Monday, December 04, 2006

short term waiting

(I had a majority of a post typed up, but just lost it -a keyboard issue! Well, here goes again.)

Sharon Brown shared with us yesterday in our church gathering, a wonderful message on waiting. How waiting involves a hope and anticipation of what God is going to do. And how we're changed in the process. Many wonderful thoughts she shared in a nice tapestry about this subject- for us as individuals and a community.

I'd like to look at "short term" waiting today, then "long term" later. Short term waiting on God, involves the troubles Jesus spoke about, when he said, "Don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew). Each day we encounter problems that we cannot quickly resolve. They may require faith in praying, and deeds on our part, of perhaps speaking and/or doing something in the spirit of grace, truth and love. And without question, these kind of problems require an element of waiting.

This short term waiting has the element of faith. We do what we can (but, be careful- here), but the answer must come from God. They do often involve what seem to be small issues. Though if we fail to deal with them, they can often take root and become larger. So this is vitally important for us, that we "nip it in the bud" while we can.

Also, this short term waiting is good practice for us, in faith, to ready us for long term waiting, that is a part of our lives as well. So it is an exercise that strengthens, one could say, our faith muscles.

This practice of short term waiting can be helped along as we live, engaged in community. Our life in God is to be a communal life. Even though much of our time may be spent in isolation from community. We need each other- as brothers and sisters in Christ. It may seem small. But there may be the time and place to share our struggle, so that others can pray. This is especially important for long term waiting on problems, that require some significant time, to resolve.

Ecclesiastes also points out that as we are engaged in our work (and play- I would add) that this can help us to leave these matters, as necessary, in God's hands. And set them aside for the time being.

I am one who has difficulties and problems and issues that come along during the course of many a day. But I have learned to ride through them, by faith in God, knowing he'll bring me out on the other side, alright, and at times- and true in his work- for the better.

So be encouraged in the troubles you face. Don't let them bring you down. Let us ride them through. In faith. Not in unbelief taking matters in our own hands. But trusting in God for his leading and answer.

What would you add to these thoughts?

2 comments:

Dan Brennan said...

Ted,

Our life in God is a communal life. Short term waiting involves tasting the Lord and seeing that He is good and that is not just a privatized tasting but a communal encouragement as we walk by faith not by sight. Yes, it does strengthen us to face the long term waiting. If we are able to press through the anxiety of waiting upon the Lord in the short term, it builds our faith to the long term issues.

Ted Gossard said...

Dan,

Thanks for reading and commenting. And good words.

I often see my help come, at least in the midst of community with others in the faith. But though our experience always is in relation to others, it is sometimes a struggling in faith between ourselves and God, I think. Like Jacob wrestling the angel. Yet still the outcome is never isolated.