May 15, 2013

Quiet My Anxious Heart Week Two

Wow!  That’s the word that came to mind every time I checked in on my blog this past week.  You girls are AMAZING.  Thank you for the time you have taken to really dig into your homework, for being vulnerable and sharing, for asking hard questions.  And thank you for encouraging and praying for one another and me.  Many of you shared sweet God stories about how He led you here because it’s exactly what you were struggling with and praying for.  I stand amazed at what God has done in just one week knitting hearts together from all over the world through His Word and His Holy Spirit.

You have truly blessed this Bible teacher!!

This week we study the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John Chapter 11.  So many rich truths and promises  to glean from this story, sweet friends. So, let’s begin!  Below please find my 15 minute Week Two message.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, continue to open my eyes and my heart to understand the lessons to be learned from this family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus and to apply them in my own life.  Help me to come to know You better God as You seek to work in my life, especially in the “wait” times.  Sometimes it’s hard to see You in the “wait.”  I want everything now; my prayers answered the way I ask when I ask.  As I open my Bible to study these stories, open my heart fully to receive Your Truth.  Help me to hear Your voice.  Reveal Your character to me.  Give me understanding beyond my years. Tender and humble my heart to see those places in my life where I am not understanding and living in Your ways. I love You, Lord, and thank You in advance for all You will do in my life as I open Your Word and study.

Reading

John 11:1-45

Homework

1. Explain how each sister reacted to the arrival of Jesus after their brother’s death.

 

 

2.. What does this say to you about each woman? What further insight does it give you into their personalities?

 

 

3.  Has Martha changed at all since we last met her in Luke?

 

 

4. How did Jesus respond to each of them? What does this tell you about Jesus?

 

 

5. Why do you think Jesus did not immediately answer the prayers of Mary and Martha?

 

 

a. Do you think Jesus waiting to come until after Lazarus had died changed their opinion of Him during that “wait” time? If yes, how?

 

b. If you had been Mary and Martha waiting on Jesus to come and heal your brother, what would have been going on in your heart as time passed, and He never came or sent word?

 

 

6. Consider times in your life when you have prayed and asked God to intervene, and He has not.

a. Like Mary and Martha, do you wonder where God is, why He has not answered, or why He seems to not be at work? Be honest and share your thoughts.

 

b. What does this story teach you about being in the “wait” with God?

 

 

7. What do the following verses promise us about this in-between time in which we sometimes find ourselves?

 

a. John 16:33

 

b. Romans 5:3-5

 

c. Romans 8:28

 

d. James 1:2-4

 

e. 1 Peter 1:6-7

 

 

8. Like Mary and Martha when they were waiting for Jesus to respond to the message they sent about Lazarus, sometimes we too find ourselves waiting to hear from God. In these times, we wonder if He even hears us; we struggle with trusting Him. We must remember that we are limited by time and space; God is not. We only see our little part of God’s big picture. A current day evangelist, Martha Tennison, said, “We only trust people we know. If you’re struggling to trust God, it may be because you don’t really know Him.”

Has God disappointed you? Have you lost someone you love and cannot understand how He could let that happen? Do you pray the same prayer repeatedly and see no change? Look up the following verses and share what they reveal about God.

a. Psalm 27:1

 

b. Psalm 34:18

 

c. Psalm 100:5

 

d. Psalm 145:8-9

 

9.  Jesus kept using the Word “believe” throughout this entire story.  What was it that Jesus wanted them to believe?  Do you think He got His message across.  If yes, why?

 

 

10. Is there something God is asking you to believe right now?  What is it?  Write a prayer below giving that over to Him. Ask a godly friend to pray with and for you to believe God at His Word in your circumstances.

 

 

If You Want to Go Deeper

11.  We see events from our perspective whereas God sees everything all at once…past, present and future because He “was, is and always will be.”  Should that make a difference to us when we don’t immediately hear from God or receive a quick answer to our prayer?  If it should make a difference, why should it?  How can this knowledge help us be more patient and trusting in the “wait.?”

 

 

 

12. Read Isaiah 55:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:12.  How do these verses speak to being in the “wait?”

 

 

Concluding Thoughts

As we come to the end of this story, at Jesus’ command, the One Who told Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” a dead man came back to life! Their brother was alive. Their prayers had been answered even more abundantly than they could have thought to ask. Martha  came to understand Jesus in a richer, deeper way through the resurrection of her brother.  She now knew the meaning of Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life in a new way!

In closing, John wrote these powerful words: Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him.

If Jesus had not had not allowed Lazarus to die, the “many” might not have put their faith in Him.  Lazarus had to die; Mary and Martha had to experience deep grief so that “many” would put their faith in Jesus.

Why do we study this story? Because it reveals what being in God’s wait and what being in God’s Word, listening to His voice, does for us. When you doubt God. When you cannot understand what He is doing. When you question whether He even hears your prayers. Remember this story and God’s faithfulness.  Then, go to His Word. Sit quietly with Him. It’s in His Word that you will find the answers to your questions.

God shows us through stories like these that He never abandons His children. He has not abandoned you. He is at work. He always has a purpose. He always has a plan…a plan much bigger than our circumstances.

Without being in His Word, sweet friends, we won’t know His character. Without knowing His character, we cannot trust Him. It’s critical to sit at the feet of Jesus. It’s at His feet that He prepares our hearts for the difficult times to come and that He speaks Truth into them when they arrive.

I’ll be praying for you this week as you get to know God and Jesus through John’s story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Please stop by throughout the week and share your thoughts, wisdom and prayers.

Blessings to you,

Comments

  1. Janet F says:

    Love the video and teaching today Wendy, thanks so much. WOW the Oswald Chambers quote hit home with me.The idea of prayer is NOT to get answers from God, prayer is a perfect and complete oneness with God.We are to trust in the wisdom of God & ask for the grace to live in the wait. Learning to wait on God teaches us that our peace and our joy in our relationship with Him do not depend on getting what we want!!! I am asking for the grace to live in the wait. My sons wife left him and I pray so hard for him and the 2 girls and his wife. I pray their hearts would be changed and the whole family live for the Lord. I keep waiting. I now have a new perspective on the wait and my prayers about the wait thanks to you and this teaching Wendy. I knew the Lord brought me to this study for a reason. Praising God for what He is teaching me and how he is equipping me on how to prepare myself for the trials, in my quiet times. You are a blessing Wendy. ♥ Praying for your coach!!! God bless you all in this study!! Have a blessed day! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Ann Greco says:

      I would like to thank you for taking the time out to do this bible study. I found your blog about 2 months ago, and I have been anticipating this study . I love how you include many bible verses for your study, your studies are MEATY! It’s becoming increasingly harder to find deep bible studies that are actually teaching the bible, and teachers who are actually grounded in God’s word.” Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”. Galatians 6:9 Thank you so much for being faithful to God’s word.

      Prayer is such a huge weak point in my life, and I know that the Lord led me to your bible study. I have never joined an online bible study, and this is my very first one! But I really do need to grow in this area. I love studying the bible, but I have little to no prayer life. It actually prevents me from becoming involved in women’s prayer meetings, which the Lord has been impressing on my heart to attend. Thank you again for all that your doing.

      In Him,
      Elizabeth Ann- New Jersey

      • Elizabeth-Ann, first thank you for your kind words about our studies being meaty and going deep. That is exactly my prayer for all of us…to go deeper still in the Word and in our walks with Jesus. This is truly the greatest complement you could extend to me…so thank you!!

        And be encouraged that if you want to go deeper in prayer, the Lord will take you there because He wants the same for you! I have an on-line study I did a few years ago on prayer. The link is below. Also, Melissa Taylor’s on-line studies will be doing this study in July with a bit of tweaking. Both of these will help you really learn to pray and give you practical tool

        http://wendyblight.com/bible-studies/cultivating-a-heart-of-prayer/

        Blessings,

        Wendy

    • Janet, praying your son and his family right now, praying God will tender his wife’s heart and draw her back to her family. Praying for healing and reconciliation. Praying for the God of all Comfort to comfort your son and his children during this time and praying God will lead your prayers and give you all you need to support and counsel your son during this time.

      So thankful to hear God is using your time in this study to speak into your heart and into this situation.

      Blessings,

      wendy

    • Janet, I too loved the Oswald Chambers quote – and wrote it down to remind myself of the truth. I have said a prayer for your family. It is so very difficult when our children are hurting.

  2. LeeAnn- Vancouver, WA says:

    Thank you Wendy for devoting your time to this ministry! Wow, this study and especially this weeks study is just what I need. I have been working hard to remind myself daily and moment by moment when I begin to feel anxious to ask God to get me through it. I have struggled with anxiety and depression probably most of my teens and 20’s but have not received help until the last 5 years. I am a mom of a beautiful 21 month old daughter and wow has my anxiety been put to the test within the last 21 months 🙂 With that I feel resentment and guilt for these feelings. Within the last 3 months I have been going through a 12 step program for compulsive overeating and I have found God at a very intimate level. Fighting my addiction has begun to peel back the layers so that I can truly rely on God and not food to comfort me or get me through the moments of angst. I have found that the 12 step program is the way to breakdown my walls so that I can seek God with a clear mind, thus making this Bible study what I need to add to my daily quiet time and reflection. Thank you for praying for us, for me. Thank you for being real and sharing your struggles as a young mom. I am continually reminded I am not alone in this life, God is with me and He has given me sisters and brothers to walk and do life, in this place that is not our home.

