Proverbs 31 Womans Devotional - Encouragement for Today

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Encouragement 05-24-04


May 24, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Lady in Waiting
Rebecca Ingram Powell
Author, Certified Speaker, Director of 2004 Writer's Track
Key Verse:
"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31

Lately my family and I have been doing some traveling to promote my book, Baby Boot Camp. One of the best parts of our trips has been getting to see the inner workings of television studios. These are exciting places to be, filled with interesting, energetic people who are constantly on the go. In that dynamic environment however, there is a calming oasis for guests called the green room.
You may have heard a talk show host refer to the green room. It's simply a waiting room (I haven't seen one yet that is actually green.) The green room is where you stay until it's your turn. It's not like a dressing room, where you would prepare for your segment. No, in the green room you are expected to be ready: nose powdered, hair sprayed, shoes tied!
Not long ago, we arrived early for an interview, and the producer offered to give my family a tour of the studio. As we stepped onto the set of the program, the crew was just beginning to arrive and get the lights turned on. I was ready for the interview, but no one else was. There were no cameramen; there was no host; there were no microphones. After the tour, we were kindly ushered back to the green room. Even though we were ready, it wasn't time.
God's timing is often difficult to understand. I believe that's because we don't see the big picture like He does. Often we think we are ready for something, but He knows we're not. Whether we're setting our sights on a new baby or a new job, we are hindered by our human view of the past and the present. Our limited knowledge results from a restricted perspective. We know what we've seen, and we know where we've been, but we don't know what the Lord wants to take us.
When I toured the studio, I could have hopped up on that deserted set, plopped myself down on the couch, and told all about Baby Boot Camp. But my voice would have gone no farther than the four walls of that large room. I was ready! But it wasn't time.
Jesus Christ often told His disciples, "It's not my time." The disciples were eager for Jesus to build His kingdom. Jesus had to constantly remind them of the crucial factor of time. Timing is so important. We discount that fact largely because waiting is a lost art. But our Lord knew how to wait. It is the essence of self-control, the power within that takes command over the flesh. Our Lord lived it.
A twelve-year-old Jesus surrendered to the authority of earthly parents.

The carpenter's son worked with His hands like everybody else.

The accused Son of God stood before Herod without saying a word in His own defense.

The open hands of a 33-year-old man willingly accepted Calvary's cruel spikes.
Jesus had the advantage of a heavenly perspective, of course. He saw the big picture and knew that His death would offer eternal life to everyone. For us, from our limited perspective, waiting is a life exercise that strengthens our faith muscles.
The green room isn't so bad. In my case, I had a chance to rest from a long drive. I had time to meet new friends who were also waiting in the green room. Most important, I had some extra time to pray. Because I waited my turn, my voice went beyond the four walls of the studio and was broadcast into three states! I may not always have a heavenly perspective, but I know the One who does. I can trust Him while I wait.
My prayer for today:
Dear Father, Sometimes I think You've forgotten me. I feel like I'm sitting in Your green room, waiting for my name to be called. I'm ready! I really think I'm ready! But I confess that in my eagerness, I'm not trusting You to know what's best. Please forgive me. Help me to willingly remain on Your schedule, Your perfect plan for my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Are you a lady in waiting, eager for a baby, a promotion, or a ministry assignment? Take time now to tell God that while you believe you are ready, you will be content to trust Him as you wait.

Reflection points:
What are you waiting for?
Are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to find contentment where you are today?
Is God bringing to mind a person of whom you are jealous? Are you jealous because that person is where you want to be?
Is there a habitual sin in your life, unforgiveness, or bitterness that is keeping you from moving on in God's plan?
Power Verses:
John 14:1, "Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. (NLT) 
Romans 8:25, "But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently." (NLT)
Romans 15:4, "Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises."
Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (NLT)
Psalm 138:8, "The LORD will work out his plans for my life - for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me." (NLT)

Additional Resources:
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
The Power of a Simple Life by Mary Southerland
P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries

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