In March of 2020, the world called for self-quarantine due to a world pandemic called Covid-19. As the days, weeks and months go by, dealing with isolating one’s self begins to take its toll mentally, emotionally, and yes, physically. So, how do we wait?
Not knowing the end date seems to be the key issue. The Stockdale Paradox was a way of thinking that was seen by some prisoners of war. Those who seemed to be the most optimistic about time, when we will get out, (i.e. we’ll be home by Christmas) were the first to die in the prison camps. The lesson learned is we must leave the timing to God, believing that God will triumph in the end in my situation. And yet, at the same time, be able to confront and deal with the harsh realities that we are going through. Stockdale was in a POW camp for eight years! Stockdale was a man of faith. Yet, he left the timing of it to God. The strongest faith recognizes that we are on a “need to know” basis with God. And unless tells me the timing, I trust He will bring it to completion in His timing.
How do we wait?
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
If time were not an issue in any given challenge or problem, would we really have an issue? It seems for most issues of life, they are time related. Think about a concern you are dealing with right now. Now take time out of the equation. Is there still a problem?
So, how do we take time out of the issue? How do we wait as time passes by? In the above scripture it talks about waiting on the Lord and then these marvelous things will happen. How do we wait on the Lord?
For most of us, our definition of “wait” looks like sitting at a table or waiting room strumming our fingers and looking at our watch. Like waiting at a bus stop wondering when the bus is going to get here.
And in our waiting, we are agitated, anxious and perhaps even perturbed (because it’s taking so long to get here).
But the word “wait” in the above scripture contains the idea of activity. We are doing something while we are waiting. The picture might be that of a pregnant woman.
First of all, she is not worried that one day a baby will arrive. She has daily confirmation that the baby is on their way. Worry (Fear) that something will never come is an enemy of waiting. Why isn’t the pregnant mother not worried that it won’t come? Because she is intimately in touch with the promise in her womb. When we get intimately in touch with the promise of God for our situation, fear goes away as faith comes. What promises of God are we believing for ourselves, our children, our circumstances? Our spiritual work is to find specific promises (scriptures) that support and confirm God’s will for my life situation. And then I need daily acknowledgement of them. “For he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” James 1:24
I need to keep His promises, His Word daily before my eyes. The law of success which is found in Joshua 1:8 exhorts us to meditate on the Word (law) day and night. And when I do, I’ll find good success.
Secondly, the pregnant mother is busy making preparations for the expected end. She is about making clothing for the child, preparing the “baby room”, reading on how to raise a child, thinking what to name him or her and many other things that hopefully will be accomplished by the due date.
What are the things we are busy doing while we are waiting on the Lord? First, let me suggest, practicing intimacy with God. Are we taking time to talk to him? How about listening to Him? Does He talk to you? What does He say? Or does if feel like He is on FM wave length and you are on AM? You know He’s there but you desire more clarity. Do you want to walk in a confidence that He talks to you and you hear Him? And you talk to Him and He hears you?
In this time of waiting, it is time to shore up our spiritual foundations. It’s time to deepen our intimate relationship with God. It is time for self-reflection. In this hour, God is wanting to reveal ourselves to ourselves. Why? So that we will invite Him into our situations so that He would change us, “from glory to glory”.
It’s not until I acknowledge that I need to change that I would even think of asking for help, ask Him to change me.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:17
This is the time (in my waiting) to strengthen my spiritual disciplines of worship, reading His Word, serving others, activating the gifts and grace He has given me.
My attitude in “wait on the Lord” ought to be a joyful expectation, a strong confidence that what He has promised will come to pass. Like the joyfully expectant mother confidently looking forward to the day she will hold her baby in her arms.
Let us do the spiritual work of having the promises of God go from our head (mental assent) to our heart (faith). As we confidently believe we will one day give birth to God’s promises for us. When we believe that we have received by faith His promise, time doesn’t matter anymore. When the promises actually manifest (show up), it is almost anti-climactic. Because when faith comes, you begin walking with the promise. When it shows up, you may have been walking with it for days, months or years. Abraham, the father of faith, had his promise (Isaac)show up (manifest) thirty years after he first received it by faith.
Let’s give God our time and go on to believe His promises. And see ourselves walking and talking with Him as we go through these times. Because soon the trumpet will sound, and we will be caught up with Him in the clouds. This life is short. Let’s live it the best we can, in love with Him and each other. Let’s learn to enjoy our WAITING!