Friday, January 25, 2013


Sitting and waiting.
It's hard, you know.
We aren't built for waiting. We chafe at it. get annoyed before we've been at it for ten minutes. Sitting at the DMV on hard plastic chairs among a slice of humanity is excruciating, for example (if you live in a town the size of ours or larger). Sometimes those chairs are full and the numbers called seem so random and unrelated to the one you have in your hand that your blood boils and you begin to imagine being someone you aren't. Someone who pushes people out of the way and says to a seemingly unconcerned state worker, "Look, guy (my son says calling a man 'guy' is about as pejorative a moniker as there is), I've had enough of this. I've been waiting for hours. Days. I've changed my dang address to this building I've been here so long. Now take care of me!"

We don't do it, of course. We just seethe. And sit. But one can barely call it waiting. At least not the kind of waiting we're told to do in scripture.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27: 14
"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40: 1
"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits and in His word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130: 5-6
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him." Isaiah 30: 18
"But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up like wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40: 31
"The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
Not only so [that creation waits], but we ourselves wait eagerly for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies." Romans 8: 19, 23
"...and He will appear a
second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." Hebrews 9: 28

Have I overwhelmed you now?
Good. This is isn't even all the scriptural references to waiting. But you get the gist. Waiting is a spiritual concept. An active, rather than a passive, participation in our relationship with Him. We get to wait--for His work in the present, for His coming in the future, for what He will do in us. And it's one of the most counter-cultural things we do. The world is bent on NOT waiting. On not believing that anything is happening without our doing something about it. If something needs doing in our lives, it's up to us. Isn't this what the world says? My parents, in their pre-Christian days, always harped on our effort. They were more concerned about our 'trying' than just about anything else. But it seems to me that scripture tells us exactly the opposite. It tells us that our effort is for nothing. That all the try in the world (because it's of the world) has always added up to failure. While faith, and HIS work, is success.

And then waiting to see what He will do, where He will lead and who He will make of us.

This isn't to say we don't participate in our own lives. I don't mean to imply that we sit around on plastic chairs like we're at the DMV, and never get up, even when He calls our name. I only mean that we don't get impatient. We don't move ahead of Him. And we seek what He seeks, go where He goes. And wait patiently for Him.

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