Archive for the 'Waiting' Category
This is the fourth and final post in the series “Drew, wait…” You can find all of the posts in this series here.
The discipline of waiting is strengthened by the simple fact that as we wait we know that our Father actually does care. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” There are few disciplines that feel as lonely as waiting. It seems like no one understands, it seems like no one cares, it seems like no one is able to redeem us from the circumstances that are causing us to wait. Waiting can cause us to feel abandoned, left in the dark, and alone. As we claw at the walls of our captivity and wonder if anyone really does care, David reminds us in Psalm 40:1 that the Lord inclines His ear to those who wait. In the midst of the loneliness and despair that can accompany waiting, we know that there is One who hears and there is one who cares.
Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Even in the darkness, Jesus sympathizes with us because He to experienced the very same darkness. Charles Spurgeon wrote a lot about suffering. In his book “Morning and Evening” he wrote this about how Jesus relates to our darkness.
Christ was also chosen out of the people that he might know our wants and sympathize with us. “He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” In all our sorrows we have his sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness, poverty—he knows them all, for he has felt all. Remember this, Christian, and let it comfort thee. However difficult and painful thy road, it is marked by the footsteps of thy Saviour; and even when thou reachest the dark valley of the shadow of death, and the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, thou wilt find his footprints there. In all places whithersoever we go, he has been our forerunner; each burden we have to carry, has once been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel.
Waiting is still hard, but the darkness is made much brighter when we come to understand that our precious Lord Jesus has gone before us in our waiting and when we have lost all of our strength He will carry us the rest of the way.
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November 21 2008 | Waiting | No Comments »
This is the third post in the series “Drew, wait…” You can find the first post here and the second post here.
One of the things that makes waiting hard is fear. Often times suffering can feel like a fast approaching enemy that must be fled. We run as fast as we can by keeping ourselves busy, exploring every possible avenue to escape the suffering, we make phone calls, talk to friends, exhaust our financial resources, scower the internet, and drive great distances in the pursuit of some form of salvation from the monster at our heels. In the midst of the busyness of these pursuits and the franticness of our searching for answers, waiting seems unfathomable.
This is certainly not to say that we should simply collapse under the weight of life, nor that we should not pursue relief for our suffering or the suffering of those around us. The problem is that all of the noise that we make and the striving that we engage in is frequently the result of our own paralyzing fear of what may or may not happen.
Psalm 62:1-2 says, “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” One of the great blessings of waiting is that it forces me to cease all of my striving against the fear of what will come. Waiting brings a tranquility to one’s heart that was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus who came to free us from fear.
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November 18 2008 | Waiting | No Comments »
This is the second post in the series “Drew, wait…” You can find the first post here.
I just put Micah to bed after an especially long day of ministry that ran the gamut from making Sunday morning announcements, to teaching Sunday School on the person and character of Jesus Christ, to reading Scripture to the terminally ill and planning services with his family. I’m tired to say the least, but I have a fresh brewed cup of coffee straight from my new French Press (more on that later) and a few more thoughts on what it means to wait on the Lord.
One of the most important passages on the discipline of waiting is Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! ” What has struck me about this passage is very simple, but for some reason escaped me until just recently. If we are commanded to wait, it’s obvious that we are waiting on someone and more specifically we are waiting for that someone to do something. While this may seem obvious, I believe that it is actually quite profound, because the reason I’m waiting is that I can’t do anything. I wish with all of my heart that I could just fix Micah’s speech and relieve the frustration in his little heart, but the simple truth is I can’t. Instead I must wait for someone to act and that someone is my Father.
As I’ve meditated on what it means to wait it seems that the sovereignty of God plays a large role in giving hope to those who have to wait. Here are a couple of ways that I see this working out in my heart.
1) I can wait because I know that I’m waiting on my Father.
2) I can wait because I know that my Father loves my son far more than I do and that he is more than able to care for all of Micah’s needs.
3) I can wait because I know that God’s timing is perfect and that He always accomplishes His desires, even if I can’t see how through my tears.
4) I can wait because my Father often waits for me and in spite of my faithlessness He remains faithful.
5) I can wait because I know that my Father is good and that in His goodness, He will care for my son far better than I ever could.
Waiting is never easy, because we want to fix things so badly. We want the security of knowing that everything is going to be ok. We want freedom from the fears and concerns that result from living in this broken world. We want the security that comes from having the right job, the best car, the perfect family, the pristine health, the flawless church, the high performance marriage, and a thousand other things that we think will give us peace (shalom). In the midst of all of our striving to find peace God graciously interrupts our attempts to usurp his sovereignty and says “wait”.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
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November 17 2008 | Waiting | No Comments »
This morning I took Micah on a walk around our neighborhood. We have several nature paths that go throughout the development, which Micah loves to walk through and explore. As we made our way down the street Micah began to run ahead of me until I called out, “Micah, wait,” which he did until I caught up with him. When we got onto the trail he began to run ahead of me again until I called out “Micah, wait,” which he did again. There are a number of reasons why you don’t want your kids to get too far ahead of you on a walk, but for this walk the main reason was that I knew that there are stinging nettle plants on this particular path and I wanted to be sure to hold his hand while we walked along. However, in order for me to care for him like that I needed him to wait. After walking for a bit Micah decided that he was tired and couldn’t go on, so I scooped him up and carried him the rest of the way home while he lay his head on my shoulder and waited for us to arrive.
The Lord has been teaching Amy and I a lot about waiting in the last few months. A few months ago we began to get very worried about Micah because he wasn’t talking. He is almost 3 years old now and still says very few words. Over the course of the last couple of months we have taken him to several speech therapists and have gotten to the point now where he goes 3 times a week to work on his speech. While he has made some improvement, we still have not seen that major step of him beginning to speak freely and consistently. Speech is tied into so many other areas of development that for a child not to be speaking makes pretty much everything a lot harder for the parent and frustrating for the child. We have many difficult evenings and many tears (his and ours) as we try to shepherd this little boy by faithfully loving him, disciplining him, teaching him and caring for him.
I took Micah to the speech therapist this last Tuesday and as we spoke she mentioned the fact that he tends to get frustrated very easily when he’s playing or when he knows that you want him to do something, but doesn’t fully understand. As I listened to her I summarized her comments by saying, “He needs to learn how to be patient.” As the words came out of my lips it dawned on me that he and I are struggling with the same thing. We both need to learn how to wait.
I’ve never been good at waiting. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a pretty anxious person, always busy, always a little overwhelmed, and always rushing to the next thing. That’s probably what makes this hard for me, because there really is nothing left to do but wait.
As I walked along this morning and asked Micah to wait for me so that I could hold his hand and keep him safe near the stinging nettles I began to think of my Heavenly Father. As I make my way down this path it seems that He too is calling me to wait. So, I will stand here and wait for my Father to take my hand and lead me down the path that He has sovereignly chosen, because I know my Father and when I get to the point that I can’t walk any more, I know that He will carry me the rest of the way.
Over the next couple of days I plan on writing a few more meditations on this whole concept of waiting, mainly so that I can understand it better to be a better Dad to my son and a better son to my Father.
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November 15 2008 | Waiting | 3 Comments »