Oh, I Can Hardly WaitFebruary 22, 2007
Ecclesiaetes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”
Patience is something that seems to be in short supply today. We are constantly running to keep up with the pace of life, meeting deadlines, paying bills and occupying our space in the ocean of synchronized chaos. This hectic pace shows no sign of slowing as better living through science marches on, keeping the masses caught up in its draft. This is why I often blog in the middle of the night, or in the mornings when the house is empty, save for the pets. In the context of confessing our faults, I have to admit that I’m not the best example of one who is patient. By the grace of God It’s a work in progress, as we all are.
Psalm 37:7-9 “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
There’s a lot of gleanings in this passage, primarily an encouragement to “rest in the Lord.” A state of being relaxed; not agitated or apprehensive. Trusting completely in the Ancient of Days who always has perfect timing. Knowing that, regardless of the designs implemented by those who have made themselves the enemies of righteousness, God sees it all and he really does have it all under control. Psalm 73 tells about the apparent prosperity of the wicked. Likewise Psalm 91 tells about trusting in the Lord during perilous times. Waiting is simply a manifestation of trust.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
When I reported to the USS Guam in the summer of 1984, I had been a christian for less than a year. I met up with the saints on board and soon began to realize just how much growing I had to do. I visited Bro Marks church and the Lord baptized me with the Holy Ghost before the service even began. Gods timing is always perfect; never too early and never late. I soon began to realize, however, just how much growing I had to do. The others didn’t seem to ever get rattled while I was constantly “taking thought.” They could pull scripture out of thin air it seemed while I struggled. On the streets they seemed flawless as they would witness while I would take missteps constantly. It was often frustrating and yet I was right where I needed to be; with serious minded saints who loved the Lord Jesus. It was hard to be patient, but a lot of growth was taking place that I never realized until quite a while later when viewing those days in hindsight.
In a way, this ongoing battle with patience has a positive side. It indicates a strong desire to grow into the fulness of Christ. A hungering to be more like him and less like us. It also is an indicator of a sincere concern for those outside of the household of faith. Here is an area that can be like walking a tightrope over a minefield while sneezing repeatedly. In the earlier days, I had a lot of zeal but very little wisdom to go along with it. This led to a lot of scattering when I was intending to gather. Speaking much but praying little and thinking even less, I complicated a lot of situations in those days. The longsuffering of God is beyond incredible. In fact, the very thought that he empowers and uses us to carry his words of new life in Christ to a dying world is amazing in itself.
It’s like a paradox; knowing the seriousness of being without Christ and yet striving to share the truth in meekness with sincere love for those in the balance. Thus it’s all the more urgent that we abide close to the Lord Jesus at all times and strive to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. A lifelong process to be sure; as we continuously strive to be more Christlike in all that we say and do. In writing this, I find myself taking note of my own array of shortcomings.
II Peter 3:9-10 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
This passage portrays the longsuffering of God, the steadfastness of his word and the temporal nature of this world. It also portrays yet another paradox. Those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord long for his appearing. This is our most blessed hope; as we earnestly desire to be absent from the body and present with the Lord Jesus. (And so shall we ever be with the Lord) At the same time, we all know folks whom we love dearly, who are not ready for the Lords appearing. As much as I desire to be with the Lord, I also thank him for each day that he tarries for this very reason. We know that time will eventually run out. Until then I pray that we would all be diligent concerning the task at hand. This ties in with waiting on the Lord and seeking his perfect will in all things.
Waiting is hard; especially when issues of eternal significance are at stake, but it’s a must. The best thing to do is to stay in prayer at every opportunity. We can be in continuous communication with the Lord Jesus; standing in the gap for those around us, meditating upon his ways which are awesome past finding out, and simply loving him in all sincerety. Keeping our thoughts in heavenly places regardless of where we find ourselves in this world. It’s hard to explain in words, but things just “flow” better when we spend quality time in prayer. I like the telling of Anna the prophetess who never left the temple but served God night and day with prayers and fastings. (Luke 2:36-38) She was in touch with that which truly matters, although some may have thought her to be “out there.” (I would much rather be “out there” with Jesus than to be “in” here.)
Well, it’s time to wrap up for now. I’m supposed to go to Kalamazoo to pick up some items, but it may not happen. (It’s not critical) This attribute of patience is one that I need to work on. It always feels awkward writing something while being under conviction about the very topic that’s being discussed. It happens a lot, to me anyways. I pray that we would all seek the lord Jesus in all sincerety and be more like him with each passing day.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”