Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ready? Set...Wait!

"Get over here...NOW!"

"Don't wait! Call...NOW!"

We live in a "now" society. We want everything NOW! We stand in front of the microwave and say, "Hurry up!"  We complain if our internet connection takes more than 3 seconds. We get impatient and frustrated if we have to wait in line for more than 3 minutes. And how many times has the car behind you honked their horn a millisecond after the light turned green? Anticipation. Frustration. 

In a society of "now," it's difficult to wait when it comes to God, but God often asks us to do just that. Wait for the Lord. Can't get more direct than that! And in case you didn't understand, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Ps 27:14). That should explain it. 

We are blessed when we wait. Blessed are all who wait for him (Isaiah 30:18) Well, there it is again--can't get more direct than that!

But sometimes, it's just so agonizing! Waiting for results from a medical test or procedure. Waiting for the word that your bid for that perfect house has been accepted. Waiting for a job interview after pursuing employment for six months, a year, maybe more. Waiting for God to open doors of ministry after 15 years. Waiting. 

The Psalmist had trouble waiting too. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope (Psalm 130:5). Hold the phone...what's that?  In His word I put my hope! Yes...that's the key. We find the way to wait by knowing and declaring His Word over our situation. The Psalmist cried out from the depths (v1) just as we often cry out from the depths of our despair, the depths of our souls. But as much as he cried out, he soul waits for the Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning... In case you're not sure how much...he repeats...more than the watchmen wait for the morning (v6). Imagine being the night watchman: all is still, all is quiet; you're fighting to stay awake, just waiting for that first light.

Yet...the paradox of all this waiting is that God is a "NOW!" God.  When God decides to move, it's NOW! Moses pleaded with Pharoah to let his people go out of Egypt, into the desert for a three-day festival. Blood, frogs, gnats, flies, dead livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and even the deaths of firstborn males couldn't change the mind of that stubborn (and in my opinion, stupid!) man. (Come on, Pharaoh, was all of that necessary for a three day leave of absence?) But in the middle of the night, Pharoah summoned Moses and Aaron, saying, "Go! Get out of here! Take your people and leave before we all die!" A "NOW" God did that.

The Israelites wandered around in the desert for 40 years led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. When that pillar moved, they moved. When it stopped, they set up camp. They followed their "NOW" God. Imagine setting up your tent and just getting settled, when you hear, "Ok, people, it's time to move...NOW!" I would not have made it as an Israeli wife.

And how about David? Anointed to be king as a shepherd boy then sent back into the field to tend to the sheep. I imagine David may have just shrugged and thought, "Okay, whatever." He was a teenager, after all. He was anointed for ministry as a teenager and did not take the throne until a good 15 years later as king of Judah; it was another seven years before he was made the king of Israel. 

We might wait 15 years or 15 minutes, but when God says, "Ok, now's the time," will we be ready? Will we hear Him? Or will we have gotten so tired of waiting, our attentions will have been diverted? Will we follow that pillar of cloud/fire, following God along the way, even though it may not be leading us where we desire to go? Will we put our hope in His Word, as the Psalmist did? Will we trust that God is all-knowing, and ultimately knows what's best for us, even if it means to wait? Even if it means that what we thought we really wanted we don't get? He is "I AM," the God of the present tense, a NOW God. Sometimes He says, "NOW...wait."

You know that feeling when the microwave finally dings? When the cashier finally says, "May I help you?" When the light turns green (and no one honks their horn behind you)? When you finally get the word that the results were benign? That the offer was accepted? That we'd like to set up an interview? Finally! How often have you heard yourself say, "It was worth the wait"?

Relief. Excitement. Readiness.

Are you willing to wait? For it is in the waiting that we learn and mature, and are changed into His likeness. And when He says "NOW!" will you be ready?


Blessings Along the Way,

Song(s) of the Day:
More Than the Watchman (Marty Goetz)
Psalm 130, The Watchman (Sons of Korah)

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