Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Waiting and Trusting

I'm not good at either of them. When there's trouble I like to tackle things head on. I react. I want to fix it. I want to act or see action to squelch the fire.

Problems walk in the door and I want to gather those involved around a table and map out our plan of attack. Identify the issue, determine the source, discuss the best way to resolve the problem, come to a decision, fix the problem and be done with it! Why wallow in the problem? Why wait?

I found the word wait 139 times in the Bible. God wants us to wait. Or rather to pause, reflect, read, research, seek counsel and pray before we act. Psalms 27:14 tells us: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! God asks us to let him guide each of our actions and all of our decisions.

Waiting is a true test of our trust in the lord. Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. If someone else tells me that they'll take care of it, do I just then trust that the problem will be resolved? Of course not! Like I said, I have a problem with waiting and trusting. Should I be able to trust in the Lord? YES! But I don't always. I'm impatient too. And in being this way, I'm also disobedient to God's word.

Unfortunately, God doesn't often operate on our timetable. He knows some problems cannot be resolved without some waiting first. Whether it be because we have something to learn from the situation, or the other party involved is being dealt with by God, or because God is giving us a good lesson in patience or longsuffering, sometimes the waiting is necessary.

Nevertheless, when a dark cloud of problems looms over my head, I want the skies to clear or to just open up and rain already. When I have to wait, I become desperate. Like Job who cried out: What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? (Job 6:11). I want to know what I'm waiting for! I want to be able to prepare for what is to come! I wonder, Lord, how strong do you think I am? How much can I endure? In such times, I can feel as Psalm 69:3 describes: I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

Waiting requires that we be still. Waiting can be torture. It is surely the worst part of any circumstance. It's when we are left alone with our thoughts. And in this time we can come up with many resolutions, conversations, responses and yet we must be still, waiting on God's answer. The Psalmist exhorts us to: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7). It's hard to watch a bad situation go on. Trusting that God is in control and that in his wisdom, and at the appropriate time, he will respond shouldn't be a struggle.

But God didn't leave us totally in the dark, waiting for some unknown. Isaiah tells us: but they who wait for 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 (43:13). That's God's promise to me, that he will bring me through whatever situation or problem, better than when I first faced it.

Now that's some blessed assurance.

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