As I prayed through my list this morning, I noticed repetition. Most everyone on my list is waiting for something.
- For a new job opportunity
- For acceptance into the college of choice
- For a companion to share life with
- For a clean bill of health after chemotherapy
- For an apology to release a deep hurt
- For a course of action to fight a newly diagnosed disease
- For a marriage to be healed and healthy again
- For two families new to each other to blend harmoniously
- For direction post college graduation
Which makes me think I could add a bunch of you to this list. One friend calls this The Waiting Room. Nobody wants to be in it. Now that I've been in a specific one for a few years now, I understand everyone gets their turn at some point and that it can have extreme value and significance in our lives. I also understand how hard it is to keep your spirit up as time seems to stand still, ignoring you.
Be assured as you wait that God is with you. Preaching to myself too. He plans to accomplish something in and around you, encourage others through your patience, and reward you for waiting well.
Note that I did not say "there is reward for those who wait perfectly". I don't believe that's possible. I think it's more like waiting without giving up. While we wait, we can strive to be good students and cooperate with what God, believing He's up to something good.
Today is your day. You're about to see that even here He is constantly giving us something (gifts!). So get out some note cards and write these down so you have them handy the next time you find yourself weary in your wait or just print off the whole page.
"But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you.
He's gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right - everything.
Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones." Isa. 30:18
"Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." Heb. 9:28
"Wait passionately for God, don't leave the path.
He'll give you your place in the sun..." Ps. 37:34
"But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind." Isa. 40:31
"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times." Lam. 3:25-27
"I waited and waited and waited for God. At last He looked; finally He listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God." Ps. 40:1-3
"With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad." Ps. 119:73
"Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time." James 5:7-8
"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy." Rom. 8:22-25
I wonder at this point in reading you are feeling encouraged? I hope so. I know I am thought I do not at this stage of life wish to imagine myself pregnant or enlarged, but I'll go there with this verse.
I hope you noticed you (we) are not alone. You never need to think you are the only one who has or is going through this hard thing.
Did you also notice that others are watching and will benefit from your wait? I don't say that to add pressure, but rather motivation. That excites me.
If that's not enough action for you, how about one more?
"When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst." Lam. 3:28-30 I can tell you read that too fast. Here it is again.
Go off by yourself.
Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer.
Don't ask questions.
Wait for hope to appear. (because it will)
Don't run from trouble.
And whatever you do, Don't Stop Believing! Who knew Steve Perry was a theologian?
Weary one, take heart! Here is still more great news: "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Rom. 8:26-28
Yes!! This is truth, my friend. Truth you can count on. Looks like we are doing some Bible study today - woohoo! But again with the pregnant remark, why God? (FYI, I do not consider it a sign or remedy for my soon-to-be-empty-nesting sad heart. So don't suggest it!)
Oh, and remind us frequently. We got these amazing, beautifully strung together words in the mail the other day. These will keep me going for quite a while.
"Our prayers are cluttered constantly with your names. We love you."
Isn't that gorgeous?