. I was convinced God had something specific to say. I dried my hands, got my Bible, and sat at the kitchen table as I found the chapter He was leading me to. As I started to read verses 1-3, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners (the blind), to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” I had to take in a deep breath and pause. This was a defining moment for me. I had been struggling to discover the new identity of a single mom who had taken a hiatus from the career world for almost two decades, wondering where in the world to begin another beginning. Right there on the pages of Isaiah 61, God gave me the answer. Isaiah prophesied these words about the coming Messiah; His work and mission. When the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returned to heaven at the right hand of God, He commissioned us to continue the work He started. Therefore, His mission is now my mission. I am called to share the good news of salvation to all who are poor. In Him we have no lack. Without Him, we have nothing. To comfort the brokenhearted. I have been comforted untold times and know how to give back. To proclaim freedom for the captives-captives of abuse, anxiety, fear, or anything restraining us from blossoming to our full potential. And release from darkness for the prisoner-blind to the deceit of the enemy, blind to the false freedom of sin. To be a light that they might find the way.
I had allowed my feelings of frustration to drive my when questions. Abeyance was akin to annoyance in my perception. I was behaving like an overgrown two year old demanding my way immediately. Two year olds are given the foreign task of learning to wait. As infants, they would cry and get their desires fulfilled promptly. When we grow and mature, the same learning curve is expected of us as well in greater degrees. God was gently reminding me to grow up and review what He had revealed to me five years ago. He wanted me to remember my purpose, His mission that He had commissioned me, was first and foremost. EVERYTHING else was secondary. That did not make my desires unimportant, but it did make them secondary. Matthew 6:33 KJV says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
God was suspending me to teach me, lead me, and guide me. That is precisely what a Good Shepherd does. He redirected me to the right questions-Lord, how would you like to speak through me today, and who needs to hear it? Who might I give words of encouragement, provide what I have in their need, or touch them in a tangible way? Who might I pray for and support as they are struggling with things that seem unbearable? Who might I shine the light of Your love that they will see truth and hope? How can I implement the same things You did today? These questions shift the trajectory of waiting for what I want to starting right now doing what God wants. His Kingdom. His righteousness. His mission is not just for me. He calls you as well. In the abeyance of all the other things, I can stand on His promises they will be added, and I choose the peace of this, instead of the annoyance and any other negativity that steals my joy while I wait on His perfect timing.