Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Last and Hardest Lesson

"Wait, and you shall realize the joy of the one who can be calm and wait, knowing that all is well.  The last and hardest lesson is that of waiting.  So wait.  I would almost say tonight, 'Forgive me, children, that I allow this extra burden to rest upon you for even so short a time.' I would have you know this, that from the moment you placed all in my hands and sought no other aid, from that moment I have taken the quickest way possible to work out your salvation, and to free you."
Those words came to me on October 30, 2009.  They originally were "heard" by someone who was intentionally listening for God's voice and they were passed on to me in a time of great need.

The time of waiting continues.  Specifically what I was waiting for, and what I am still waiting for, is for a particular loved one to be healed and freed.  I am often very impatient and want to take matters into my own hands!  Also, many feel the same sense of urgency and I'm also waiting for the resolution of issues in our church and the reconciliation of those who are just having a hard time.

Still, often, I am tempted to stop waiting and to, instead, take matters into my own hands.  So tonight, another someone who listens for God's voice gave me a copy of a piece entitled "Life Principle 14: God Acts On Behalf Of Those Who Wait."  I hope these words will be as much as blessing to you as they are to me tonight.
    Why does God so often ask us to wait?  Let's consider five major rewards of waiting.

    1. We discover God's will and purpose in the things that most concern us.
    "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks him" (Lamentations 3:25). God does not string us out to tantalize us. He does not dangle carrots in front of our noses to lead us along. He does not say, as do so many earthly parents, "We'll see." No. Right now, even as we wait, God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).
    2. We receive supernatural energy and strength.
    God invites us to claim His promises.  "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:29-31).
    God promises that as we wait on Him, he will supply us with supernatural energy.  While our impatience makes us weary and worn, actively waiting on Him  energizes us...
AUTHOR'S SURPRISE - this is beyond strange... I did not write this today. It just appeared here. It looks familiar though... My guess is that I wrote this at some previous time and somehow dated it way in advance thinking that I'd finish it by the time it automatically posted. I can tell it was in process because I only finished transcribing two of the five points. If you don't understand that it's because you don't blog! In any case, I'm utterly amazed. An hour ago I chose to take a week off from Facebook so I can spend some time waiting and listening to God more carefully. Then I came back from church to the parsonage, talked with my wife for awhile--she's at family camp down at Okoboji with our sons--and for some reason decided to look at the blog. And lo and behold here is this posting that comes out of some point in the past. The incredible thing to me is that not only is it still applicable (though I have gotten a bit better at "waiting" in the past few months), it's just the confirmation that I needed and it comes at precisely the correct time!  Wow!  I am so thankful for the Lord's amazing work! Thank you Jesus. Now I wait for the healing that I (and others) have prayed for for such a very long time.  I wonder when I wrote this?  I'm so curious!

Okay - so I did a search for the original piece that I was transcribing way back when and found the other three rewards of waiting.  They are all true.
    3. We win battles.
    When we rush God’s plans or do things our own way, we end up defeated. But waiting on Him will ensure our victory and keep us from foolish and precipitous acts. Proverbs 20:22 says, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and He will save you.”
    4. We see the fulfillment of our faith.
    The Lord says, “Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame” (Isa. 49:23).
    In the end, we’ll never be embarrassed if we choose to wait on God. It’s always the wise thing to do. When others encourage us to forge ahead, we need to remember the Lord’s plans and timing are always best. He knows our strengths, weaknesses, and preferences better than anyone else—even better than we know ourselves. And only He can predict the future.
    Don’t let circumstances tempt you to take matters into your own hands. God has a purpose for all you experience. Ultimately, you will be honored—whether during your life or after it ends—if you remain faithful to Him (1 Cor. 4:5).
    5. We see the Father working on our behalf.
    Isaiah spoke of a God “who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isa. 64:4). What a wonderful promise! While we actively wait, He actively works. Think of this: Every single day, we have the greatest Mediator working on our behalf.
    Although waiting can be one of the more difficult things in the Christian life, it is not wasted time. During periods of waiting, God teaches us lessons we couldn’t otherwise learn. In such a season, He sifts our motives, strengthens our faith, and may even change our circumstances. His purpose is to keep us in step with Him as He prepares us to receive the answers we need to hear.
Ephesians 1:11 says that the Father “works all things after the counsel of His will.”

What are you currently waiting on God for?

What do you see Him doing in your life as you wait?

Peace to you all in Jesus' name.


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