Wednesday, May 20, 2009

waiting

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;

it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:24-26
Waiting involves a process. As well as the hope, longing and anticipation of a good outcome. Or perhaps dread, fear and anxiety in receiving possibly bad news, or in simply waiting.

Waiting on God for us as God's people in Jesus involves participation in a sense with God. It's to that end. So that we're not taking matters into our own hands, but praying, and doing what we know we should do. Leaving room for God and for his working.

How often in my life I've taken matters into my own hands, and have had to live with the consequences. And worst of all we don't learn faith when we do that. A big part of waiting is learning to trust God and believe in his promises through whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.

So waiting is probably as much for us who wait as it is for everyone and everything else that is involved in God's working. Therefore waiting is something we should not shun, but embrace and practice. Finding our peace and joy in God in the midst of it.

What does waiting mean to you? Why is it so hard for us? Or any thoughts on it.

10 comments:

nannykim said...

It is kind of like what Paul Miller says about seeing God weave His story in our lives--I like that idea.

I wanted to share a quote from Paul that deals with desert times in our lives. I think some of it ties in with some of your previous posts and also with issues of depression , cancer, etc:

I like what Paul Miller says about the desert place in our lives:

"God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden. Here's how it works.

The first thing that happens is we slowly give up the fight. Our wills are broken by the reality of our circumstances. The things that brought us life gradually die. Our idols die for lack of food......

The still, dry air of the desert brings the sense of helplessness that is so crucial to the spirit of prayer. You come face-to-face with your inability to live, to have joy, to do anything of lasting worth. Life is crushing you.

Suffering burns away the false selves created by cynicism or pride or lust. You stop caring about what people think of you. The desert is God's best hope for the creation of an authentic self.

Desert life sanctifies you. You have no idea you are changing........

The desert becomes a window to the heart of God. He finally gets your attention because he's the only game in
town....................Without realizing it, you have learned to pray continuously. The clear, fresh water of God's presence that you discover in the desert becomes a well inside your own heart

Dusty Chris said...

There is much trusting in God when we wait on Him. Which is harder, trusting or waiting?

Many people may confuse waiting with laziness or lack of initiative but I have found that waiting involves much more prayer, fasting and preparation than slothfulness.

nAncY said...

helpful words.

mornings are hard.
sometimes the evenings are good.
i am losing hope in many things, yet i can not lose hope in the Lord.

i get up, just do it, check of what ever i can do, and go to bed, that is mainly it right now.

hoping to get through the weekend trip to the college and graduation. hoping to get through today and maybe feel better tomorrow...that is it.

thank you for the reminder to seek the Lord.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nannykim,
Thanks for sharing that! Very good words, and I so much agree with them. I've experienced and am experiencing some of that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Dusty Chris,
Thanks for the good words. And for visiting and commenting. Yes, it's interesting to think through what waiting involves. We don't like to wait. We want to get it now, or else forget about it. But that's not the way God works most of the time, it seems. Sounds like you're more experienced in this than I.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
May the Lord carry you through this time. May it be a special time with him. Praying for you.

But yes, our hope really is in him.

nannykim said...

I read something in Paul Miller's book about waiting---he talks about how waiting develops our relationship with God. God is not just a prayer machine, but a living Being and the waiting develops this relationship.

I love this quote: "What I thought was a stone was really a loaf of bread."

and this:

"If you wait your heavenly Father will pick you up, carry you out into the night, and make your life sparkle. He wants to dazzle you with the wonder of his love."

We need in our waiting to focus on knowing and loving God and also on HOPE. "We can dream big because God is big." "The infinite God touches us personally."

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nannykim,
Thanks for the additional words from Paul Miller and your own.

Yes, all must be seen in terms of relationship- with God and with others. But so easy to forget. It can end up just being what we perceive to be our need.

And not limiting God. Not living as though we're under circumstances, period. There's more to it than that, for sure, for us in Jesus.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

It's hard because I want to know what is going to happen. I want to feel like I have some control, some ability to plan the day to day actions of my life. So, when God asks me to wait, especially when I have not idea what I'm waiting for, it feels like life is out of control. And it is; it's out of my control. And that is just how it should be - out of my control.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan,
Excellent point here.

I was listening to "the Jesus record" of our "friend" (of course we're all friends, in Jesus, even if we've never met personally) and brother, Rich Mullins.

I love his song: Hard to Get, and I love the way he sang it in that abandoned church, just nine days before his accident. Your words here remind me of these words in that song:

"I can't see how
You're leading me
unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough
to let myself be led"

Yes. I want to so much live the kind of life you touch on here. Not me in control, but God in Christ by the Spirit. I want to be led by God, not by myself and my own whims or plans.

Sister, you are in our prayers. May God's hand and blessing be on you during this time, day after day. We look forward to the answers, and what the Lord has next for you, in your life. Something only God can come up with, and something beyond our own (paltry, too often) visions and imagination. Amen.