This post has been in the making for several weeks now. I even abandoned it at one point and started working on a different topic...but the Lord seems to be bringing back to this one. It would seem the Lord has His hands full with just trying to keep me focused on the task at hand sometimes!
We're going to explore the process of waiting. Recently Invisible Illness Awareness Week took place and I had intended on writing more on the subject of being chronically ill and how waiting on the Lord plays such a big part in that. BUT GOD seems to have broadened my perspective (once again) from my own personal situation more to the lives of those around me (as it should be).
I don't know of anyone who really enjoys waiting for anything, and that includes me. Yet, we are faced with that prospect every single day. From the most mundane of tasks such as waiting in lines, waiting to be served in restaurants, waiting to speak to a LIVE person on the telephone (I"m not bitter)! heehee!, waiting, waiting, waiting!
Then there are the times that I really want to focus on and that is when we are waiting for hours, days, weeks, months and yes even years or even never in our lifetime for something in our lives to come to fruition. It's an interesting thing, waiting. In doing so, I have discovered that God uses those waiting times as an essential learning tool in our lives. It reveals a lot about who we are, what we believe in, and where we place our priorities.
I believe God does not waste time and if that is the case then He has a purpose for delaying or even preventing certain things in our lives. As I have said in the past, how we respond to our circumstances (including having to wait) reveals what we believe about God. Do we believe He loves us when we have not been healed of an illness, such as in my case? Do we believe He really is in control, even though our world seems to be spiraling out of control? Do we believe He is just and righteous when we see such pain and suffering take place in our world such as the recent shooting in Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.? Do we in essence, believe He is who He says He is in His Word when we wait and wait and wait and in the meantime nothing seems to be happening, much less getting any better?!?!
These are honest questions. They are not new by any means. We aren't the first ones to be asked by God to wait on Him. Maybe better said would be that it is a mutual waiting period between us and God. We are waiting for God to move at His "appointed time" to act in our lives. That includes our participation one way or another...even if, and maybe especially if our participation means it is not yet His "appointed time".
Dr. Charles Stanley shares these possible reasons God may ask us to wait: 1). He is getting things ready. 2). He must purify our motives. 3). He is teaching us to trust Him. 4). He is protecting us from oftentimes things we don't see, sometimes we never see--but He sees it. 5). We make our greatest impact in our Christian life when we choose to wait upon the Lord and watch God give and provide or promote whatever it might be in His timing--then those who watch us--those who are our friends--then those whom we work with--look at us and think "Look what he(she) got and we used to wonder why he(she) didn't do this or he(she) didn't do that---well, now I see". It sends an awesome testimony of the reality of God, the truthfulness, trustworthiness of God. We win and the people around us win! He has specific reasons for asking and for telling us to wait on Him and they are all good, because HE IS GOOD.
Dr. Charles Stanley has been quoted as saying: "Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we are waiting for." Then begs the question, do we value God enough to wait for His "appointed time"? It can be painful to wait and we reason that if we can just do something to "hurry up the process" or a figure out a way to end our current situation, that the pain will go away. I have found that not to be the case. We may temporarily distract ourselves, thinking the pain is gone...but then it rears it's ugly head back up again and most of the time it brings with it even more sorrow than before. I say, kill the beast at hand and let God be done with it once and for all...however long that may take.
Remember the Charles Stanley quote I just mentioned? Is that not enough reason? When we think of all the attributes of God, can we really even in good conscience question Him when He asks us to wait? As our song says today...He gives us "10,000 Reasons" and MORE to praise Him in every circumstance...even when we are asked to wait.
Not sure what to do while you wait? Praise Him. God's Word says "The Lord inhabits the praises of His people." Psalm 22:3 NKJV If that is the case, then that should be enough.
My song and my prayer for us today is that the 10,000 reasons and MORE that He has given us to praise Him is enough, even in the waiting.