Saturday, August 9, 2008

Waiting on God

Dear Daughter went to a movie the other afternoon with a fairly large group of friends. I ran some errands from one end of the county to the other while she was at the mall. At the appointed time I arrived to pick her up along with a friend I was to take home.

No Dear Daughter… friend.

I was met with an empty sidewalk.

I slid my glasses onto my nose, flipped open my phone, and sent my own personal form message for certain occaisions like this……”C’mon!”

I waited.

The empty sidewalk still greeted me.

I went through the process again. I slid my glasses onto my nose, flipped open my phone, and this time…..this time I sent form message number two for certain occasions like this….”Here….NOW!”

I waited. A few people passed me. They seemed to be mocking me as they sauntered by. I heard their giggles and every now and then I swear I could make out a chortle.

I expelled a very heavy breath, picked up my cell phone once again and flipped it open. As I began to text a searing form message number three I heard the distinct sound of the door handle as Dear Daughter opened the door.


I’m a very impatient person. Can you tell?

If you are looking for an apology, or if you think this is the post where I will turn away from my impatience and bask in the warmth of all things patient I’m going to disappoint you.

To a certain degree we are all one collective body of impatience. We only have ourselves to blame as we have created a society where “wait” is a dirty word. Our fast food has never been faster. We can download movie and concert tickets in seconds. We have instant connections for the Internet.

Our collective chant is now, Now , NOw, NOW!

Yet God tells us to wait….to be patient. Psalm 27:14 states… Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Waiting is good. Right? Waiting and having patience....they go hand-in-hand.

Speaking of patience a friend of mine sent me the following story regarding patience:

Flood waters had risen to record levels, leaving Joe stranded on his rooftop. He prayed to God, “Save me, God. Save me.” Later on, a rescue boat floated by, but Joe gratefully declined. “God’s going to save me,” he declared.

Later, as the waters rose to knee level, he prayed to God, “Save me, God. Save me.” Later on, another rescue boat floated by. Again, Joe gratefully declined. “God’s going to save me,” he declared.

Many hours had passed, and flood waters has risen to the man’s neck. “Save me God, save me!”. This time, a helicopter came by, but Joe declined again! With his dying breath, he gulped “God’s going to save me.”

Scene changed to the Pearly Gates., where Joe said, “God, why didn’t you save me.”

God replied, “I sent two boats and a helicopter. What more did you want!”

Clearly Joe was a little mixed-up regarding the whole patience thing, right?

While I clearly need a little more patience with the challenges I face in every day life, Joe’s predicament indicates as children of God we must wait on God, but we also need to be discerning Christians….Christians who know when to act.

What is God trying to tell us in Psalm 27:14?

When I tell a student to wait I mean for the child to hush, to not move, to do nothing until I can get there, to stop, however, when we look up the Hebrew word that was used in the original text we see that the word for wait is qawah. My source tells me the word means to hope in; to wait for; to look for. The Hebrew meaning intends for us to do so much more than simply nothing.
Notice that in each meaning we are to be doing something. To wait does not mean we remain passive and the Hebrew meaning of wait also tells us not to stop hoping, waiting, and looking. We are to wait in a diligent way. We are to work. We are not to give up.

God is busy. We should be busy as well….not busy being impatient….not busy ignoring obvious messages from God, but busy following His plan which entails showing love to one another and sharing the gospel.

If our plans meet these two criteria, how can they be wrong?

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