    • Lee-Ann, Ii am praising God for leading you to the 12 step program and His word to bring you FREEDOM from all that has held you captivey. He came to set the captives FREE and that is what He is doing for you. I pray you will continue to take every anxious, addictive thought captive to the obedience of Christ and think on all the truths, promises and steps you have learned. May God continue to lead you and direct your steps and give you the strength you need to fully overcome!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Lee-Ann,
      My heart goes out to you as I have struggled 20 plus years with depression and anxiety. I had terrible post partum depression with my third child and I thought I would truly lose my mind!! Let me tell you that even though that time was so excruciating God used it to work in me,depend on him,drive me to his Word,get on my knees and flat on my face on the floor! I have seen God be faithful over and over through the battle of depression /anxiety.I do take medication for it as it is a chemical imbalance,but I have met wonderful women of God that I never would have dreamed struggle with the same thing!!! I will surely pray for you,Lee-Ann and be encouraged that God will walk you through each day and give you whatever you need in every moment!! I hung on tight to Isaiah 41:10…”Do not fear for I am with you.Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you.I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.
      So glad Wendy is taking on this topic!! This is a very timely study!! 🙂
      God Bless,
      Karen

  3. Cathy K says:

    Thank you Wendy for this study! Wish I had it 15 years ago when my daughter was 12 and I lost (for the second time) my husband. Although I had prayed not to lose faith during his terminal illness, I forgot to pray for strength and patience after his death. My poor preteen took some pretty hard “hits” from my tongue during moments of “losing it” on my part. Fortunately God was gracious and got us through those days.

    What actually brought me to this study is my continued feeling of God tugging on my heart to return to HIM through prayer & bible study. This particular study seems to be accomplishing HIS goal 🙂 I stayed up late last night to view the two videos and do some reading. Guess who woke me EARLY this morning and kept me awake until I crawled out of bed and spent an hour with God doing the 1st week’s homework!!! I must say, I did learn a lot about myself that I really didn’t want to see. But God knows that I have to acknowledge those weaknesses so I can move forward! Looking forward to doing this week’s homework soon.

    Thank you Lord & thank you Wendy!!!

    • Praising God for bringing you her Cathy, and for the precious time you are spending in His Word. He promises that when that Word goes out into you heart and mind, it will not return void but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purposes for which He sent it!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. I’m struggling to hear God. I’m in the middle of deciding if I should file for divorce. I’m trying to get guidance from The Lord but I just can’t seem to hear Him. It’s even hard for me to pray. I’ve been unhappy in my marriage for so long and recent things that my husband have done make it even harder to stay. I’ve stayed so many years for the children, for our families because there are close ties, for him because I feel sorry for him & because I don’t want to start over. I want to be obedient to God and His word but my biggest fear is that He will command me to stay in this marrige. This marriage filled with unhappiness, no trust, no respect, & pure chaos. How can I break down to hear Him speak?

    • Thank you for sharing from your heart. I am praying for God to breathe new life into your marriage, for God to do a “new thing” in each of your hearts. I don’t know all the details, but I do know He so desires marriages to stay together unless there is continued unfaithfulness and/or abuse with no evidence of remorse. If this is not the case in your marriage, I pray that each of you will humble your hearts to God and each other and try again. Speak words of love and affirmation…even if it is hard in the beginning. Pray for one another…even if you don’t feel like it. Do acts of love and service for one another…even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing. Sweet friend, God will reward this!! And if your husband won’t do this, begin to do it on your own. It will speak volumes to him over time. May God direct your every step as you pray about this decision. May you hear His voice through His Word and His Holy Spirit.

      Blessings,

    • Praying for you and your marriage! Asking God to make His plans clear and agree with all the advice Wendy shared above! Some possible sources of encouragement may be the books – “The Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas, “Beyond Ordinary” by Justin and Trisha Davis and “Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken” by Cindy Beal. But still His Word is the most powerful source…keep opening it and asking for direction…He will be faithful!! Blessings to you!

    • Yanna Westmoreland says:

      Tresie my heart goes out to you as I found myself with similar thoughts years ago. The “thing” that finally gave me an answer was when I did exactly what this study is all about. I was in such a deep pit of despair and sadness along with much turmoil that when I told God I had enough and could not do it anymore was when the answer came. I literally gave it all to Him and said here it is Yours, then I waited. While I waited I sat at Jesus feet every chance I got. Music on the radio was praise music, no tv unless it was a Christ centered Bible teacher, no books except my Bible then I added studies, Ladies Bible Classes everything I could get my hands on (online Wendy caught my attention with her testimony so I started her lessons). If I even attempted to figure something out in my marriage I stopped myself and said to God, no this is Yours You fix it. So you are exactly where you need to be, stop and let God be God and you become the woman He wants You to be. He is faithful. Become like Mary only one thing is needed.

    • I’m praying for you Tresie! I’m in a similar predicament, wondering if this marriage will survive or not. But in my journey through this strange “limbo” season I’m in, God has reminded me that he can resurrect even the deadest of things, and today’s lesson is the exact parable for this. If he can resurrect Lazarus, he can resurrect our marriages. Stay in prayer, and trust in God.

    • Sweet Tresie,

      My heart goes out to you and I want to encourage you today that I believe God has you in this study for a reason. His ways we can not fathom. The more I know Him the more He awes me with what He can do. [I might add that He has a way of doing things that can’t help but swell our heart with love for Him!] All for the glory of His kingdom! I pray that you will sit and sup with your heavenly Father. Do nothing but sit at His feet and pray and wait. “O LORD, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day.” (Psalm 88:13) O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O LORD? You are entirely faithful.” (Psalm 89:8) God promises us victory dear Tresie. Why can we count on Him to answer our prayers? When it is His will, He will do it! He loves the marriage vow. He will whisper to you as you spend time with Him alone, – in the quietness of the morning. Sit and sup with Jesus. Invite Him to share a meal with you. Just chat with Him. Share your deepest hurts. Cry out to Him…ask Him to grace you with His Spiritual eyes to see the good in your husband. Ask the LORD to show you how to serve him in loving ways. Ask the Lord to bless you with encouraging faithful sisters to stand in the gap and pray alongside you during this difficult time. In time, I believe that the victory will come. “I will sing a new song to you, O God!” (Psalm 144:9) The amazing things that God does, through us, give us a “new song” to sing! The miracles allow us to share His glory to those who need to have an encouraging word. “They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.” (Psalm 145:11) The Lord is gracious to us as He “Lifts those bent beneath their loads” (14) He is “filled with kindness…close to all who call on him” (17,18). “He hears [our] cries…I will praise the LORD, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever” (21). May you feel God’s love today, knowing you are being prayed over. Hugs!

    • Olayinka says:

      Hi Tesie, I really don’t have words for what you are going through right now but this came into my inbox this morning and having read your comment yesterday I thought to bless you with it. May God keep you and strengthen you.

      At Issue – Considering Divorce
      Isaiah 40:26–31
      Does your marriage seem hopeless? Perhaps you’ve tried and tried, yet nothing has changed. You’ve pleaded with God to fix the problems, but he doesn’t seem to be listening. So you’ve decided to solve it on your own. You feel you have no choice but to get out of the marriage. Don’t give up! God is bigger than your problems. In very few cases does God condone divorce. In the majority of struggling marriages, God will make a way if you will wait for him. You may feel as if he doesn’t see your struggle, but he does. He will give you strength to fight for your marriage.

      • Thank you all for praying for and sharing wisdom with Tresie!! What a beautiful gift you have given her. I just LOVE all you girls for supporting and praying for each other.

        Blessings,

        Wendy

    • Tressie, prayers said for you and for your marriage. Asking God to heal and give peace.

    • Heather says:

      Tressie, I have been where you are now. And not so very long ago. I had been married for 15 years and it had been filled with disrespect and angry words and resentment. I lived as a single parent with a pay check. I was at a crossroads and decided to take the necessary steps to make a life for myself and my children without my husband. I proceeded to tell him my feelings and refused to fall back into unhealthy and abusive patterns. I finally just told my husband I wasn’t in love with him anymore and I wasn’t sure what would come next for me. Honesty is always the first step. He resisted at first, making the changes that needed to be made in order for me to live comfortably in his presence. It was hard waiting. I prayed to God a lot for direction and peace and strength not to cave, in order to please others. And over the course of several years very slowly he changed my husbands heart. At first it was little things, speaking softly to me, spending more time home, helping around the house, asking me questions about my day and life. And slowly I began to replace all the hurtful memories I had with him, with new happier memories with him. Only God could have allowed that. I was done. I had made plans and was just remaining in the relationship until he could see how much damage had been done. And while “waiting” God allowed my heart to soften and the wall to come down gradually and my husband to understand his behavior was not godly in any fashion. I tell you this because God can heal marriages if it is his plan. You just have to leave the door open for hi to come in and start his work. Good luck and I hope I helped you even one little bit : ) We will celebrate 28 years this year….

  5. Wendy,

    This is indeed a rich testament to God’s love and wisdom. I have known God for several years now and have thought of what it meant to wait on him. For me waiting has been the hardest thing in my life. There is no practice to waiting. You only have to trust God and wait.

    I was in a terrible marriage for eleven years and during those years it was only the knowledge of God that kept me. I did not know I was waiting on God until I came out. On coming out I asked God to restore every aspect of my life I had lost during that marriage. Then the waiting came, at some point I thought God did not hear me. I was so confused about what next. But as your rightly pointed out he knows the past, present and future and he sees the greater picture.

    To conclude, I have been waiting for total restoration for three and a half years now and this story teaches me that the waiting is not over yet but he has greater plans for me. Thank you so much Wendy for helping me put life in perspective.

    God bless you.

    • Praising God that He knows the plans He has for you…plans to prosper and not to harm you…plans to give you a hope and a future. Claiming His promise for you that He will make all things NEW!!

