If we don’t learn to wait we’ll never consistently see God showing up for us.
I feel the same about check-out lines and red lights as Superman does about kryptonite and Lex Luthor. I dodge them as much as possible.
Trouble is, you can’t always avoid them. So there I am, in a check-out line behind eleven others. I look over and there, three check-out lines further down is a little old lady, all by herself, checking out. I take a quick look to make sure it isn’t a trap, count to see how many are in front of me and how much they have and I make the jump.
Here I am in my new line. Only the young lady, it’s her first day on the job. So, for the old woman’s first item she has to call her boss, because she’s not sure of something. I look anxiously at my old line and that lady is putting them out like a beating heart.
Boom, boom, boom. Out the door.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, the grandma’s second item doesn’t have a price marked so the new girl calls for a price check.
I look at my old line. Boom, boom, boom.
The third item that our sweet dowager has purchased is bananas. Only she forgot to weigh them. So, our new girl calls for help and a fresh-faced clerk roller skates to the front, takes the bananas and roller skates to the back, and … well, you know the story.
I look longingly at my old line. The lady who took my place has already gone home, married, had children and her first grandchild is on the way.
Did I tell you I don’t like to wait?
Waiting On the Lord
I suspect I’m not alone in my dislike of waiting. Do you know anyone who chooses the longest line on purpose?
But, do you know who keeps me waiting more than anyone else? The Lord! Oh, but He’s slow sometimes. You almost get the idea He’s doing it on purpose, don’t you?
And it’s not just me. He’s been doing it as long as men have peopled the earth.
Listen to this fellow, who writes three-thousand years ago:
“O Lord, I have cried to You out of the deep places. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears hear the voice of my prayers. If you, Lord, should write down our sins, O Lord, who could stand? But You are the One Who forgives, so You are honored with fear.
“I wait for the Lord. My soul waits and I hope in His Word. My soul waits for the Lord more than one who watches for the morning; yes, more than one who watches for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For there is loving-kindness with the Lord. With Him we are saved for sure. And He will save Israel from all their sins.” (Ps. 130, New Life Version)
So, I’m not the only one impatiently shifting my weight from one foot to the other, checking my watch every two minutes.
That may be you, too. You’ve prayed for a job, a wife, a healing, help in a tough situation, or—well, just add whatever you’re going through. He’s talking to you.
This fellow gives us the secret of successful waiting.
1. Look to God for help (verse 1). Don’t mope, whimper, or freak out, but pray persistently with all your heart (v.2).He mentions the watchman’s attitude here (v. 6). Deep in the night, sleep creeps up on this fellow. He stirs and walks around. Can’t sleep,though, the city depends on him. But, oh, he wants the morning to come! You, too. Yearn for God’s help. Quit trying to figure it out or arrange it and look to Jesus. If there’s something to be done He’ll help you know that.
2. While you’re waiting for deliverance keep your hope in the Lord and in His unfailing, everlasting, promise-filled Word (vv 5, 7). He said it. Keep repeating to yourself what He has said. Remember how faithful He’s been in the past, how good He is to others, how much He loves you and forgives you. This hope is not, “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” It’s not an expression of “maybe.” It’s a deep-felt assurance based on the knowledge that God is a good as His Word (v. 7).
3. Quiet yourself. Psalms 131 gives another key to successful waiting. “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. (Ps. 131:2)
When my kids were new-born and they woke up at three a.m., it was “all hands on deck” until we got that bottle into their mouth. A new-born’s cry can wake the dead. But, imagine if I got hungry now and began to cry like that. I don’t think my wife would be impressed, do you? No, when that little one gets a bit of maturity, he learns to settle down and wait until mama (or daddy) gets the meal ready.
If we’re spiritual babies, it’s all right to wail and blubber until we get what we want, but if we’re mature we need to calm ourselves. Food will come when it’s time.
Nope, I sure don’t like to wait. But, you know what? I sure do like to grow to be more like Jesus, so here I am, repeating His promises to myself, remembering how faithful He is, and looking for His answers to my prayers. I try to hush my raging fears and frustrations by trusting Him.
After all, the Lord can’t be any slower than that little girl at check-out counter number five!
“You don’t marry the box. You marry the contents.” T.D. Jakes
“If my memory was any worse, I could plan my own surprise party.” (Internet)