Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Wait or Not to Wait. . .That is Not My Favorite Question

Originally written February 8, just now getting around to posting it.

In a world run on the need for pleasure, it becomes an ever present friend. This desire to sustain this part of us is nearly more important than life itself. We are not even required or asked to prolong our suffering by waiting. Everything comes at the speed of now or seconds. When we suddenly are forced into the uncomfortable or “unbearable” prospect of waiting, we become younger versions of ourselves: cranky, selfish, tantrum throwing children. The world is overrun with “Now! people,” “Now! people” who when made to wait are people you and I want to run from.

Wait, is a difficult word to take in. It is rare for it to have good connotations. The word creeps up your spine leaving fear and loathing in its wake. This word has been on my mind for some time and I’ve thought I should write about waiting. I guess it is time to give up on waiting for it to leave my mind (Okay that was cheesy).

Last week I looked up waiting in the Thesaurus. I was only looking for negative synonyms. Suffering. Can having to wait be suffering? Heck yes! To put up with. Nothing like waiting to automatically put us in this state of mind. I can just imagine someone huffing and stomping their foot.

I have to be fair and give waiting a chance (cheesy again?). I found great comfort in these positive synonyms: Rest. Prepare for. Hope. Do you feel the blossom of content in your heart when you hear those words. I have to admit I do. A sweet and simple sigh of relief it brings me.

Waiting is often tied to the thought that we are wasting time if we are forced to wait. As a world also obsessed with time, we never like to be stopped or even slowed. It seems unfair to view waiting in the light of it being a waste. Don’t they always say “Good things come to those who wait”? I speak from a little experience and can’t sit on my pedestal bemoaning others for their lack of respect for waiting. I am no better than you or anyone else in this. It has been a thorn in my side for a long time. I’m right there with you throwing my own good old fashion tantrum.

What happens, though, when you pause to consider what good things waiting can accomplish? In my situation I have this feeling in my heart that this is what the Lord is calling me to. Does it make me want to cry? Yes most definitely. Does it make me put one hand on my hip, the other out snapping my fingers and I’m tapping my foot saying, “No siree. I’m not waiting. I’ll have mine now”? Sure, but that attitude isn’t right. Somewhat empowering yes, but self empowerment means nothing in the scheme of what the Lord has for me. I’m striving to look at the good waiting can do for me. It does feel like I’ve waited long enough, but I’ve known others who’ve waited longer. I’m sure others after me we’ll endure the same struggle. Think back to those words; Rest. Prepare for. Hope. If tomorrow, next week, next month or even in the next hour what I’m waiting for comes don’t I want to be prepared? I can’t expect or even hope that I”m ready for the battle if I keep digging, what I call, my waiting hole.

I know I sound like, perhaps, I have it all figured out. Don’t be fooled. This attitude doesn’t come over night and certainly is hard to maintain. I sometimes lay in bed complaining to the Lord or in the morning looking in the mirror having to convince myself all over again. The one thing that really has me convinced and coming back for more, though, is prayer. I think waiting is darn near impossible without it. Prayer has always been a struggle for me. The Lord already knows all my thoughts, but to be obedient I’m called to bring things before Him. Pouring things out to him seems private and pitiful. It sometimes feels as though all I pray about are the bad things. Makes the world seem more unbearable than it was before. However, deep down I know the Lord wants to hear from me, no matter what.

I’m reading (book being mentioned!) George Muller’s autobiography right now. He had such an awesome prayer life. It makes me feel small in comparison. I will let you in on a secret, though. Since I’ve started reading it the waiting has seemed a better idea and I want to pray more. Today I’m sitting in the shop thinking I would really like to sit and “talk with God” all day. I’ve never had that feeling and if you knew more about the past couple of years, you’d be staring at me with your mouth opened in astonishment.

Everyday has its ups and downs, its own personal set of struggles. I know today I sound, well convinced and encouraged. I also know tomorrow might not be like that. I sound fatalistic I know, but I’m learning if today is good and tomorrow is bad, I praise the Lord for both and lean on him that much more on the bad days.

Last note after this accidentally very long blog post. I looked up lots of scripture about waiting. I know waiting also makes people cringe because it makes them think of patience (Oh the horror), but I only looked up waiting verses. I will give the references for all and post my favorite (even though they are all good).

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Job 14:14; Psalm 33:20 & 21; Psalm 130:5 & 6; Isaiah 30:18; Romans 8:23 & 25

1 comment:

  1. Waiting is by far the hardest thing to do...I know very few who are good at it, let alone who like it! Waiting has to come from God, and I'm quite certain that the times when you are praying to God, He makes waiting seem attainable...its His way of affirming to you..."You are on the right course, when you pray to me!" Our will (plans) and God's will (plans) usually least I'm sure the 'timing' does most definitely...the Bible speaks of the battle our flesh and our spirit goes thru...Galatians 5:17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
    So you see, when it seems so hard to wait, its because we're trying it in our flesh, but if you can take on the urge in your spirit (like praying and talking with God) then you and the Lord can win, you can actually find rest in waiting.
    A little song i read the other day in a book mind you.....Jesus, use me
    please Lord, don't refuse me
    Surely there's a work that I can do
    and even though its humble,
    Help my will to crumble
    ...though the cost be great
    I'll work for You

    "Help my will to crumble"...I pray you and God keep finding more and more time to pray and talk to each other...then His will and your will...will become one...


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