      Blessings,

      W

  6. Hey Wendy!
    Again, I am excited to start my homework tonight!
    I can relate to the “waiting” you spoke of. It’s nothing serious as life and death but as a farming family in Texas, we are in a serious, long lasting drought and it’s scary to think of what will happen if we don’t get rain soon, and our wells dry up.
    I know God has a purpose and a reason for this drought. He sees the big picture, and our knowledge is so limited compared to His, but it sure does get frustrating at times. Especially when we have a forecast for rain and nothing comes! It is fresh in my mind as the town I work in received rain last night and where we are and where we farm a mere 20 miles away we got nothing! Grr! 😉

    • Beth,
      As a fellow farmer’s wife, I understand the wait you describe! We too experienced the drought last year and now have had a crazy spring…just remember though the rain may not fall, Jesus will always reign!! God is in control!!

    • I am joining you and all your community in praying for the One Who controls the wind and the rain to POUR down spring showers in abundance upon the farms and crops in your community. God, we KNOW you are ABLE. We know you are FAITHFUL. We know you PROVIDE. And we know you hear the cry of our hearts and ANSWER PRAY. We ask all this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Beth, I am not a farmer’s wife but live in a farming community. Many of our Church are farmers. Prayers said for you and your community.

  7. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Praying for your son’s coach and wondering did you win?

    • Updated this down below. But we did win!! Play again tonight…moving on in the STATE tournament. Coach Tuscan was able to be at the game even though is is a chemo week. Praying he feels well enough again to come tonight.

      Thank you for asking!

      W

  8. I too was going to ask how the game went and will be praying for your coach!

    Wendy your words about waiting have led to some reflecting…a look back at times I’ve had to wait and a time from Aug. of 2008 has been my focus. At the time I was a Mom of 3 and was surprised to find out we were expecting. Surprised for a couple of reasons – 1) I wasn’t planning on more children and 2) I didn’t “feel” pregnant. Maternal instincts told me something wasn’t right, so tests were done and the waiting game began. At the time it seemed to last forever, but looking back I know it was a short 15 days. We went on to have a miscarriage and that experience solidifies your point – God uses waiting to prepare us!

    During that time I read a post Lysa TerKeurst shared which focused on Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” I dug into those words and God used them to teach me, remind me of Truth, prepare me and then powerfully used them when the wait was over.

    Then on the morning of Aug. 30th, when the mom in me knew what was happening, but while I “waited” for the Dr. to confirm it, I read our family devotions. We were reading from Luke 22, a passage I’ve read and heard numerous times, but as I spoke the words they took on a whole new meaning. As I said the words Jesus prayed, I felt they were my own, “Father if thou art willing, remove this cup of suffering, never the less not my will, but thy will be done.” I choked up, paused and knew it was true – my life was about His will, not mine. The thought of a miscarriage was hard and I wanted more than anything to know our baby was all right, but still I knew God was in control. God led me to those words while I waited and they were etched on my heart while I grieved. God used those words to prepare me in ways I never expected, but in a way that He still works thru today.

    Friends, I share all of this to remind myself and encourage you that He has a purpose for our waiting. And we have a responsibility while we wait…we must continually seek Him and sit at His feet. Looking forward to the conversation that will take place this week! Blessings to all of you!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I have not suffered such a loss; I can only imagine the pain associated with that. What an amazing God we serve that He always provides what we need just when we need it.

    • Jill, thank you, thank you for sharing this experience and for sharing the truths God used to speak to you in the wait. Stories like yours, words of wisdom from those who have walked before us are EXACTLY what we need to be strong in the wait. Hearing stories of God’s faithfulness, whether from scripture or real life friendships, gird us up.

      So thankful to have you with us, Jill!!

      Wendy

  9. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Okay, this is kind of funny. As I skimmed the questions before I began to answer them it dawned on me Jesus had to wait! “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” vs 4 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus vs 4 pause there for a minute. Then in vs 6 “yet when he heard that Lazarus ws sick, he stayed where he was two more days.” A huge lesson in God’s timing. Waiting. Even Jesus had to wait for His Father (there are a few more of these in the Bible, Jesus wanting to wait to turn the water into wine, even going to the cross I think Jesus would have put it off a day or two longer). Waiting is faith based. I had a thought occur to me the other night when I call on Jesus then I should not expect an answer because then the answer may be what I “expect” yet if I call on Jesus and wait upon the LORD to reply then it is His timing, His direction, His plan not mine. After I this I came across Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Jesus waited knowing His Father, God, had a plan. I love having Jesus as my example. He did it so can I.

  10. I somehow missed week one…thought maybe I had the times wrong and it would start this week…ACK!! How do I find that post and catch up!!!!

    • Glenda, glad you came today! Just scroll down past this post (without the comments) and you will find last week’s post. If you have trouble finding it, e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com, and I will help you.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Hope no one minds I just keep coming back with a comment. Now I am into Wendy’s questions and #1-3 my insight: . Both stated the exact same thing “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I think Martha gives us a view into her changed heart for she adds “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Could this be because she had asked and received since the last time we heard from her? Just keep going to verse 28. She calls Jesus “The Teacher”. Ah I think she learned what is the better thing, Jesus is going to show them Who He is eternal life.

    • Yanna, I so agree. Mary’s heart is changing. She has been experiencing time with Him. She makes a very powerful statement of faith to carry her through her wait time!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  12. Thank you Wendy for this Bible Study. Over five years ago my husband of over 28 years committed adultery and I prayed and waited for almost five years, hoping that he would repent and our marriage be restored. Last year he filed for a divorce. I have struggled with disappointment and such sadness in my life. In the homework you asked us to be honest about our response in the “wait”. I have had so many questions, but I always have gone to the Lord and His word daily. When I fell, He picked me up and helped me out of the pit. During the early days of this pain, I bought your book and the Lord used it to help me. I participated in your last Bible study and now this one. Thank you for your sharing of the Word and ministry. I am trying to find the place of trust again and be able to walk in His joy. Those are my words for today: trust equals joy.

    • “TRUST EQUALS JOY.” What wise words, Clara. I am so sorry for the loss of your marriage and your husband. I am praying for God to do an amazing new thing in your life…for Him to open new doors for you to see Him, experience Him and serve Him. Praying your will TRUST in Him with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him so that He can direct your every step as He does this new and marvelous thing in your life!!! His hand is upon you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He knows the plans He has for you and they are GOOD.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  13. Sheila Payne says:

    Waiting usually feels like a “no” to me when I ask God for something. My son is a type 1 diabetic and I have prayed for healing, less swings of high and low bloodsugars, understanding, wisdom in dealing with it, etc. Still rarely do we have two days in a row that there are not things to deal with concerning the diabetes. One night, with eyes full of tears after praying about that day’s diabetes issues, I turned to my next lesson in my Bible study I was doing and the verse we were working with that day was Luke 7:13.

    When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

    I felt a little like I was in that Martha moment when Jesus wept with/for her. I may be getting a “no” but He is not leaving me here alone.

    Thank you for this study.

    • I think that may be your key for your daily struggles; you are not alone. It is something each one of us can remember in the midst of our trials.

    • Beautiful Sheila… Your heart for your son… your heart for our Lord… always pierces my soul!

      Abba, thank You for Sheila. Thank You for the deep love she has for her family, for her son who battles type 1 diabetes, and her heart for You. Thank You that You gave her ears to hear Your voice whisper, “Don’t cry.” Your compassion for her is like no other. In her wait time, bless her with Your peace which surpasses understanding and let her lean into You to experience intimacy like never before. Continue to protect her son and keep him in good health. Thank You for the grace You pour into all of our lives through Sheila. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      Huge hugs to you, my friend!

    • Amen to Noelle’s prayer. I thank Him for whispering into your heart “Don’t cry!” He loves you and your precious son, and He will continue to care for and minister to both of you as long as you walk this battle with diabetes. I join you and so many praying for a cure!! But until then, may the God of all Comfort comfort you in your hard times.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  14. I am in the midst of a “wait” although I didn’t recognize it as such until just recently. Looking back, I can see how God pulled me away from everything; my jobs, my home, everything familiar to me, to prepare me for the trial that was just around the corner. I had 4 months of resting in Him; daily bible reading which had always been hit or miss with me, and prayer time. This prepared me to be completely dependent on Him when my husband of 24 years left me. Then, in God’s timing, I was brought back to the area I had previously lived in, and after 4 months of fruitless job searching, went back to both previous part time jobs. He has showered His love on me through my church family, friends and even my family members; He has blessed me beyond measure. But I don’t believe I would be where I am spiritually today, if He had not used those months to strengthen me and build me up; to reinforce my faith. What an awesome God we serve!

    • Nanci, thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony with us! Your words revealing the Truth of the Scriptural promises about which we are learning will encourage so many women who are in “the wait” with God. What a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  15. Ok the nerd in me is coming out but I LOVE music and a great song that goes along perfectly with this week’s study is “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. It’s from the Fireproof soundtrack and it’s a great song. I would recommend to anyone to listen to it this week! 🙂

    • Beth.. Thank you SO much for this. God is speaking specific things to me through this beautiful song (illness has kept me from many things for years now). I can’t thank you enough for posting 🙂

      • You are so very welcome Sas. It IS a beautiful song. It makes my heart glad to know I can help! As I said before, I love music. I am a girl that is easily moved by lyrics and melodies and I have been listening to this CD in my car this week and thought yesterday that this song is perfect for us girls to listen to this week!
        I’m sorry you have been dealing with illness for such a long time. I will be sure to include you in my prayers today!! <3 🙂

        • How sweet you are!! This is my first time doing one of Wendy’s studies in “real time” .. it’s so amazing to be a part of you all! I’ll pray for you too sweet Beth <3 PS .. I am Noelle's sister 🙂

          • This is my first study too! I am enjoying the study as much as the comments and talking we are all doing! I was thinking yesterday, I sure am going to miss visiting Wendy’s site and seeing all the updates and new comments from you girls once this next week is though! 🙂

    • Beth, I LOVE the song. So perfect, and so awesome to listen to. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for sharing this song! Music is another important way we can “be still and know that He is God!”

