Thursday, January 27, 2022

            Waiting!  For some folks, the mere sight of that word is enough to produce a rush of anxiety and aggravation.  Some forms of waiting can seem terribly wasteful and even unproductive.  But waiting is often part of God’s plan and His work.  We find evidence of waiting in the Bible.  Prophets and people waited for the coming of Jesus.  Even Jesus Himself spent the first thirty years of His life preparing and waiting for the last three years that would be invested in public ministry, calling disciples, dying and rising again.  Psalm 27:14 tells us, “Wait patiently for the LORD.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”  This verse reads as a command.  We are told to wait and to wait patiently for the Lord.  Let’s think for a moment about waiting in the context of Scripture and faith.
            First, God works in the waiting room.  Time spent waiting for God to work is not wasted time.  Often, God has to train, instruct and prepare us for a movement that He is about to make.  God often leads us to one station in life to prepare us for the next one.  God had to lead Abraham away from the only home he had known so that a great nation could emerge from him.  And along the way, Abraham had to wait.  He waited for clarity, a son, direction and for God to provide a ram for sacrifice on the top of Mount Moriah.
            Second, waiting helps us to remember that God is in control.  There are some matters or things that we directly control.  But at times we have to recognize how much we do not control.  We trust that God is God over both the things we control and the things that we do not.  God is faithfully working out His purposes for the world.  Our pursuits may not align with His purposes so we wait.  And as we wait, we learn He is in control.
            Third, God’s timing can be different from our sense of timing.  We might see the time as being right to start a business, pursue a degree or change jobs.  So, we seek God’s help.  But then, out of nowhere, it seems that God closes the door.  Well, if we have asked God for help and trusted Him to answer, then that closed door could be His way of saying the time is not right.  Wait for a bit!  We could pout or pray.  We could wander away or we could worship.  We could get angry or we could surrender to His timing.  Waiting often teaches us, and it is occasionally a hard lesson to learn, to recognize the perfect nature of God’s timing.
            Fourth, waiting teaches us trust.  If you called your best friend for a ride, you are confident that he or she will show up.  You could grab coffee while you wait, take a walk, read a book or check up on your social media.  All the while, you still trust that your friend is coming.  When we wait, we deepen and develop bonds of trust with the Lord.  We look for Him to answer, to supply, to guide and to help.  Waiting is not wasted time.  It can be a great classroom where our Lord teaches us some life lessons about trust.
            If you are waiting today, be hopeful.  Be content with where you are in this moment.  Remember, Paul said that he LEARNED how to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11).  Paul LEARNED this lesson and so must we.  We typically are not born with a perfect skill set of waiting wired into us.  We learn it and God teaches it.  He is a merciful and gracious teacher.  And if we are willing, we can learn a lot in the waiting.  Have a great Thursday!  And may HE bless you as you wait on HIM.

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