Wednesday, January 13, 2016

to Cling.

This morning my students went to the library 2nd period. Since my prep period is 3rd, I wandered over to the office at the end of our library time to see what was going on--not really wanting to make the long trek back to my classroom quite yet.

I checked my mailbox. I meandered into Janet’s office and hung out for while--inserting myself into several conversations--and then took the long way around to exit the office, walking slowly and checking my phone as I took a step or two toward the door, still not quite ready to make the long trek out. What was keeping me there?

As I looked up from my phone, I noticed that Jeff Malone was entering the office across the hall. My heart warmed. I hadn’t seen my dear friend all week, and I was looking forward to a hug and a quick conversation. I leaned up against the wall, content to listen to him share about his week, yet I felt quite clearly that God had something He wanted to share with me through Jeff.

You see, Jeff and I are both in periods of waiting in our lives, although our waiting could not look more different. Someone had encouraged Jeff just last night to embrace this sacred time of waiting, this sacred time with his Savior. As Jeff shared this with me, he also encouraged me to cling to God during this season. Cling. And as he imparted this new word, his whole body filled with chills and my eyes burned with the brink of tears. Cling.

We discussed how during this season it would be easy to go along for the ride, to wait it out, to wonder when and if God is going to do something.

Although all of that still requires trust, I’d almost argue that it can be the easy way out--to sit back in a season of waiting, making the excuse (even subconsciously)  that God isn’t doing anything yet, so why should I?

But God is doing something. He’s always working, even if we can’t see it in the moment.

One of my favorite lines from my “life song” during this season is “You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I can do.”

God is working, so I need to cling to Him, perhaps now more than ever.

But what does that look like? What does it mean to cling to God rather than just trusting in Him and waiting on Him?

Cling: to hold tight; as by grasping or embracing; cleave

The last stanza of a poem I scratched out earlier this week reads:

As a daughter of the King
Submits in desperate trust
I lay down my hopes, dreams,
Hold tight, and wait....

Perhaps I should change “hold tight” to “cling tight”--semantically the words aren’t all that different, but in my heart and mind, the images are quite distinct.

You hold a hand, a cell phone, a purse...

...but you cling to a kite string whipping away in the wind. You cling to something of great value that you want no one else to touch. You cling to the leg or arm of a rescuer when you’re in danger.

You cling to a savior.

So, how does one cling to the Savior during a season of waiting?

Seek out and devour His Word, rather than just reading it to check off a box. Read good books by solid teachers and theologians to aid in the study of God’s Word. Pray--not sending God a list of to-dos and requests, but a pouring out of the heart and soul--good, bad, and ugly. He desires all of the heart, all of everything. Listen to good sermons and worship music instead of senseless sound on the radio. Go to church to be fed, to be blessed, and to be a blessing to others, not to be entertained or to earn brownie points. Live in community with other believers and be open and vulnerable about this season of life so that they may offer encouragement and prayer.

Fall down at His feet and cling to Him, as a tired and scared child clings to a parent after a terrifying nightmare.

Please know that I’m writing this all to myself just as much as to anyone else.

I can’t sit back and wait for something to happen, even in this season of waiting. I can’t just hold on and go along for the ride. I have to cling to the arm, to the leg of my Savior, my Father and know without a shadow of a doubt that He is working right here and right now. He cares not only about the big picture, but the smallest, most minute details.

Cling: to hold tight; as by grasping or embracing; cleave

I’m fairly certain that cling is the word God has given me for this year--even though I never asked Him for one.

Funny how He works like that--in the most minute details.

As a daughter of the King
Submits in desperate trust
I lay down my hopes, dreams,
Cling tight, and wait....



  1. The song to which I referred is entitled “To Those Who Wait” by Bethany Dillon.
  2. Here is a list of good, solid books recommended by Living Grace:
    1. "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer
    2. "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer
    3. "Pilgrim’s Progress" by John Bunyan
    4. "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul
    5. "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
    6. "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem
    7. "The Cross of Christ" by John Stott
    8. "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    9. "Basic Christianity" by John Stott
    10. "Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God" by Bruce McClennan
  3. For a good book on prayer, check out Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney.
  4. To access some incredible sermons, check out the following:
  5. Instead of browsing through Facebook or Instagram in your spare moments, check out these apps:
    1. YouVersion (the Bible, reading plans, and devotions)
    2. Truth for Life Daily (a daily message/devotion by Alistair Begg)
    3. Redeemer (Timothy Keller’s church)
    4. Ask Pastor John (everyday questions answered by John Piper)
    5. Solid Joys (a daily devotion by John Piper)
    6. Sermon (a daily message from John Piper)
    7. C.S. Lewis (a daily quote or encouragement from C.S. Lewis’s teachings)
  6. For some good worship music, check out the following:
    1. Bethel
    2. Hillsong
    3. Brian Johnson
    4. Kari Jobe
    5. Lauren Daigle
  7. If you need a good church in Bakersfield, come visit Living Grace at Independence High School on Sunday mornings at 10am. If you live somewhere else and need a good church, let me know and I’ll ask around.

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