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  16. I’m going through a really hard time in my marriage, to the point where it’s on the verge of ending. When things first started getting out of hands, I asked God what I should do. I was hoping he said “leave” but instead he said “wait” and I couldn’t believe it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever heard, and there’s days like today where it seems absolutely impossible. So the fact that today’s message was about “wait”, that’s nothing but divine intervention.

    Today’s homework really helped me feel better and reflect on what it is I’m to do, and that’s trust in the Lord. He’s with me when I’m brokenhearted, he’s doing things his way, and this time of suffering is being used to strengthen my faith and perseverance.

    Thanks Wendy!

    • I know that we all know that “nothing is impossible” with God, but I know there are days . . . prayers said for you and for your marriage. May God give you strength and peace as well as wisdom to hear Him.

    • Briana, praying now for you to have the strength to persevere and praying for God to encourage you and speak into you heart in very real and person ways as you “wait” on Him.

      Below is a link to a marriage prayer I have available as a free resource under my Free Resources. Praying it will encourage you and guide you during this time. God will bless and reward your obedience to listen to His Voice.

      http://wendyblight.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MarriagePrayer.pdf

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  17. I must admit that I often find myself frustrated or disappointed when I don’t see God showing up when or how I think He should. But if I really think about it I realize that I am often asking Him to show up and do it my way on my time table. But this story is a great example of how His ways are greater than my ways. If I learn to wait on Him and trust in His plans, He WILL show up and His way will be far greater than what I had imagined. His results will not only exceed my expectations, but they will bring Him glory and honor in the process. And as I have spent time resting in Him, trusting in Him, waiting on Him, I will draw nearer to Him, deepen my intimacy with my Lord, and learn to trust Him more.
    This is a lesson I really need to learn.

    • Rachel, I know this is my lesson too. I used to think the lesson was about how to trust myself or other people. I’m seeing now it’s really about how to trust the Lord (not just more, but with ALL MY HEART). This morning I prayed He will help me with this. I’ll be praying for us both now :).

  18. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you for this study! What a blessing you are to us. You opened up this story in a new way to me. I love that about the Word of God. It is living and active; each time we read it God brings a newness to it. What you shared is my story. I’ve been a Christian my whole life. But. Never read through the Bible. My mom prayed daily for me to be in God’s Word. I would try but never got too far. Right before my 50th birthday I was led to another Proverbs 31 sister. It was through her blog (Wendy Pope) that I began having a quiet time. God began equipping me for what was to come. I love Him so much for that. He knows our tomorrows. He knows what is coming up around the bend. We have know idea. Events hit us like a ball coming right at us from left field! God in His tenderness allowed me to know Him intimately through His Word, so that when the “event” happened, I was not alone. And, I will say, the hard times, are the most precious times with God. As hard as it can be, His Word speaks truth into us, like no other time. I am in awe of Him. Now, I’m on my 5th year, reading His Word, cover to cover, and I can’t share enough how precious it is. Living. Active. Speaking to my heart. Day by day. God amazes me – each day I read, He will open my eyes to something new. New Scriptures that I sit and wonder, ‘how I missed them the year before!’ The more I read His Word, the more I know how in dire need of Jesus, I truly am! The more time I spend with Him, the more time, I want to be with Him.

    I can’t help but take this opportunity to encourage everyone who does not “sit and sup” w our Father each day, – to try it. Make it a habit. Do it consistently. God will shower you with tender-lovingness and over time you will grow to know Him so intimately that your feet will be secure on His path. He fulfills us. Nothing else satisfies us, – like the relationship that Jesus offers us.

    May God continue to richly bless us through this study together. May His Holy Spirit instruct, teach, and counsel us throughout today. May we seek Him with all of our heart and hide His Word into our innermost being. (Psalm 119:10-11)

    • Lori, thank you, thank you for this powerful testimony and words of encouragement about “sitting and supping” with the Lord. We need to hear stories like yours as we walk this journey…words of affirmation for what we are learning. God is faithful when we are faithful!!

      Don’t you love Wendy Pope? She is one of my dearest friends on our speaker team. Our hearts beat as one when it comes to Bible Study.

      Amen to your sweet prayer as well. Thank you for praying for us.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  19. Abba,
    Thank You for John. Coaches have such special hearts. Lord, I know you grieve the chemo treatments that John is enduring, and I know You have a deep heart for this season of John and his wife’s life. Thank You for providing the medical attention he needs. Thank You for the incredible support that Wendy and the other families are bringing to John and his wife. In Jesus’ Name, bring healing to John’s body through these treatments. Rid him of the cancer cells. As You replace the bad cells with the good cells, please also flood him with Your presence and Your love. Let him know You like never before. We stand together, believing in all You can do! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    • Amen Noelle .. praying too!

    • Oh, thank you for praying for our coach, Noelle. Perfect, Spirit led prayer for where he is right now. I love your heart for prayer!

      Thank you too, Sas. I know you understand chronic health issues, pain, treatments and medical struggles. You pray from a truly compassionate heart.

      Love you,

      me

  20. As I read the scripture and reflected on the wait, I was reminded of the times I have waited on The Lord. I will admit each time The Lord had to remind me of His plan. Yet, what remains for me is the HOPE in Christ! I cannot escape it! During our waiting in the adoption process, I was reminded in scripture how God kept his promise to Abraham after 400 plus years. God is a God of kept promises! Each day during the good days and the lesser good days I know He is Faithful and constant! And most of all Trustworthy! In the midst of broken trust from people I have found my Redeemer to be trustworthy! I know He has brought me to a place of complete dependence on Him! Scripture reminds me over and over in Genesis 50 :20, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20 NIV) Lastly, without Him I am nothing.

    • Laura, thank you for sharing this verse from the story of Joseph. I too have had times where I have clung to this verse. God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It was written for us today!! Praising Him today for His living and active Word…praying it will come alive in all of our lives!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  21. My boyfriend and I recently split up after nearly six years together. The loss of the person I believed I would marry and have a family with has been devastating, particularly at 36 years old. The thought of starting over is mind numbing, and I am wrestling with God to find the faith to believe my best days aren’t behind me. I truly feel like Job in 17:11.

    Most days since the split, I have vacillated between praying boldly for the Lord to breath life back into my broken relationship, and praying that He will help me let it go. I feel like a crazy person, but I simply don’t know how to do both at the same time. Recently, though (and I think largely due to this study), the Lord has put in my heart that I don’t need to do everything in my own strength anymore, including pray. I just need to believe I will be alright; I just need to be with Him and trust Him. I don’t think I’ve truly trusted the Lord with any question or situation that’s been important to me in my whole life. Not about college or law school or career or relationships. I’ve sometimes asked, but I’ve rarely waited for an answer. I’m learning to now.

    • Praying for you my friend! 🙂

    • Beautiful Amy… I too have lived through the disappointment and anguish that came from a broken 6 year relationship with a boyfriend. I’m a handful of years older than you, so I have come through the other side. I want to affirm you in BIG ways for slowing down and waiting on God. I can’t say that those were my choices back then! But, when God unfolded the rest of my story, I couldn’t believe my eyes! So, I am hugging you tight as you wait. I love what Wendy conveyed to us from another teacher… we trust who we know. So, I’m praying you drench yourself in God… to know and to trust. You’ll be light years ahead of where I was at that time!

      Abba Father,
      Thank You for Amy’s heart… waiting on You. You say that strength will rise when we wait on You. So, thank You for promising to strengthen Amy. Lord, through these days, let her intimacy with You grow. Let her trust get stronger with every passing minute. Let her Father-daughter dates with You fill her until her joy is overflowing. And I pray for her husband-to-be. Wherever he is… whatever he is doing… I ask in Jesus’ Name, that You would prepare each of them to be with one another by growing both of them stronger into You. I ask these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      xoxo

      • Noelle,

        You are a blessing, and have such a gift for prayer. Thank you for speaking the words of my heart. I am printing your prayer and will keep it close.

        Love, Amy

        • I join in Noelle’s precious prayer for you, praying from her 1 Corinthians heart…the God of All Comfort comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received.

          Amy, I read recently something that says FAITH = REST. When we have faith in God Who holds all things in His hands…Whose plans are for us and not against us…Whose plans are to give us hope and a future…we can truly rest in Him, trust Him and not be anxious. Praying His Rest for your heart today!!

          Blessings,

          Wendy

  22. Wow, reading all the comments, prayers and sharing has indeed brightened my faith. The Bible tells us in Numbers 23:19 that “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

    Quiet recently, I was getting ready to go church one sunday morning and the Lord said to me “you are not your past, your past is in the past and it is there to secure your future.” As I pondered on what the Lord said, he then showed me the transformation process of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The ugly looking caterpillar is transformed into a beautiful butterfly after much struggle and pressure. People look at the butterfly and admire its beauty. But they never understand how much struggle it has to go through to look so beautiful.

    It is the same for all of us as the Lord showed me that such beauty does not come over night. It happens only after much struggle and pressure. I am a beautiful person inside out because of all I have gone through in life. His grace has been sufficient for me and his strength made me perfect in weakness.

    I speak God’s beauty into every struggle mention here. Let God’s love fill our hearts with peace knowing fully well that he who had begun a good work in us shall see it to completion as we wait for his perfect will concerning our lives in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

    • Lynn, thank you for sharing these wise words with us today. And I love the analogy of the caterpillar and butterfly!! It is so true. Some of the most beautiful women I know…inside and out…are those who have walked through difficult trials and come out the other side stronger and filled with inexplicable JOY!! They have an intimacy with the Lord that is seen by all.

