“Then Manoah entreated the Lord, and said, ‘O my Lord, let the man of God which Thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.’”
Judges 13: 8
King James Version
“While We Wait”
“The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him, inquire of and for Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s Word.”
Lamentations 3: 25
What specific challenge or problem in my life am I waiting for God to solve?
How long have I been waiting?
Have I asked God for His strength to teach me during this “time of waiting?”
“We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and He will come. He never comes to those who do not wait.”
Frederick William Faber
“Reconcile yourself to wait in this darkness as long as is necessary, but still go on longing after Him whom you love.”
Cloud of Unknowing
My dad did not like to wait. And I married a man, my Jim, who doesn’t like waiting either. In fact, I have a nickname for my husband. I call him “Big Ben” after the famous clock in London. Whenever we go places, we are nearly always the first ones there and my human alarm clock, Jim, will constantly keep me informed as to how many minutes are left before we should leave the house.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve lived with my dad and husband for nearly all my life that I now find “waiting” isn’t something I enjoy much either. And yet, as I have reflected back over my life, it is the times I have been the most patient and waited upon God, when the end result has been the most rewarding.
Author Henri Nouwen helped me focus on the value of the benefit of waiting when he penned these insightful words: “What strikes me is that waiting is a period of learning.”
I don’t know about you, but I had never looked at a “waiting time” as a “learning time” before. However, if we reread our text for today from Judges 13: 8, this is exactly how Manoah and his wife defined the time they spent waiting for their promised child to be delivered.
After “Faithful,” Manoah’s wife, conveyed the message to her husband that finally, finally, finally they were going to be blessed with the promised child they had asked for, Manoah asked God, during the waiting time, “teach us what we shall do.” (Judges 13: 8). Manoah and his wife wanted the “waiting time” to be a “learning time.” As W. H. Vanstone, an Anglican clergyman pointed out, “Waiting can be the most intense and poignant of all human experiences – the experience which, above all others, strips us of our needs and ourselves.”
I’ve found the times in my own life, when I was waiting in the darkness, to indeed, be the most intense. Over the last several years, I have had several needs I thought were a high priority and finally in utter frustration I had to release my needs and myself into the hands of my heavenly Father. I had to accept His timeline and His plan, and much to my surprise, as I daily chose to focus only on what my Father laid before me on that particular day, I was overjoyed at how efficiently and effectively God took care of all the other things that filled me with concern and worry.
I love these words written in a short poem by John Burroughs called, “Waiting”:
“Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more against time or fate,
For Lo! My own shall come to me.”
It may be that like Manoah and his consecrated wife, “Faithful,” you are waiting for something or someone in your life. You may have waited a very long time and now your patience is frayed and thin.
I encourage you today to ask God to help you recognize that the moments of waiting, are really a time of learning. In the words of Philaret, “O Lord, I do not know what to ask of you. You alone know what are my true needs. You love me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which are hidden from me. I can only wait on you.”
“ The Whole Earth’s a Waiting Room”
“We wait – all day long,
for planes and buses,
for dates and appointments,
for five o’clock and Friday.
Some of us wait for a Second Coming.
For God in a whirlwind.
All around us people are waiting:
a child, for attention;
a spouse, for conversation;
a parent, for a letter or call.
The prisoner waits for freedom;
and the exile, to come home.
The hungry, for food;
and the lonely, for a friend.
The whole earth’s a waiting room!
“The Savior will see you now”
is what we expect to hear at the end.
Maybe we should raise our expectations.
The Savior might see us now
if we know how to find him.
Could it be that Jesus, too, is waiting
for us to know he is around?”
Joseph T. Nolan
Let the Earth Rejoice
“O God for whom we long as a woman in labour longs for her delivery; give us courage to wait, strength to push, and discernment to know the right time; that we may bring into the world Your joyful peace, through Jesus Christ. AMEN.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit: www.direct2church.com or email [email protected].
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.