Sunday, August 31, 2014

Am I waiting on God, or is God waiting on me?

"I can't say I understand much about waiting on the Lord.  It seems He is always waiting on me."

Each day I read these simple, yet powerful words that are scribbled upon a post-it note, adhering itself to my laptop. They come from my 88 year old landlord, a surrogate grandfather of sorts, who now seems to be nearing the entrance to his eternal home, resting on the thin veil between heaven and earth. He said these words over a year ago and they have both haunted and inspired me ever since.

Many people talk of waiting on the Lord; in fact scripture speaks much about it.  The verses below, and a myriad of others, compel us to learn the art of patience, to be full of God's Spirit so that this fruit (patience) may blossom in us and others may taste of its sweetness. Here are some candid examples from the book of Psalms:

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." ~ Psalm 27:14

" Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." ~ Psalm 37:7
12 Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.13 But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold. 14 In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test." ~ Psalm 106:12-14

"I wait for the Lordmore than watchmen wait for the morning,  more than watchmen wait for the morning." ~ Psalm 130: 6

However, on the other hand, we read Joshua's words to the Israelites, rebuking them for waiting too long and wasting time taking care of business they already have authority to handle: 
"3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me." ~ Joshua 18: 3

Consider this: is it possible that God is waiting on us to develop the skill of waiting upon him?  A dear sister of mine here in NZ aptly noted the patience of God when she said this:

 "God, of all people, is not one to rush things." 

 So well said. Waiting upon the Lord, whether it be for clarity regarding a significant life decision, healing, or waiting for evidence of spiritual progress in a loved ones' life, is not easy.  In fact, it requires work.. . a lot of work!
  Waiting does not mean laziness or inactivity; it does not mean walking aimlessly through life until lightning flashes from the sky to reveal some grand design.  The art of waiting upon God means to work diligently doing the next good thing you know to do that pleases Him, staying focused and living with integrity in the meantime. It means searching the scriptures, praying a lot, and sharing fellowship with other Jesus-followers who are also developing the skill of waiting.  Then, somehow in the process, in the obedience, in the selfless service. . .God makes himself known in a unique and special way. .. and the waiting is over.

 "I can't say I understand much about waiting on the Lord.  It seems He is always waiting on me."


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