      And thank you for reminding us of Paul’s verse that “His grace is sufficient for us” and “His power is made perfect in our weakness.” We often hate to show weakness, but it is in our weakness that God will do His greatest work.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  23. It seems like there has been some change in Martha since Luke, in that in Lluke, she was focused on serving and what Mary was not doing to help instead of on Jesus. In John, Martha is the one who went out to meet Jesus(still very in line with her personality), while Mary stayed behind at house. Martha is the one who came back to tell Mary Jesus was calling for her, and Mary rose quickly to fall at His feet.
    Martha still verbalized her thoughts and through Jesus’ questions.. Her response was a declaration of her faith in Christ as The Lord! While Mary and Martha both expressed belief that if Jesus had been there , Lazarus would not have died, Mary seems more weepy(?)……. Jesus moved by her grief, but also perhaps noting that they were mourning as people without hope. He showed compassion. Interesting that Mary who had “chosen better” in Luke……is here more weepy, while Martha, while not understanding totally, spoke out her faith that Christ is Lord…so seems stronger in this moment and speaks to her faith!

    I can relate to many of the previous posts…I am a lifelong Christian, however for the majority of my life have not waited on Lord, whether through consistent quiet time so can hear that still voice, have prayed many prayers more focused on what I want…sometimes even being arrogant enough to think I know what The Lord would want for that person which prevents me from seeing how Lord might be working in that person’s life because I’m so focused on wanting ” things to be right” right away……or I step in to try and control the situation- disastrous and usually brings about the very thing I feared! I need to get off the throne!

    I realize I need to focus on my own relationship with The Lord so my heart can be changed to be totally submitted to Him…….Lord knows, I’ve done more harm than good….I so desire, even after doing my own thing for 58 years within the church, to begin again and experience God’s love in relationship, and that He would soften my heart to love the way He loves.

    Thanks for this study…..as I begin to learn how to wait on The Lord!

    • Wow, Brenda. Such insight in your comments, not only about Mary and Martha but also yourself. It’s been really helpful seeing what other people take from this study. Thank you for sharing!

    • Brenda, what great insight about Mary and Martha and where each of them is in this second story. Thank you for sharing it with us!! This is what I love about this study. We glean so much from each other when we share what the Lord speaks to us.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  24. Wow!! I have not even started to work through this weeks questions and I can’t tell just why God has me here in this study! Having walked through so much in the last year that has been difficult for me, though it hardly compares to the troubles I know others are walking through, I see how God has been solidifying my faith in Him & how very necessary & important that step is for each of His children. I saw a statement yesterday that really hit me. Kay Arthur reminded us last night, “As you wind down your day, remember no matter what happened today it didn’t take God by surprise! In fact it was His plan for today! Thank Him for everything that this day held both good and bad.”

    I really am enjoying the fact that between this study, the scriptures we are directed to to study further, & other scripture & encouraging words I am encountering throughout my days is pointing me in the same direction…for my benefit! As the last year of events draws to a close & we enter another year following this season of difficulty, I have been able to come to the conclusion that I cannot stand without God, period. I might have said this or believed it to a degree, but it is true that this time of difficulty has taken me deeper (even despite not being in the word daily) as I have continued to cry out to Him because He has repeatedly revealed more of His character!

    Blessings, Raquel G

    • Thank you for sharing Kay Arthur’s quote with us. What comfort it gives me to know that nothing that happens in my day takes God by surprise. Our Sovereign God is always in control!!

      Blessings,

      wendy

  25. Thank you Wendy for this study. Week 2 came fast. I did some of my homework yesterday, have been going over my answers I realized that I’ve always believed in God, but wanted my prayers answered ASAP, and that’s not how God works, the “wait” time is for me to grow closer to Him, for my faith, and my trust in Him to grow stronger. I have found that since I’ve started to dig deeper into God’s word, I dont wake up so frequently at night, “worried” about this and that, and can’t fall back to sleep, This morning I woke up thinking about Jesus and Mary, I love verse 35, the shortest verse…”Jesus wept”,, it touches my heart so much.. God sent His son to earth in the flesh, and Jesus felt all that we do, He felt pain, hunger, compassion, smpathy for Mary when he saw she was crying. Then I also wonder if He felt hurt, maybe that they didnt believe enough to know He would raise Lazarus, after all He had promised Martha, her brother would live again. On quetion 5 I answered…Jesus “waited” to come to the sisters, so they would see the blessing He would give them, for them to know His love and for them to see God’s glory.
    And they did, and so many came to the Lord that day, as you mentioned in the video, it was essential for things to happen the way they did.

    I sit and wonder if today people need to see miracles to believe, then I though of the verse in
    2Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith and not by sight..

  26. I haven’t yet started the questions but I loved your video this week Wendy! When you mentioned Martha having hand sanitizer I laughed out loud – totally me! For the first time I also noticed that Martha immediately follows up her comment with a statement of faith in Jesus and who He is. Seeing this in the context of last week perhaps she has re-prioritized and learned from the last encounter – I guess we’ll find out when we get to heaven!

    The wait is so incredibly hard, especially when the answer is ‘no’ and it seems like a lot of us are going through that now. Being home with my daughter for the last 9 months has been the greatest gift but I know that soon I will have to return to work. I was hoping for God to give me some alternatives but the closer I get to Him, the more I hear my need to return to my employment and really make a difference right where I am. I’ll continue to try and ‘listen’ but its so hard. A year ago I also went through a terrible time in my marriage and I sympathize with those who are struggling right now. The only thing that got me through it was faith and I pray for all those who are in that conflict right now.

    • Lori, you too noticed how Martha follows up her statement with a statement of faith. God is growing her just as He grows us.I pray that as you return to work, the Lord will show you in very real and personal ways why He has you there and not at home with your daughter. I pray you will see Him at work in your midst as He uses you to live out His love and hope and influence the lives around you for Christ. I also pray for loving, caring caregivers for your sweet girl.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  27. Hey girls, just now finished all the Week One comments and will move to Week Two soon. I am so thankful for your wonderful participation…best ever I must say.

    Thank you for praying for and asking about Coach Tuscan. The boys won!! We play again tomorrow (Friday night) to move on in the state playoffs. We are the only team left in our conference. Coach felt so well in spite of the chemo treatments that he came to the game. It was so great to see him there!! Prayers are being answered.

    Praying for you!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

  28. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Congratualations Coach Tuscan and team! I will be praying God continues to show favor and the trial that Coach Tuscan has endured will have an awesome payoff in the playoffs spiritually and earthly. A reward of sorts for faithfulness in the God who loves and sees. I know Wendy will testify to the love and prayer coming from her blog community was heard.

  29. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    I am currently reading through The Message version of the Bible for my daily Bible reading and just finished reading Habakkuk. I love The Message’s introduction to the prophet’s writing. type it all Habakkuk voices his feelings and ask God about God’s business. Hasbakkuk is even to be so bold (like Martha) to say to God you don’t seem to make sense! “Habakkuk does something very important: He waits and he listens. It is in his waiting and listening which then turns into praying that he found himself inhabitng the large world of God’s sovereigntly. Only there did he eventually realize the believing in God life, the steady trusting in God life is the full life, the only real life. Jesus wanted Martha, Mary, the Jews to get this “I am the resurrection and the life. He who beleives in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” vs 25. Recently I read a quote by Dallas Willard he said when he died he probably would not know he had until someone told him. Isn’t that a wonderful thought! Believe now and live.

    • Thanks for sharing about Habakkuk…another great life that exemplifies what it means to live faithfully in “the wait.”

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  30. My heart is just heavy. I don’t know if it is anxiety per se or just weariness, but either way, this study is awesome. The posts of each woman are so encouraging and each one reminds me, in a slightly different way, of how much the Lord above loves me and knows my struggles and pain. I am tired. But God is showing me that what’s really making me the most tired is trying to do too much on my own. Learning to abide is not easy. I have struggled with this for years. Some years are better than others, but I am definitely in a season with more difficulty and less ease. Thank goodness I am assured that the Lord does have plans for me – for my future – for hope. Thank you Wendy and all the amazing Bible study women participating in this study. I am eternally grateful for your encouragement and wisdom.

    Mary

    • Mary, as you spend time with Him and as you turn your worries and concerns over to Him, His Peace will wash over you and fill you. You will be amazed at the difference in your Spirit. Praying for God to help you carve out time each day and for you to experience Him in very sweet and personal ways as you meet with Him.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  31. Dear Wendy
    Thank you for this beautiful study. I am in the season of waiting on God for a child. Its been seven years now and Phew! time indeed slows down. I was almost giving up but thanks for the online bible study my strength has been renewed and will continue to pray . God bless.

    • The journey of waiting on God for a child has got to be one of the most difficult journeys a woman can make. It means so much to know God is using this study to encourage and strengthen you as you wait upon Him. Praying for the Lord to grant you the desire of your heart!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  32. Olayinka says:

    In answering question 5 and 6, I feel like I understand in some way what could have been going through Martha’s and Mary’s minds while they waited for Jesus to come heal their brother. I was in a similar position in September last year when I lost my twin pregnancy, I remember asking and praying that God will not let them die and even when they did die, I just knew that God was still God. He is the same, He never changes, if God wanted my twin girls to live, they would be alive right now. Waiting is never easy, I think that is why it develops perseverance and patience, it makes us stronger, wiser and better than we were. Although at that time I was angry and lost my faith a little bit but I continued to read His Word and He sent help to me. I regret the loss of my kids but I have an empathy and patience that I never had before and I know without a doubt that I will hold my children in my arms in heaven and all things work together for my good.

