Lord I’m Waiting

Just recently I was re-reading the chapter entitled “Waiting” from my book, Words of Hope and Comfort. I mentioned in the book that Waiting is one of my personal favorites of all the songs I’ve written. However, I couldn’t remember (and still can’t) exactly when, where or why I wrote it. I did surmise, after a brief examination of my discography, that I wrote it somewhere around 1985-1986.

I’ve often said that, personally, I most clearly discern God’s guidance by looking in the “rear view mirror”. In other words, I’ve never heard an audible voice telling me where to go or what to do. I move ahead by what I discern to be the leading and prompting of His Holy Spirit.

However, that leading and prompting must be consistent with and derived from the revealed truth of His written word. In this mode of traveling through life, faith is the key component. I must believe by faith that God is who He says He is, that His Word is true and that the Holy Spirit will be a faithful guide through all of life’s challenges and seasons.

Faith is vindicated when I look in the “rear view mirror” and see that God was surely faithful to lead and guide, even in those stretches where I had no specific or strong sense of His guidance.

Thus, when I now look back at the song “Waiting”, I see how God was preparing me for a stretch of life’s journey that was not yet in view.

Can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel
Can’t see that far down the road
Waiting in darkness I’m tempted to stumble
Weary from bearing this load
Desperately weighing all of my options
Scheming to find my own way
But after all of my planning is over
This is the most I can say

Lord I’m waiting Lord I’m waiting
And I’m not going to move
Till I’m able to prove Your will
Lord I’m waiting Lord I’m waiting
Listening for You with my heart

Nineteen eighty-seven was a most critical and significant year in Linda’s and my life as well as in our ministry. That year we disbanded as Dallas Holm and Praise and I began to minister as a solo artist. That same year Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer and thus began our now thirty-one year battle against this disease.

At this point I want to share with you where we’re at in our lives and ministry and where I think God may be leading us going forward.

As of the writing of this Praiseletter, I have just turned 70. Wow, seems like I got here faster than I planned! I’ve ministered in over 5,000 concerts, traveled somewhere between 3 and 4 million miles and am preparing to enter my 50th year in full-time ministry.

There’s nothing magical or uniquely significant about any of those numbers, but they do give me pause to stop, reflect and “wait” on God for direction in regard to the journey ahead.

In fact, after assessing the journey in the “rear view mirror” and trying to determine the path forward, I felt for the first time ever to literally take a brief sabbatical. After discussing this with Linda, my board members, my pastor and other ministry friends, Linda and I both felt strongly that this was directed of the Lord. Thus, you may have noticed we cleared our tour schedule for October, November and December.

We’re “Waiting” before the Lord.

Lord it’s so easy to find a solution
Something that seems right to me
But plans that are born out of my own confusion
Will not help my blind eyes to see
All of the steps that You’ve laid out before me
Steps that are Yours and not mine
So I’ll be content just to wait in Your Presence
Patiently biding Your time

In this sabbatical season of waiting on the Lord, Linda was faced with another issue regarding treatment for cancer. The medication she was on was creating some adverse side effects in her liver. Her oncologist took her off that and has been looking into and recommending a new immunotherapy trial for us to consider.

Our doctor went on to say, “One of the downsides of this protocol is that you’ll have to be home for a few months due to the checkups and monitoring of this particular therapy.” We had already made the decision to take a sabbatical. Now we knew one of the specific reasons why, it seemed.

As of right now, we’re still waiting on the details regarding the trial, if and when Linda will begin and what other options might still be available.

Linda is feeling well, has continued to strengthen since her craniotomy almost two years ago now. She sends her love and most sincere thanks for all the prayers and support you’ve given us through this long and often difficult ordeal. She says often, “We’re so blessed!” And we are!

Someone asked me recently, “Well, are you about ready to retire?” I responded by saying I’ve never come across any concept in scripture that would suggest retirement from ministry is a biblical idea. We may retire from certain vocational aspects of ministry and/or our calling can change and lead to different approaches to ministry, but retirement from ministry is not an option.

I can’t tell you what the next season of our lives and ministry looks like, but I can tell you we’ll continue to serve Jesus with our whole heart, mind, body and strength.

We may not travel as much but will still go out when and where God leads. I have a heart to mentor and help some of those younger in the ministry who may need and desire some parental, pastoral and seasoned input in their lives. It should always be the responsibility and privilege of the older to teach and help the younger.

Linda and I don’t know exactly what that looks like but we’re praying about it. Please pray with us.

We’re waiting on the Lord about all these things, both personal and ministry related. Will you wait with us? Will you pray with us and for us?

I often say, when we pray, God doesn’t start thinking up an answer but there already remains an answer. It’s just a matter of conforming to His will and patiently waiting for His perfect timing.

Lord I’m waiting Lord I’m waiting
And I’m not going to move
Till I’m able to prove Your will
Lord I’m waiting Lord I’m waiting
Listening for You with my heart