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While We Wait . . .

At the top of the year, my mother-in-love Linda said to me, I think you should write about this:

“Prayer is what we do in the waiting rooms of life.”

So here we are in the waiting room.

The world is waiting on the new president to be inagurated, and while we wait, it seems good to pray and reflect on what we’ve done to contribute to the harm in our nation.

Taking my cue from the guilt I felt after getting into my fourth online argument this year with a woman who voted for those people, I’m once again pulling my face out of facebook and into THE book that brings life. The other day the Cowboy and I noticed after being on social media for 30 minutes, we felt angry and sick. I’ve never once felt that way after being in the Book of Life — for those that look to Him are radiant (Proverbs 6:16).

While we wait, let’s remind ourselves “There are six things the Lord hates; seven that are detestable to him.” I’ll let you look up the first six, but I’ll tell you the seventh is “stirring up division in a community.”

The ESV describes it as”one who sows discord among brothers” – calling this an abomination (Prov 6:16-19).

Time to eat a little humble pie? I think I’ll have four or five slices.

It’s a grievous thing to see Americans tearing each other apart. It’s a horrible example to the rest of the world, and it’s time for us to repent.

I have a zoom call scheduled Monday with that woman I argued with. We have both apologized and have decided to seek understanding and hopefully become friends (Proverbs 2:11, 3:13, 15:14; Psalm 133:1).

The second highest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 33:38-39).

It’s all here:

Don’t make your brother stumble (1 Corinthians 10:32).

Clap your hand over your mouth (Job 21:5; Proverbs 30:32).

Reckless words are like sword thrusts (Proverbs 12:18).

Who are you to judge your neighbor? (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37; James 4:11-12).

The tongue is a deadly poison (James 3:5-8).

You can’t bless God and curse people with the same mouth (James 1:9-12).

He who hates his brother walks in darkness (Leviticus 19:15-18; 1 John 2:9-11; 3: 14-15).

It’s ALL there, and we know it. But are we living it?

We are to expose evil, stand for justice, and hold people accountable for lies, but we are NEVER to repay anyone evil for evil (Psalm 5:10, Ephesians 5:11).

The Lord’s servant must not argue, but be kind to everyone, correcting his opponents with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

What if while we wait we humble ourselves and pray?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says if we do this along with turning from our sin, He will “heal our land.” And when God says He will do something, we can count on Him to do it.

Look, we think it’s atrocious they voted for the other guy, but they think the same of us. We could either stay angry at each other or forgive.

C.S. Lewis said, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless he sees that it is good for him to wait.”

There is a purpose in the waiting.

Prayer is what we do in the waiting rooms of life.

Maybe while we wait, we could reflect on how we’ve each treated each other?

Maybe we could:

“Set our minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth (Colossians 3:2).

There is a magnanimous spiritual battle at play in America, and our minds have got to go higher. 

When Jesus was put to death, he took the penalty for our sin and was raised in new life. When we choose Christ, we are then to “put to death anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language” and “put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive” (3:8, 12-13).

Above all, we are to “Put on love – the perfect bond of unity” (3:14).

“And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful” (3:15).

(Skimming the Book of Colossians can do wonders for your attitude.)

In chapter 4, we are told:

Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person (4:6).

There’s your Bible study for the day. Yours, and mine.

While we wait,

Jen

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
As a teacher, participator, and observer of public speaking for most of my life, I’ve come to realize that many speakers make one of two mistakes when interacting with their audience (especially when that audience is mainly teenagers.) They either expect their audience to climb up to their level (which feels unattainable to the crowd) or they step down to the level of their listeners (which feels cheap and pandering.) The best speakers meet their audience where they are and lead them up to where they want them to be. This feels genuine. This is what Jennifer did over the last few days at our school.
Jennifer Strickland is a funny, engaging, dynamic speaker. She shares truth with authority and credibility that comes from both experience (her story is powerful) and an obvious depth of study in the Bible. The ideas she presents about Value, Identity, and Purpose are truths everyone needs to hear.
I heartily recommend her for your conference, school retreat, or any event where you want your people to be encouraged and challenged with deep, impacting truth.

Andrew Doan

Andrew Doan, Concord Christian Academy, Concord, NH
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