    • Olay, thank you for sharing a bit of this story with us. And, yes, you are living proof of the TRUTH and FAITHFULNESS of God’s promise in Romans 8:28. You have used your painful experience to bring hope and encouragement to other. And 1 Corinthians passage about God’s comfort applies as well…You use the comfort He gave you to now comfort others with the comfort you received!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  33. Megan Wakkuri says:

    I am learning to appreciate and actually ENJOY the seasons of “waiting on the Lord”. With trust and faith that he is in control and that daily he provides enough grace and peace. These are the quiet times where I am strengthened through his sweet Holy Spirit, rather than strengthened with fire. I understand that trials will and must still come, but they don’t have to be the only defining moments in my life. I can be defined and refined daily through the Word of God. During this waiting season I can be at peace and enjoy it rather than be worried or anxious about the future and trials that may or may not come. Why go through life being worried about the next best or worst thing that will happen to me? Enjoy TODAY, Enjoy the peace and safety in the wait.

    • I loved this comment, Megan. Waiting has been a struggle most of my life. But, as I spend more time with God in His word, I am, like you, finding peace, and even joy, in the wait times – in ALL times. For the first time, I feel like I understand what it looks and feels like to delight myself in the Lord.

    • Megan,

      Your words brings joy to my heart because I am at a place of peace in my waiting. I tell people that I am living life to the fullest but they do not understand. I carry with me the peace that passes all understanding which the world cannot give but which is mine.

      Sometimes I do not have a dime on me but that peace takes me through the unknown. I am enjoying the lack of knowledge of the unknown. It is truly in God’s hands.

    • Megan, thank you for this beautiful testimony of how God has grown and taught you in “the wait.” Your words will bring so much encouragement to so many women.

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

  34. Melanie M. says:

    I just want to say WOW! As I read through all the comments, I am amazed at the struggles that seem so close to mine, especially with Tresie and Bryana M. I am so thankful for this study and sending prayers for all the women here. I have always easily prayed, but not always, waited patiently for respnse or not wanted to hear the response I have gotten. I, too, am in a difficult marriage and am isolated from family, and have tried to leave many times, but feel God is still here and working. I struggle with quiet time with God and reading and understandig the Bible, this is really a great start. Thank you!

    • Melanie, God’s timing is always perfect. May God continue to be at work in your marriage, blessings and honoring your heart of obedience even when your flesh wants to run the other way. Praying for healing and restoration!! I have written a prayer for marriages here on my blog under “Free Resources.” The link is below.

      http://wendyblight.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MarriagePrayer.pdf

      I pray it will encourage and equip you as you continue to wait upon the Lord.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  35. Yesterday I started my day in John 11, shared the passage with my kids, who then acted it out…I had plans to get to the homework in the evening, but life on the farm and my role as mom changed things.

    So as my head hit the pillow I was a bit frustrated, but the spirit led me to pause and pray, “God what message do you have for me in this story?” Instantly “Jesus wept” came to mind and initially I thought “what?” And was even a bit disappointed in myself that it wasn’t just the shortest verse in the passage, but the entire Bible that came back to mind. But again the Spirit shifted my thoughts…”Jill, Jesus cried, He showed emotion and God used it.” You see I struggled with depression for years, rarely showed emotion and always hid my tears. Now my husband and children see my emotion, especially the negative, but at times I still struggle to really share my heart with others – the tears, joy, passion. I’m thankful God continues to move me along on this journey and is using this lesson to do it.

    Perhaps the more important lesson He has for me in this though is the reminder of my focus when I do a Bible study. The teacher in me wants to complete my assignment and past experience shows me God works powerfully thru studies, but last night I was reminded that my focus must be on what God is saying not just answering the questions and completing my homework! Friends, I pray each of you will ask Him the same question I did…His Word is alive and He has something new to say to us each and every time we read it.

  36. Just watched the video for this week . . .your words combined with the Oswald Chambers quote were so helpful. Then I started reading the comments here and the “trust equals joy” just took up residence in my heart.

    I am still waiting on answers for health problems but feel so much more peace in my heart. Thanks to each of you. And, I haven’t even started on the questions for the week. 🙂 But first, I am going to see if I can find the song, “While I’m Waiting”, before I begin the questions.

    God bless.

  37. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Ladies, I grow so much reading each and every comment. It is what I do before I spend time on the questions, and continue to read each of them as new ones are added. Even if I do not “reply” each of you are in my prayers. I am very thankful for what you share from your hearts, what you teach by your insights, and the encouraging words to one another. Thank you Wendy for being a very involved teacher with your comments especially at such a busy time ino your own personal life. How are the playoffs? Love to your coach as we pray for complete healing.

    • We won again last night and play again tomorrow (Thursday) night. We are one of only four teams left in the state!!!!

      W

  38. Caroline says:

    8 years ago on July 7th I too lost by dear brother. He was killed on the bus in the London 7/7 bombings. 3 months later I found myself crying out to God for help. God answered my prayers and I have been a Christian since that time.
    My faith has grown over the years and God has shown me amazing things. I find myself now a single Mum caring for two precious girls, one of which is severely disabled.
    This study, peoples stories, comments and prayers have led me to look deeper into myself, what I really feel about Jesus’s love for me and how I can use my time during my waiting. I thank you for that Wendy, and for the words of wisdom that you have imparted on us all.
    I know to heal my heart from the breakup of my marriage when the girls father left 6 years ago, I must place the love of Jesus above that love, and I probably only really came to that conclusion today. I’ve struggled with forgiveness/letting go etc and feel that I’m waiting patiently, as best I can whilst caring for the needs of my girls, but quite alot of it is an empty wait, a wait for another person that I can love and share my life with, thinking that that may be the answer, and until that happens I’m filling in…..I feel more purposeful now. I look forward to further learning….
    Caroline, Bucks, UK x

    • Caroline,

      I know what it’s like to struggle with forgiveness and letting go, and I just want to encourage you to press into the Lord and ask Him to help you with this. He can handle ALL our thoughts – even the angry and doubting ones; and He will help you to see the Truth about them all.

      Another participant, Jill, made a great comment a few posts down, about how we need to make sure our “wait time is not wasted time.” I pray that your wait time will be a time of healing, growth, and increased faith. I pray that you will develop a relationship with God like never before. And I pray that your emptiness “may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19.

      I will be praying for you across the pond :)!

    • Caroline, I forgot to add that I heard this song on my XM radio today and thought it was appropriate for the season many of us are in. It’s called Nothing Is Wasted, by Jason Gray.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26UoD-N2hA

      • Caroline says:

        Thank you so much Amy, for your thoughtful kind words, encouragement and prayer. I have certainly felt God pull me closer as I learn to trust Him more. It’s getting down to the deep stuff and really handing it over that is the painful bit, but in doing so, new, fresh branches can grow, hopefully bearing more fruit.
        God Bless x

    • Caroline, so much pain for such a beautiful young woman. I am so thankful you know the Lord and that you are looking to Him for your strength and healing. May you continue to know the reality of God being the Strength of your heart and your Portion forever!! May He provide for your every need and comfort you in times of grief and loneliness. I am so thankful He brought you here!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  39. Again – thank you for walking with all of us with anxious hearts & giving such encouragement sharing His Truth.

    Knowing Christ, Philippians 3:10 has been my heart’s cry for years; I still struggle with, “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…”

    Just gotta love Oswald Chambers! My prayer life is a work in continual progress! A quantum shift – from A-C-T-S to “oneness.” So many things to do “in the wait!”

    “Jesus wept.” Thanks for the insight that Jesus was weeping over unbelief. Another work in progress for me – “I believe, Lord; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24 I learned so much from Beth Moore’s BELIEVING GOD study several years ago.

    John 11:4 “…it is for God’s glory…” reminds me – that [my trouble] – it’s NOT ABOUT ME.

    Wendy, may God protect you by the power of His Name as you sweetly share what’s on your heart with our anxious hearts. Our prayers for a sweet time in cheering on your team in states (baseball? lax? track?) and for God’s will in the life of your coach. Our High School lacrosse coach, a Christian, is courageously battling prostate cancer – how God is using that in the lives of those young men & our community! “ONYA!

    • Thank you for sharing some valuable truths with us and for your sweet prayer for me and for our coach. Praying for your Lacrosse coach as well. Jon is our baseball coach.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  40. Heather says:

    Wendy, thank you again for another study this week that has spoken to me directly. I have a health issue I am struggling to manage and needed all the patience and faith I could get this week….I look forward to what comes next : )

  41. What fabulous insight into the reward Martha and Mary received for their faith in the midst of their grieving, knowing Jesus could have healed him. It reminds us all that we are a small part of God’s bigger plan. How blessed we are to be able to trust in Him and let Him fight our battles. It’s an amazing truth.

    Thanks for bringing to life both women’s unconditional love of Jesus, as well as the behind the scene look at what must have been impatience, disbelief, and dissapointment when Jesus tarried and their brother died. I’ve always identified with Martha’s boldness, and practicality, so I loved your illustration of modern day caution at the tomb. I could just see Martha handing out hand sanitizers – very funny!

    I look forward to next week’s study! Blessings.
    Denise Fowble, The Tailored Speaker

  42. Came across this verse tonight while reading during my quiet time, thought I would share.

    “Those who KNOW your name will TRUST in you, for you, oh Lord, have NEVER forsaken those who SEEK you.” Psalm 9:10

    Thought it fit well with our study! 🙂

    • Beth,

      I stopped by your blog the other day; Congratulations on stepping out and doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time. It looks great!

      Praying that you will see rain soon, and asking the Lord to come close and increase your faith during this wait time.

