Saturday, October 18, 2014
Waiting: The bane and blessing of spiritual life
I saw this video on waiting in line and just had to post it. It's really funny, and it also illustrates a spiritual point: the difficulty of waiting on (hoping in and trusting) the loyal love of God.
The Hebrew word that is often translated "wait" also means to hope, with trust. When Isaiah 40:31 promises great things to those who hope in the Lord (hoping to the degree of trusting Him while waiting on Him), it contains a powerful value for temporally-bound humans.
Waiting places before humans two things: great promise and great temptation. One could say that it is the bane of spiritual life, or a great blessing, depending on how a person humbles him or herself in the process. This is so important, because God always uses waiting in the life of His chosen friends.
Moses waited for 40 years in the wilderness. Paul waited for three. Jacob waited for seven. And then seven more. Joseph waited seven years in slavery and prison. David waited for long weary years in wilderness exile, with a price on his head. Hannah waited 19 years. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years (with the fuller Israel promise out to 400 years). Rebekah waited 20 years. Et al.
So it is with anyone who would receive the promise of the covenant.
Why is this? We don't know all the reasons, but surely refinement is one reason. And relationship another. It is in waiting that our hearts are purified of pride and bound up with God's great heart, bound together as one, to where the child can pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done" and truly have it as his or her highest will. This child can pray for the desire of his or her heart, knowing that God will grant it -- because his or her delights have passed into the realm of divine delight (Psalm 37:4).
Waiting carries with it great blessing and great temptation. Let us be not as those who haste to hurry God's hand with our own answers, like Abraham using Hagar for an heir outside the covenant will of God, or the man that walked away from faith because he "tested" God with thirty days of prayer and found no answer that he could see. Let us trust and wait for the child of promise.
No matter how frustrating the wait in line! :-)
Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Gal. 6:9
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Isa. 64:4