Monday, July 15, 2013

Waiting for God ... patiently waiting and waiting and waiting (Psalm 62:1)

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 62:1 (TM)
God, the one and only - I'll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not?

Our Daily Bread shared the following thought: The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Mr. brooks?" he asked. 
"The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!" Haven't we felt the same way many times?
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began.
Thomas a Kempis described that kind of patience in these words: "He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his superior, his equal, or his inferior...But from whomever, or how much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from the hand of God, and counts it gain!" 

The Psalmist speaks about waiting for God especially when it is realized that everything that is needed comes from God. But we are not very patient people. When it doesn’t appear that things are opening up we move on to another task, to another setting, to other opportunities.

I’ve been caught numerous times by failing to wait for God. It was obvious what God wanted to see happen, but instead of waiting for God to make it happen I moved forward trying to make it happen only to fail. It is not a pleasant experience… especially when it was so obvious what God wanted to see happen. I failed to wait for everything to come into alignment spiritually, biblically, circumstantially, mentally, and physically.

Patience is a virtue so they say. It is not something that most of us have. The spiritual task that is set before us is to learn the necessity of waiting.

Seldom does a message come to me for just one person, but I believe that today’s blog was given for a particular new minister, LC, especially in light of the observations made in Our Daily Bread. I was particularly struck by the number of years that the missionaries labored before realizing any results… 7 and 14 years. Isn’t Phillips Brooks’ sentiment our reality? "The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!"

Maybe the message for LC is one that we all need to hear… I know it is a message that speaks to my heart.

We pray for patience Lord. Help us not to fall into St. Augustine’s trap of praying for patience and expecting it be given “right now”. Help us to learn to wait.

Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort.  Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given. ~ G. Campbell Morgan

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