      • Thank you Amy! You don’t know how much that means to me!!
        I’m so glad I joined this study, all you girls are great!!

  43. A few thoughts to share…

    I just read this from Nancy Leigh DeMoss – “Jesus doesn’t just say “I will raise your brother from the dead,” but “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). It’s not just what I do, it’s Who I AM!” Oh that we wouldn’t just focus on what Jesus does, but instead WHO He is!

    As I continue to think about waiting a couple things come to mind –
    I need to accept the fact that there will be times I must wait on God, but must realize I should never make Him wait on me. I can get frustrated and full of doubt (like I assume Mary and Martha did), but I’m reminded God is God, He is in control and has the perfect plan. I’m none of those things, but yet I make Him wait on me to trust, believe, act, obey…Change me Lord.

    The other thing – Waiting time should never become wasted time. God’s opening my eyes to how guilty I am of this…as I wait I often wonder, play the “what if” game, worry and waste my time. During the wait He’s showing me it’s vital to take every thought captive and think on what is true, noble and right. And it’s critical to remember who He is!

    Thanks to each of you for sharing your stories, offering your insight and lifting your prayers! I’m truly blessed, encouraged and thankful.

    • And Wendy, thank you for the prayers you pray and the ones you lead us to write! God works powerfully thru them!

    • Jill… You are SUCH a blessing! Thank you for sharing this… your words are stirring my heart deeply.

    • Love this, Jill!! Waiting time should never be wasted time…what wise words. Thank you, thank you for sharing this with us today.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  44. Mary McCauley says:

    Waiting is hard. But in the waiting we grow. It is also hard when prayers for someone we love seem to go unanswered and they die rather than receiving physical healing. It took years to understand and accept that God saw a much bigger picture than I did at 17 when my dad died. Each loss I have experienced has been painful, but I now believe I had a huge cheering section if saints in heaven waiting for my time. I have also experieced the loss of a spouse. As we struggled through his illness and death I was given a card that said, ” When God removes something from our grasp He is not punishing us, but opening our hand to receive something better.” I remember leaving the hospital after his death and saying, “Ok God” I choose to believe you have something better waiting for me. After a little over 2 years along, struggling financially and trusting God and seeing His provision, after saying, “No man, No dog”, God brought the man I am currently married to into my life. We have said what if we had met sooner, and decided we would not have been ready. We both had to walk through the experiences we faced, the struggles, the rejections, the pain, the losses, to be ready for the love we have today. GOD IS FAITHFUL! He knows our deepest dreams and desires, and often fulfills them in surprising ways. I always wanted to travel. Now I am able to ride with my husband in the semi and have traveled to about 30 states that way and more on our vacation. God is GOOD! Thanks for the new focus on John 11. BELIEVE…. I like that. I will try to remember when I am waiting, and in the semi we do a lot of that some weeks, that there is a reason and I will wait and worship while I am waiting. I realize I am behind. Some weeks are like that. I like that I can do this in my time and not feel pressured to just get through it all at once.

    • Mary, thank you for sharing part of your story with us. I especially love how you said after your husband died you had to “choose” to believe God had something better for you. That is such a wise and powerful statement. We do have a choice when struggles and trials come. Choosing to believe…to trust…God comes easier when we know Him more intimately. How wonderful that God blessed your obedience and brought you such a wonderful man into you life!!!

  45. Hello Wendy et. al,

    Week 2 lesson has been very encouraging. I’m learning how to be more in the “wait.” A year ago my husband decided that marriage was no longer something he wanted so I am now a single mother of two boys. For months I couldn’t understand why this happened to us, but the more I am in the word and studying God I am understanding that this was all in God’s plan. While I am still unclear of my future, I will never loose hope that God is standing right there with my boys and me. I recently started tithing and while this changed my finances tremendously, I know that God will provide for all our needs and wants.

    Thank you Wendy for ths bible study. I am still waking up at 5:45am for my quiet time with Jesus!

    • Love hearing that you are staying committed to your quiet time!! That is what this is all about…spending time getting to know Him more. And I pray as you seek God in the midst of your trial, He will for you and your sweet boys in ways you can never imagine!!!

      Sweet Blessings,

      Wendy

  46. I am so thankful to be able to break down this wonderful story of God’s glory. I feel that the story is teaching me that God’s time table or His ways are like mine. How we want and when we want God to work and bless in our lives pales in comparison as to how He will work and move in our lives. We limit God’s glory when we decide to tell Him how to move and bless in our lives. He just wants us to be still and know that he is GOD!!!!!

  47. Janet F says:

    WOW Wendy, I finally got done with the questions tonight. POWERFUL is all I can say. I loved the verses you chose for the lesson. I sure needed them right now in my WAIT!!! And the verses revealing who God is and how He loves us and is so compassionate and rich in His love for us; for me and my children and grandchildren!! I know He has their lives in His hands and His ways are so much better than mine and in this wait time He is still working, not sleeping. It seems to me right now that He is not listening to my prayers, but when I see how Mary and Martha’s prayers were answered much more abundantly than they ever thought, I know God is doing things more abundantly in the lives of my children and grandchildren. I just need to sit at HIS feet and know His plan and purpose is so much better than mine!! So much BIGGER than mine. He has not abandoned us!! Thanks so much Wendy for this study!! You are a blessing!!!♥ Have a great week 🙂

    • Thank you for reminding us that His plans are BIGGER than ours. He tells us in Isaiah that His ways are higher than our ways, but sometimes we don’t trust that. He is TRUSTWORTHY!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  48. Jillian says:

    WAIT! I can’t stand hearing that word….. not my greatest character trait. Everything I’ve been taught in this world is so self gratifiying and instant. Fast Food – Movies/shows on Demand – Credit Cards – Google/Bing – it’s no surprise that we hardly ever have to wait for anything anymore and that because of these worldly things, the action of “waiting” isn’t something that comes easy to me. I want that quick fix button to press that will make my life the way I see it needs to be, forgetting to look to God for wisdom and taking the time to seek His plan for my life. Instead, Jill is quick to take action to see results…. RESULTS…..another thing I’m programmed to achieve. Waiting is so not normal in this world. But I am praying for GOD to bless me and to give me the security and protection from the outside world to allow me to be able to hear Him during the WAIT.

  49. I’ve been thinking about the prayer Wendy asked us to write. Sunday morning I did that, but tweaked it a bit and asked Him what He was asking me to believe. It was a powerful time of sitting at His feet and listening. He was asking me to believe what He’s called me to do. And for awhile I did, but last night doubt set in, the comparison game began and I moved further and further from believing.

    This AM I knew I had a decision to make – who would I listen to – the voice of Truth or voice of lies? I’m trying to make the right choice and that’s only happening by doing what this study is all about. As I think about this the idea of obedience has come to mind. Yesterday I read a blog post about Deut. 6:5 and how if we love God we will obey Him. (It was powerful post – you can read it here – http://heatherbleier.com/2013/05/20/3-and-change/)

    Obedience has been a theme God continually brings up in my life, but He’s showing me it’s more than doing or going. Obedience begins in the heart…His Word tells me to trust (Prov. 3:5), to abide (John 15:4), believe, have a Phil. 4:13 attitude. Really I can’t obey without first believing.

    I hope we all take that question seriously and follow Wendy’s advice and write it down…it will be something we can go back to when the doubts come, because they will. Honestly I skipped the sharing it with a friend advice, but today I’m asking God to show me who I need to share this crazy prayer with because as we walk in faith 2 really are better than one! Thankful for each 1 of you here!

    • Jill,
      Thanks for sharing….you wrote exactly what has been in my heart for so long also……and so I, at first first was not planning to share what my prayer was, but will do so now. (In later comment) .
      We must believe Him and take Him at His Word.
      Blessings in your walk.
      by His grace,
      Brenda

  50. Wow. When I got the e-mail about this bible study, I felt it in my heart to do it. I felt it was something I had to do because I, at this moment, I am getting over anxiety. I use to have huge panic attacks. I am not as bad as I once was but.. I still get anxious.

    However, God wanted this bible study to be about something else completely. I have been angry with God about something that happened last year. Because, in my mind, I thought it was his will. However, all I was left with was contempt for a nearby Elementary School and a bad reputation as a teacher at that same Elementary School. I don’t get how he can guide me through all the schooling and hoops i had to jump through to start teaching, only to be left with bad memories and bad reputation there. I have prayed about it and I get that he wants me to stay home with my two year old and homeschool her. And wait until she is in school to possibly go back to school myself. I am like Martha and Mary at this point. I want it to happen NOW and mad that God is not showing up NOW to give me what I want. Which is to teach in public school.

    • Michelle, the first step in healing from a hurt is admitting it and telling God about it…even when we are angry with Him. He can handle it. David did it in the Psalms all the time. When we cry out to Him, that is when He can begin His work in our hearts. It is when we harbor things in our hearts and don’t admit and confess them that God cannot work. I am so proud of you!! God will do a great work in your heart regarding working and staying at home and what decisions need to be made or not made and when they need to be made. He will be faithful!! Plus, He is your DEFENDER. I pray that no weapon forged against you shall prosper and that God will refute every tongue that accuses you. (Isaiah 54:17)

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  51. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    A little poem I memorized when I was a little girl and still remember it today.

    Answers to prayers come in various ways
    Sometimes in minutes, sometimes in days,
    And some take years to fully unfold.
    The harvest of love and blessings they hold.

    A ninty year old sister in our Ladies Bible class taught us that FAITH is Father All In Thy Hands I use this often when I get a bit human and the waiting begins to get to me. Just remember F.A.I.T.H.

