House Church Talk - Time to Wait
goodword at bresnan.net
Fri Jun 4 20:43:48 EDT 2004
"...the fruit of the Spirit is ... joy ... peace... patience..."
By nature, I tend to be like every guy out there. I'm not much like the Lord
who teaches us to be patient. My simple, one-track mind sees only the goal,
and anything that gets in the way is an obstacle, a problem, an interference.
I'm quickly irritated by all set backs and delays.
Yesterday, I saw a bald eagle flying over the city. Now it's true that I do
live in a region of the U.S. where eagles nest and hunt. But I live in the
city. Bald eagles prefer to nest in high places, like rocky cliffs. In the
almost 5 years I've lived in this city, I have never seen an eagle anywhere
But I know why I saw that eagle over the city.
I was busy complaining to the Lord that things are not moving fast enough to
suite me. My hopes and dreams are not moving toward fulfillment. At least
not in any way that I can see. So I was telling the Lord how I felt. I
wanted to see some immediate progress. I wanted something significant to
happen. Right away.
At about that point I reached my destination and got out of my car. I looked
up and there, right over the city, was a bald eagle flying high in the sky. I
kept staring at it, not believing what I saw. Yes, there was no mistaking.
It was a bald eagle. And of course, the verse from Isaiah came immediately
... those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
I knew that the Lord had sent the eagle. God was telling me once again to
wait for Him, to be patient, to trust His good timing. That's not the answer
I wanted, but I knew it was a clear message from the Lord. I knew because
lately He's been telling me to wait.
Like the verses in David's Psalm that says:
I believe that I shall see
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
Patient trusting in God is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in redeemed human lives.
To the extent that our lives are filled with (yielded to) God's Spirit, to
that extent we will see the evidences, the fruit. On any given day, at any
given time, we're either filled with ourselves or filled with God's own sweet
and powerful Holy Spirit.
We can sometimes judge just how "filled with the Spirit" we are by how we
react to passages that tell us to wait. Of course, if we're not pushing for
anything to happen in our lives, we'll be just fine. But if we have
ambitions, goals, and personal dreams sitting on the front burners of our
hearts, then we can get a true test of our spirituality.
I don't often feel very spiritual when the Lord (or anyone else) tells me to
wait. I can feel the blood rising when I'm not getting my own way. But the
Lord has been very faithful and consistent over the years in teaching me a few
things. I know that I'm wrong when I react in a negative way to whatever God
Wisdom teaches us to "fear" God, or to hold the Lord in great reverence. We
may not understand (and often we simply don't), we may not agree with or like
what we hear. But God is always right.
The Lord is always working for the ultimate good in each of our lives. He
gives us the dreams we hold dear in our hearts. He gives us the hope that
makes us dare great things. And when He says to wait, it is best for us to
patiently wait. We can always trust God's timing, God's intentions, God's
inexpressible goodness to us.
He who gave up His own Son for us, will He not also, with Him, freely give us
all things? Whatever we need, we will certainly get. Whatever we've trusted
God for with patience, we will see. The Lord is faithful. The Lord is true.
The Lord is good. He is truly good. His wisdom, His timing, His working in
each human life is flawless. Nothing in our lives escapes His notice or
Sometimes, like Moses at the Red Sea, we're busy standing still when it's time
to go forward. And other times, we're so eager to jump forward when we just
need to wait for God to do what only God can do. The Holy Spirit is faithful
to teach us and show us what we need to do. If we are paying attention, we'll
get the lesson and the signal from the Lord.
Why does God work so slowly sometimes? Can't He keep up?
Actually, the delay is never about a weakness in God, but always because
something is lacking in us. We are still growing. We're not yet perfect in
all things. If we were ready, then God would send us forward. But He's good
to hold us back until we've been prepared inside to move into something new.
Our hearts, our faith, our resolve must grow strong enough to face whatever
testing and difficulties that await us on the "next level" we're so eager to
Any loving parent refuses to let a young child run into the street alone. So
also the Lord holds us back from "exciting adventures" we're not yet ready to
have. We may be eager to advance, eager to explore new things, but that
doesn't mean we know what to do.
When the time comes, the Lord will take us into the terrain He's promised us,
that special "place" we're hoping to reach in life, the work we're so eager to
do. The Lord is good to watch over us and to keep us back at times. And when
He leads us forward, we may not "feel" ready to go.
And so I'm learning how to be patient -- even when everything in me says, "Go,
go, go!" I know that God loves me enough to pay a terrible price for my
redemption. I know that God loves me enough to forgive all my sins, and to
hold my hand whenever I'm afraid.
I need to understand that God loves me enough to sometimes say, "Not yet. But
soon, when you're truly ready."
I have a Father in heaven who loves me with a very great love. I have a
Father in heaven who loves me enough to say, "No." And I trust my good Father
to make me ready for all the things He has promised me.
Isaiah gently scolds us us:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and become weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the LORD
shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
In any war, the secret to courage and victory is to always go fully prepared
for the battle. As believers in Jesus Christ our strength comes from the
Presence of the Lord. As we walk with Him, and as we follow His clear
direction, we will be prepared for whatever comes our way. Even if the way is
very, very long and very difficult, we will rise up and shout with joy because
He makes us strong. He gives us the victory. To wait for His command is to
grow stronger in Him. To wait in quiet confidence is to win the war.
(Passages cited: Galatians 5:22; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 27:14,15; Isaiah
40:28-31. Passage referred to: Romans 8:32)
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