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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Commitment of Waiting

I was promptly seated in the restaurant. I had been in the area shopping in a Christian bookstore and thought this place would be a reprieve from the restaurants located near our church. I waited for my server.

Other tables were receiving their meals. Their glasses were being filled. Orders were being taken. However, my server was nowhere to be found. I looked through the menu to kill time. I already knew what I would order.

Where could that server be? I thought I might ask for the manager. I'll bet he or she would be glad to know that a customer wasn't being waited on. I'll bet heads would roll!

My frustration built. I looked intently at each server who emerged from the kitchen area. I asked myself, "Which of you is the slacker that should be waiting on me right now?" Finally, a young lady with a white apron and pad came by to ask if what I would like to drink. I wondered if she could see the indignation on my face. After all, I looked at my watch, I had been there for two minutes! 

Patience is not a virtue in our society. We think of it as a flaw. We talk about taking action all of the time. We never mention waiting. That may be why so many Christians get frustrated with God. He does not act on our timetable. He is not our server. We serve Him.

God never shows up early. You have probably heard that many times. You always respond with, "But He never shows up late!" True, but sometimes we think He does. We would rather have an insurance policy than a God whom we must wait upon. We would rather have the money in the bank, the tumor already gone, the child already home and the job made absolutely secure. We don't like waiting on God to provide the money, heal us in His timing, bring the child home slowly and wait until God provides us a new job.

God left His people in the wilderness for decades so that they would learn to trust Him. He provided for them daily. They had no choice but to wait upon Him. Things turned out okay as long as they applied this lesson. Things went awry when they didn't.

This doesn't mean we should sit still when we already know what we must do. We should take action to accomplish what the Lord has called us to do. We should accept His solution which often includes action on our part. There is no virtue in waiting when the Lord has told us to act. 

Yet, there are times when we don't know what to do. We don't have the resources. We can't act to change the circumstances. Then, we must wait upon Him. I think we would rather have the Lord ask something grand of us. Waiting takes a tremendous effort. It is a total commitment.

The Lord says that those who wait upon Him will renew their strength. Does that mean that those who don't wait when they should will drain their strength? I have often experienced this. I have made great efforts to move things that only God can move. I have taken it upon myself to worry rather than wait. I have decided that I will try different avenues to solve a problem rather than wait. I have done everything but take it to the Lord in prayer and wait upon Him. Yes, my strength was drained.

So, I wait upon the Lord for a solution to a mountain of a problem. I wait for Him to tell me what to do. I wait for Him to supply. I wait upon the Lord and get stronger.

Recently, I realized how weary I was. I come to the church between 6:30 and 7:00 AM each day. I usually have a committee meeting and leave around 8:00 PM. It is not unusual for me to be called to go to an emergency in the hospital when I get home. I have been out to well after 10:00 PM visiting and praying with these people. I am not too good at waiting upon the Lord. I seem to want to do it all myself. 

Can I wait upon the Lord? It will be the greatest commitment I have ever made.


Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to hear. I'm in a terrible time in my life and I keep asking God what He is doing. What is His plan? How much more suffering and despair do I have to go through before He intervenes. After reading this it renewed my faith in our all-powerful God. Thank you God! I will wait and have faith in You!

Julie Louis said...

Why don't you use any scriptures in your posts? i have read a few of them and they would make very good devotionals if they were bassed on Scripture. This anonymous person, seemed to be helped by what they read, but how much more impacted and
encouraged this person would have been if what you wrote was based on God's word and not the word or opinion of man. Julie Louis, San Diego