    • Thank you for this poem and acronym. Anything that helps us remember what we are learning is GREAT!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  52. Ive been going over my notes, and answers, just praying and reading the scriptures. I am always so touched by the verse “Jesus wept”. He feels compassion, sorrow for all of us, in our “wait” times, God promises to give us peace, He will not leave us, and thru our “wait” times we grow in patience, and in faith…I also feel our hope builds. God answers prayer in “His time” not ours. I see that if Jesus had not waited to raise Lazarus, so many would have turned from Him and not believed, as you also mention on the video…. I see in my life when I have prayed and answers took time, but it is then that I find myself prayering, reading, receiving His promises through other things that are going on…..God is all knowing and sees all things that are going on in our lives…I see the change in Martha she was more open to listenning to Jesus. The “wait” time will encourage us, we will pray more, read more and realize His promises, grow closer to Him… It is so wonderful to know that God loves us and takes time to answer our prayers, and uses them for our good and His glory…

  53. I have been attending church for 20 years but only started actually knowing what it is to LOVE my Lord and have a relationship with Him within the last 5-6 years. I try to continually study, pray and learn from Him and about Him. I lead worship at my church with out Praise team and truly feel God using me to reach others through the gift of singing that He gave me.

    However, I still struggle with prayer. Although I sit regularly with God through some type of study and then prayer, I’m confused about what we should ask for vs. what we should just accept what God has planned for us. For example, I pray for healing for various people and God chooses not to heal. Or I pray for healing and God chooses to heal. Whether I pray for these things, God is going to do what He sees fit. Do these prayers ever change His plan? And, if not, why do we pray for healing? Why not just pray that His will be done each and every time?

    I’m embarrassed to even admit these doubts. Friends consider me a “prayer warrior,” and I DO pray for others fervently and consistently. I just feel like these prayers, while not falling on deaf ears (because I know my Father always hears me and loves that I go to Him), are sometimes mere exercises. Even after all this rambling, I still haven’t accurately expressed my feelings here, but does anyone relate at all to what I’m saying?

    • Traci, your words make total sense. I wrote an entire chapter in my book, Hidden Joy, on this exact question. I joined others to pray fervently for God to heal a friend, and she died. I struggled so much to understand. That began a journey on prayer that continues to today.

      What I realized is that I was looking at prayer in such a small way…my prayer being answered or not answered. God looks at prayer as a relationship, as growing in a journey with Him..closer and closer to His heart. I learned to pray in a new way…praying His Word, praying boldly and in full faith for what I asked, and if it did not come to trust Him that His way is better because He sees the “big” picture that I cannot see….like we saw with Mary and Martha’s seemingly unanswered prayer.

      We pray in the physical. We pray for healing, deliverance from suffering, or relief from a heavy burden, and we want it now. We pray for things not in our best interest or things we might not be ready to handle. His concern is for our eternal well being. We know so little about His timing and His purposes. Sometimes we have to relinquish our will to join Him in His!!!

      What we do know is that in that wait time, we find Him. If we keep our eyes focused on the result, we may miss Him and the deep and precious work He is doing in our lives.

      Oswald Chambers wrote, “The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; it is complete oneness with God!!” How precious that statement is.

      We will never understand this side of heaven every thing about prayer. But we do know God created us to be in communion with Him and He calls us to pray. So He has great purpose in that prayer!!

      Hope this helps.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Thank you so much for responding to my comment, Wendy. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me with this issue. I’ll continue to pray for understanding and to trust his perfect plan, even when I don’t understand it. God is using you to bless many people. Thanks again.

  54. God is asking me to believe that His Son, Jesus is indeed, the Christ, and that Jesus took the punishment for my sins(no matter how bad or frequent) and that He wants me to trust that He will not let me go. He wants me to run to Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, and then live and share His love–with no fear of the outcome or people’s thoughts about me, but rather as a chosen daughter basking in the love of her Father. A daughter who wants to share all her Father has done for her, though undeserving. He wants me to keep my eyes on Jesus, to grow in compassion, especially within my own family who has been at times, TRUE LOVE deficient, trying to do it on our own, even while professing belief. He wants me to trust that He is in control and loves my husband and son greatly and if I will loosen my grip, they can and will be gripped by Him and He will be there to catch them.

    He has redeemed me and has a purpose for me in His mission, a divine opportunity to use, yes, even my story of wasted time for His glory! He wants me to be in His Word daily and often, so I listen to His voice and obey, rather than quenching the Spirit–to turn to Him when need comfort or replenishment, rather than to temporary things. He wats me to love as He loves, unconditionally, no matter what and not to worry—He’s got everything under control and wants me to relax and use the gifts He has given me to love and serve from that place of love——not out of duty , out of love. Grow that love in my heart.

    Praise be to God who is, even in this moment, softening my heart, for many years walled off!

    by His grace alone,
    Brenda

  55. Thank you Wendy for bringing this passage back onto my radar. I recently moved with my family from the US to the UK, leaving our friends, family and church behind to enter the great unknown. What was at once a great adventure was also a huge struggle for me as I wrestled with leaving the ministry God had led me to at our previous home. It seemed He had pulled the rug out from under my feet and shifted his call away from me and called my husband! I feel horrible just admitting my jealousy, but I think I has to be said to reach any sort of healing. And just as I was getting used to this new situation I had to return to the US to work out immigration issues. What I thought would be straight forward turned out to be fraught with complications and weeks dragged on to months waiting to be reunited with my children and husband. I spent hours, sometimes whole days really, crying inwardly and outwardly for God to deliver me from my struggles. The wait was nearly unbearable. Finally, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days after being ripped away from my family I was granted a visa to return to the UK. Looking back, now just over 4 months after the end of the ordeal, I see God was really trying to reveal that He is in EVERY situation, no matter how unbearable. I am now preparing to interview tomorrow at a church for a position that is very similar to my last ministry, I think I needed to be stripped bare to see that God is my all in all.
    Thank you Wendy for what you do, may the blessings of God be with you always.

    • Thank you for sharing this story. Your words will be such an encouragement to the women here who are still in that wait time and not understanding what God is doing. Praising God that you can see His will now and for the great job He brought to you.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  56. Wendy, thanks for another inspiring study week. I believe in Him and have seen his glory in others, but I feel I’m “waiting” to see it in my life. However, through this week’s study, I learned He too is waiting on me. Waiting for me to come to him, so he can “take” my heart. I must continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I pray I surrender all my anxieties to Him so he can quiet my anxious heart. Looking forward to next week!

  57. Thank you so much Wendy for making this study so easily available to us. I often struggle with the fact that I know how powerful, faithful, loving and all knowing God is. I have seen Him work first hand in my life and the lives of those I love. During trials there has been pain, grief suffering and yes joy. I guess struggle this time having all that knowledge fear of the process/path I know is before me. I really don’t know how long, how difficult or how it will unfold. I know and believe God has a plan to prosper and not harm, to give hope. In the wait the anxiety and the what ifs start taking over. Thank you for helping me to remind me of the fruit that is cultivated in the wait. I guess sometimes knowing is knowing nothing at all. I look forward to sending a Praise! report as I believe the Lord is working miracles in the life of my elderly mother who is dealing with dementia. I hold on to God’s grace and mercy and pray for the strength to show her the love of Jesus during this process.
    Blessings

  58. Just a couple of thoughts as I go through the questions for Week 2.

    I imagine Martha is the middle child while Mary is the youngest of the three. Martha appears to hold in her emotion {at least that’s what I gather from this passage}, while Mary let’s it all go. I can picture Martha as a child with her mother growing up, being shown exactly what needs to happen when preparing your home for guests, as well as being the “strong one” when things aren’t going so well. I have no Biblical grounds for this of course, but it just struck me that birth order traits can be seen even in Scripture.

    More importantly, I was thinking about how Jesus waited to visit the sisters,knowing that Lazarus was going to pass away. When He finally arrived, Laz had been in the tomb for 4 days. Well, in Jewish traditions, the soul would hover over a persons body for three days before leaving it forever. I think that adds a powerful punch to this account. If He had arrived after only three days…sure, by a miracle, He could bring Laz back. However, since four days had passed, no one would think it was possible in anyway shape or form to bring Laz back,except for at the resurrection.

    To me, this reminds me that no matter how dire, or simply impossible a situation may seem, it is not impossible for God. Even if we have passed the “point of no return,” in any given circumstance, God can still work miracles.

    <3 Heather

  59. Gillian says:

    Thank you! Can’t wait for to start reading Living So That…!

  60. Hi Wendy,
    Don’t know if you will see this, because this study was done in 2013, and I am doing it now in 2015, but since it is now the future for all who did the first study, thought this might solidify God’s care for us. The coach is alive and well after his cancer, and he &his wife are expecting their first baby! Trusting also in Him, for all the women in the study w/various illness, marriage problems, etc. That God has brought them all through safely and where He wants them to be! If any are still, or once again in a season of waiting, may they trust, hold fast and believe again that He is indeed with them, strong in their weakness, in His perfect timing, working for their good and will carry them through! Precious Lord, You show us just how timely, or untimely, bound by no time, Your word and truth is, thank you for Your great, amazing care of us;thank you too, for teachers like Wendy who give of their time and faith to teach us.

  61. Jo, I just LOVE that you took the time to come back and update us about Coach Tuscan!! God has done so much, not only in his life but in the life of all those who walked alongside him … kids and parents and other coaches and players in the community. And although I don’t know his personal faith walk, what I do know is He saw and experienced the love and care and power of our God through his battle with cancer. Thank you for taking time to follow up. And thank you for praying for all those who are now in a wait. It is a hard place to be, but when we surrender it to the Lord, He will be at work in mighty ways and carry us through to the other side. So amen and amen to your prayer.

    With gratitude,

    Wendy

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