Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Waiting Game

#DailyProverbs 16:9: "You may make your plans, but God directs your actions."

Have you ever *really* wondered what you would do if God spoke to you? Have you ever considered why you are kept in the dark on so many things? Can you be trusted with God's vision for the future and your part in that vision? Do you think you would be so compliant and trusting if you actually had discourse with the Lord and understood His way, timing, and plans? Would you be able to wait on the Lord for the plans and the years and time it takes to have them come to pass? Can you see in years and decades and scores of years (of which you are able to take part) and imagine the millennia that God has to oversee and wait for entire generations and peoples to come to terms with their place in the world?

The honest truth is that, likely not. You would likely want to skip steps. You would likely want to hurry the process up. No one likes to wait, but have you ever wondered why? It's because delays show us that we are not in control. Someone or something else is calling the shots, even God. And we can't stand that. We assign free-will to ourselves because it still gives us the comfort that WE are in control of the ultimate end of ourselves. (Another topic for another day, but we want that control, but we still blame God if the outcome isn't what we desired. Sigh. With that power, comes that responsibility. If you can't fathom God being true to His word and hell being real, and it being your own fault if you go there, then change your thoughts to predestination and set up a belief system in something other than free will.)

Waiting. Waiting on things beyond our control. Although we may be able to identify the immediate cause--like a traffic light or the long checkout line--ultimately God is the one who controls all our delays. Our starts. Our stops. Since Jesus is sovereign over everything in heaven and on earth, even our time and schedules are in His hands. This means that in every delay, we are actually waiting for God in one way or another. You might have thought that the expression "waiting upon the Lord" applies only to spiritual applications and beseeching answers in an altar, but that's such a limited view of God. That's such a tiny spectrum, that God would only be with you and meet you in a church, in an altar, or on days of your begging. Sure, God is there when you are seeking guidance from Him or an answer to prayer. But it can mean so much more when you remember that He controls all your day-to-day inconveniences and frustrations, too. Y'know, like a real relationship.

Do you want God to tell you things? Do you want Him to give you foresight and truth? In the Christian life, learning to wait is vitally important because until you do, you'll never be able to walk in obedience to God, have an effective prayer life, or experience the peace of resting in His loving sovereignty. But you will also have to learn to be given data, do nothing with it, hold it, trust it, nurture it, and watch over it while it grows into a promise. We must learn to trust His judgment--about not just the big events in our lives, but also the trivial ones which cause us to become irritated, impatient, or even angry. If we're sensitive to His instruction, each delay has a lesson. Each period of waiting has a truth to be learned.

The next time you face an unexpected or unwanted wait, remember that it comes as no surprise to God. He loves and you and it isn't just about some random platitude concerning patience, or increasing something as trivial as YOU. It may be a something that sets world events in motion. It may be something as important as you not disrupting a soul coming into His presence. It may be something that keeps you and saves you. It may be so you don't ruin something.

Jesus, I've found in my walk and in my talks where He has shown me (more than I ever truly wanted) things... He's more interested in developing godly character than He is in making sure your schedule runs according to your plans.

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