Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hurry up and wait!

This phrase, "Hurry up and wait" comes form my days in the military. When I was serving in the Army it seemed that everywhere we would go, we would be in this tremendous hurry. It was like, hurry, hurry, hurry, and we have to get to the motor pool and load up our equipment because we're headed to the field for an exercise. So we'd all be on high alert and run to the motor pool with all of our gear and in record time we would load up our equipment and be ready to roll out as soon as we got the order. Then we'd wait. We'd wait some more. We talk to the Captain to see if he's received the order to dispatch, but nothing yet. We'd wait and wait and wait. After hours of waiting we'd finally get the order to move out, then off we'd go to our destination. We'd be in a hurry as we convoyed there. Seems we just couldn't get there soon enough. Then when we got to our destination in the field (the woods), we'd wait and wait some more for the order to be given to set up camp. I tell this little story because we had this saying, "Hurry up and wait," because that's what we did all the time.

Have you ever been in a hurry up and wait situation? It can be frustrating. You have momentum, everything is moving along quickly and then the next thing you know, nothings happening.

This little story reminds me of times when we have to wait on God. Not that we're in such a hurry, but sometimes we are wishing that something we have prayed for would happen and it seems that God has forgotten about us. We begin to doubt if our prayer will ever be answered. Or sometimes our life is moving right along then wham... things go on hold for what seems like forever! There probably isn't anything harder to do than to wait, whether we are expecting something good, something bad, or an unknown. We can begin to get frustrated and impatient, but I think we have to think about this possibility.... this may just be a part of God's plan for us! Think about Sarah the next time your life is on hold.

One way we will often try to cope with waiting is to begin helping God out with his plan and start getting it into action. Sarah tried this approach. Sarah's story is told beginning in Genesis 11:29 and for the next several chapters thereafter. You see, Sarah was too old to expect to have children of her own, so she thought God must have something else in mind. From Sarah's limited understanding this could only mean to give Abraham a son through another woman... a common practice in her day. The plan seemed harmless enough, Abraham would sleep with Sarah's maidservant, who would then give birth to a child. Sarah would then take the child as her own. The plan worked great... at first. But as you read the events that followed, you will see how often Sarah must have regretted the day she made the decision to push God's timetable ahead.

Another way we might cope with waiting is to gradually conclude that what we are waiting for is not ever going to happen. We begin to think, we've been forgotten, we begin to doubt God's plan for us, we begin to lose faith and we give up on the dream we once had. Think about Sarah again here! She had to wait 90 years for a baby! When God told her she would finally have one of her own, she laughed! She wasn't laughing so much as a lack of faith in what God could do, but from doubt of what He could do through her! When confronted about her laughter, she lied... as she had seen her husband do from time to time. She probably didn't want her true feelings to be known.

Sarah's example of having to wait and her ways of coping can be lessons for us as well. We have to trust God. Trust that he will provide and do what He says he will do. When we lean on His promises that we read about in His word... we must be patient and wait on the Lord to fulfill his promises. When we sense the leading of the holy spirit in our service, but we see no fruit from our labor... we must remain faithful as we wait. When we seem to Hurry up and then suddenly find ourselves waiting once again, and not knowing which way to turn or which way to go. Just wait, simply wait, and the Lord will eventually let you know what to do. It may just be a test of your patience and of your faithfulness.

Hebrews 11:11
"By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised."

Prayer; Dear Lord Jesus, please give me the strength, give me the faith I need to wait and know that in Your time your will be done. May I always be busy digging into your word as I'm waiting on a particular part of my life to move ahead. May I always be mindful that you'll never leave me or forsake me... ever! Thank you Lord Jesus! Amen.

picture provided by...

No comments: