Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is God Waiting For You?

Today I'd like to share with you a reading from my favorite devotional, Streams in the Dessert by Lettie B. Cowman (1870-1960).  She and her husband, Charles E. Cowman were missionaries in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917, during which time  they helped found the Oriental Missionary Society. After her husband's death Mrs. Cowman wrote and/or compiled nine books.

Countless times this book has ministered to me through the years.  The wisdom I find there is like a great treasure.  What follows speaks of times when the Lord waits to bless us. I'm quite certain that I have fallen into that category since my fears, reluctance, procrastination, perfectionsim, inexperience, lack of confidence, you name it, has kept me from taking steps forward to realizing some of my dreams.  More than that, my purpose.  I am sure that I have been called to write, but sometimes I have lacked the faith to take the steps in that direction. Now that I have finally begun, I have become encouraged as I see the path opening up for me along the way to that Promised Land. Yet, even when I delay, somehow, someway, God's timing always seems right on time!  I hope I become more faithful in my willingness to let him do his work in and through me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love,
O LORD, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands.
Psalm 138:8

Waiting and Over-Waiting by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

"I have begun to give;....begin to possess" (Deut. 2:31).

A great deal is said in the Bible about waiting for God. The lesson cannot be too strongly enforced. We easily grow impatient of God's delays. Much of our trouble in life comes out of our restless, sometimes reckless, haste. We cannot wait for the fruit to ripen, but insist on plucking it while it is green. We cannot wait for the answers to our prayers, although the things we ask for may require long years in their preparation for us. We are exhorted to walk with God; but ofttimes God walks very slowly. But there is another phase of the lesson. God often waits for us.

We fail many times to receive the blessing He has ready for us, because we do not go forward with Him. While we miss much good through not waiting for God, we also miss much through over-waiting. There are times when our strength is to sit still, but there are also times when we are to go forward with a firm step.

There are many Divine promises which are conditioned upon the beginning of some action on our part. When we begin to obey, God will begin to bless us. Great things were promised to Abraham, but not one of them could have been obtained by waiting in Chaldea. He must leave home, friends, and country, and go out into unknown paths and press on in unfaltering obedience in order to receive the promises. The ten lepers were told to show themselves to the priest, and "as they went they were cleansed." If they had waited to see the cleansing come in their flesh before they would start, they would never have seen it. God was waiting to cleanse them; and the moment their faith began to work, the blessing came.

When the Israelites were shut in by a pursuing army at the Red Sea, they were commanded to "Go forward." Their duty was no longer one of waiting, but of rising up from bended knees and going forward in the way of heroic faith. They were commanded to show their faith at another time by beginning their march over the Jordan while the river ran to its widest banks. The key to unlock the gate into the Land of Promise they held in their own hands, and the gate would not turn on its hinges until they had approached it and unlocked it. That key was faith. We are set to fight certain battles. We say we can never be victorious; that we never can conquer these enemies; but, as we enter the conflict, One comes and fights by our side, and through Him we are more than conquerors. If we had waited, trembling and fearing, for our Helper to come before we would join the battle, we should have waited in vain. This would have been the over-waiting of unbelief. God is waiting to pour richest blessings upon you. Press forward with bold confidence and take what is yours. "I have begun to give, begin to possess." --J. R. Miller

Are you ready to possess what the Lord has in store for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Thanks for sharing this today! I loved it! I just might have to get this book! I pray your spirits are lifted today!

  2. Carla,
    This is such a powerful devotional. I have her other one - Springs in the Valley - and it sure has ministered to me, this year particularly.
    It's wonderful to see you walking with Him, eager to take that next step in faith!

  3. Shannon, I have a leather bound devotional and I also read it online at

    I have sensed all your prayers and my spirits are soaring today! Thank you!

  4. Yes, Laura, Springs in the Valley is also wonderful. I may have told you this before, but I would have loved to sit down and have a cup of tea with Lettie, and you, of course!

  5. This was an amazing post. Thank you so much.

  6. Carla, this is beautiful! I am more than ready to receive the blessings and move forward. I suppose my prayer is what direction do I move? Am I waiting on God or is he waiting on me? Things are clouded. Thank you for posting this! I really needed this.

    Happy Wednesday,

  7. Will keep that in mind as a devotional and will go and have a look on line. Thanks you. Hope you are doing well. Big hug xxx

  8. Love love love that verse! Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Hi Carla -

    Your question gave me pause. Am I ready to move forward?

    An incident earlier today made me realize I must take those steps, but not run ahead of Him. Sometimes I'm like a child tugging at a parent's hand.

    Susan :)

  10. I'm so glad this post has blessed you all today.

  11. Love Psalm 138:*; it's always been one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. This really spoke to me today. I feel like I am right in the middle of it, but I can't exactly explain how and why. That God would wait for me is very comforting.

  13. Fear is what holds me back. I mean what happens if I do move forward? More responsibility, that's what. And what if I can't handle it? Then I'll feel more fear and then...LOL, can you tell I needed this today? Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jen and Cassandra, I know what you mean as far as not knowing which way to move. "Am I waiting on God or is he waiting on me?" And you know, God waiting on me is comforting, because we know that he is so very patient. So even if he is nudging us forward he is gentle and bears with us. I find that the only way to know is to actually come to that point when I ponder this very question. It is then that I am open to hearing his thoughts on the subject, when I dare to ask.

  15. Kav, you hit it right on the head. Fear. That is what does it to me every time! It keeps me in a state of inertia, so it seems. Fear of failure? fear of success? Sometimes I just don't know. But I'm so glad God does and he's willing to work it out with me. And you!

  16. I have a Streams In the Desert from 1965. It was my aunts book. Mine has also ministered to me through the years. I read it over and over.

  17. I LOVE Streams in the Desert. This little devotional has sustained me so many times over the last four years, I've lost count. It's one of the greats, fer sher.


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