Thursday, September 8, 2016

Learning to Wait

Whatever we need in today’s world of convenience can be had within minutes, if not seconds. We definitely live in the age of instant gratification.
Need to talk to someone? Pick up the phone. No need for wires anymore. No cords. No dials. 
Need something to eat? Fast food. Microwaves. Boxed, prepared dinners. No need to wait. (We won't get into how unhealthy this can be...that's another blog!)
Want to get caught up on the news? Turn on the TV. Or the computer. Within seconds, you’re all caught up.
Folks, we are losing our ability to wait. And it’s killing us spiritually.
Let’s think for a moment…
Noah waited 120 years from the moment he started to build the ark to the moment God brought the first rain drop.
The Israelites waited 430 years in captivity to the Egyptian nation before God rose Moses up to lead them out of their slavery.
There was no word from God for 400 years until Jesus Christ finally came and fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies as the Messiah.
That’s a lot of waiting. 
A lot of years. Centuries, in fact! We can miss the years and years of waiting as we quickly turn the pages of our Bibles in these stories. But don’t you just wonder what those times of waiting must have been like? Clearly, the promise was not forgotten and there was always a remnant of faithful believers who stayed focused on the promise, while living in what seemed to be silence. But I believe there were many who began to doubt.
Are you waiting on something? I know the struggle of waiting. 
Waiting on a phone call from a doctor with a biopsy result. 
Waiting for a word about whether or not I was being offered a job. 
Waiting on an update from family about a sick loved one.
Waiting on God to handle a situation where I saw injustice. 
I’m still waiting on some loved ones to trust in Jesus Christ.
Some things we wait for are serious and some are just the fulfillment of a dream. Sometimes we’re waiting for God to act when we’ve seen and experienced terrible injustice. 
We often have to wait on God. I’m beginning to realize that in that wait, God is allowing us to be tested. He is growing our faith. He is preparing hearts around us and He’s preparing our own heart, too. He is lining up His perfect timing. 
Sometimes He even gives us an answer we do not want to accept after we wait - but we can trust He is protecting us and lining up His plan in the midst of our heartbreak. God is good. Our disappointments and times of waiting do not change that fact.
The Psalms and Proverbs have beautiful scriptures on how we can wait:
Wait honestly:
I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Psalm 69:3
Wait quietly:
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. Psalm 62:1
Wait hopefully:
I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:81
Wait patiently:
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
Wait courageously:
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Wait expectantly:
Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:30
Whatever you are waiting for, I want to encourage you to keep believing and use this time of waiting to draw near to God, to learn to trust Him in new ways, asking Him to prepare your heart for the answer. Wait honestly, expressing your feelings to God during those times of weariness. Wait quietly, not complaining to anyone who will listen. Wait hopefully, knowing God hears and God has a plan. Wait patiently, trusting God’s timing is perfect (and usually not the same as ours!). Wait courageously, not fearfully or doubting. Wait expectantly, knowing God is working and He hears you. 
Yes, you can have instant gratification when it comes to waiting on God. But not in the way you might think. You see, it depends on where you choose to place your focus. If you are focusing on what you’re waiting for, you will be disappointed and will not have that instant gratification you’ve probably come to expect in today’s world. 
But if your focus is on God and knowing Him in a deeper way, you will be fully satisfied - instantly - as you seek His face, His purposes and His will. 
Come to think of it, that may just be what you’ve actually been waiting for all along.
Isaiah 30:18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.


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