Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 31, 2010

reaching my ideal wait

Have you ever put an item back on the shelf because you didn’t want to wait in a long check out line? Maybe you have even raced through a yellow light, rather than wait at an especially long red light. Illustrations are endless of how we seek to avoid “the wait”. It is not just in the inconvenient, “But, I’m in a hurry” moments when waiting tends to try our patience. Everyone reading this post is likely going through a waiting experience right now. In viewing some Old and New Testament passages recently, I was struck by the number of times that the issue of waiting was referenced. My natural conclusion is that God the Father uses waiting for His purpose in our lives.

Even those who know little of Scripture have heard about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. A careful reading of the events leading up to this miracle is instructive for anyone with a desire to understand the Father’s care. John chapter 11 tells us the story. The sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, sent word to Christ that their brother was sick. Instead of coming immediately or healing Lazarus from a distance, Christ waited….and his friend  died. He then arrives four days later. The pain of loss was real for both Mary and Martha. They both mentioned to Christ, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Was Christ cruel, too busy, insensitive, or did He have a greater plan in mind? God’s design was to raise Lazarus from the dead, use the event in the lives of the witnesses, and teach generations that followed. I wonder if His “waiting room” still has a purpose today? Of course it does!

If you follow the life of David from Scripture, you know that he had his share of struggles. But he also had a deep trust in God’s sovereignty. During some recent reading in the Psalms, I found David giving us the counsel of waiting. God is using David to pen the words of His heart for us.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 37:7
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry our their wicked schemes.

Logic tells me that most individuals reading this, believe in God’s sovereignty for all of life. I am also aware that you struggle with seeing His control in the midst of your “waiting room” circumstances. Most of us don’t like to wait in lines, or at red lights. Truth be told, we also want answers from God right now! But if we really believe that He is in control (“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28), don’t we also have to accept that our current waiting is part of His design?

I have no way of knowing what kind of “wait” you are experiencing at this moment. But as your friend, let me challenge you to look at this circumstance as an opportunity to “wait for the Lord”. He knows you, cares for you, wants the best for you, and knows best when to provide the answers you desire. You won’t see Him raise the dead, but you can see Him build your life: Just be still and wait patiently.

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