Wait

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

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There are three commands here – indicating things we are capable of doing.
The first is “Be strong.” This implies that we can make ourselves overcome our self-doubts. There is no room for the escape clause “This is too hard for me!” or “Let someone else go – do – fight the battle.” It also implies that the capability of strength is built in as part of our packaging. Whether we believe it or not does not change our inherent potential to exhibit strength. Often the accumulation of life experiences has occluded this truth; God’s Word indicates we must deal with them to uncover the strength within.

The second command is “Take Heart.” This speaks of values to center our lives on — courage, joy, belief in God’s goodness, letting hope for the future rise within. All of these and more will push back depression and fear which sap our very beings of the strength needed for living, destroying our effectiveness in the Kingdom in the process.

Finally, we are told to “Wait” for the LORD. This is where the real battle is for many, for once He has appeared or acted in a situation the battle is over, the problem resolved. It is the “Wait” that reveals our hearts most clearly. Do we really trust Him? Our fears begin to leak out. Is He really going to do something? Should I not step in here and solve the problem myself? We get into the helping God out mindset – and it is clear from the Isaac-Ishmael story that is not a good idea.

Waiting on the LORD is in truest sense, a leaning on Him in full expectation of his fulfilled promise — and that is Faith!

Waiting

Fog has dressed the world in shades of grey,

Gold-touched leaves still, unmoving.

The hydrangeas, weary of standing erect now bow their heads to the ground while one lone cricket scrapes its song slowly.

Pause now.  Reflect.

Heart and breath quiet, enveloped by the stillness.

Not yet the storms of winter, the whirling wind-torn branches and swirling snow.

Not yet the cocoon life shut within protecting walls.

For now, the grey stillness of a world closed in.

Waiting.

“Playing the waiting game.”

“Wait a minute!”
“Please hold.”
“Currently, you are number 6 in queue.”
“There’s been a delay. The plane will be 2 hours late.”
“Not now, honey, Mommy’s busy.”
“There’s an accident ahead. You’ll have to wait.”
“Wait your turn. Susie is playing with it now.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. The cook dropped your entree. Do you mind waiting for another?”

While waiting for the appointed hour to drive friends to the airport, I began to ponder the amount of time spent in waiting for something to happen.

One of the first lessons in elementary school is how to wait: everything from how to stand in single file (and wait) to waiting for a turn at the pencil sharpener, to waiting for permission to go to the bathroom. All of this is training for a lifetime of more of the same.

It is well known that women spend hours of their lives waiting in line at Women’s Rooms, while the men have long since done their business and wait for their Significant Others not so patiently out in the hall.

We wait eagerly for holidays and special occasions, letting the anticipation build within–an anticipation which is sometimes greater than the realization. Waiting for Mr. Right, and then waiting for the wedding day to arrive keeps our focus always on the future, as we hope against hope that eventually everything will be perfect.

Less eager waiting events include appointments at the dentist, and the ‘delight’ of a mammogram. Lying on a gurney waiting for the surgeon to arrive. Waiting for the cop to check out your license before approaching your driver’s side window. Waiting for the grades to be posted after a hellish exam. Waiting in the hospital for the doctor’s word about your loved one. Waiting for the funeral to begin.

Whether looking forward with enthusiasm or dread, our attention is away from the moment, that precious never-to-return moment of the now. Grumbling because of the wait, we should rather be grieving over losing “Now” time where life is actually happening. Savoring the very air around us, the light and shadows, the sounds and surroundings, faces and textures, we can create an event to be logged in the memory. Life is now.

The most important wait of all is for the return of the Lord. Even there–perhaps more so–we are to stay aware of and immersed in the here and now, for it is here that we are on assignment to make a difference in the world. Waiting.