Why Waiting is Really Trusting
- Monday, May 12, 2008
Nobody hates waiting more than I do. At Wal-mart, I use the self-checkout, because there is usually no line. Unless, of course, I commit the unpardonable crime of putting the bread on the wrong plastic bag and the machine begins yelling at me. Then, of course, I have to wait for the human to come over and fix the machine.
At the post office, I hate waiting an hour to mail a package. So I usually use the automated box that allows me to send anything slightly smaller than an elephant.
I especially don't like sitting in traffic in the Chicago suburbs, where I believe they widen the roads once every 76 years. So I have a better chance of seeing Haley's Comet than getting into the turn lane on my local highways. Nice.
So you can understand that I have an especially tough time waiting on God. He just doesn't seem to fit His plans into my rushed, hurried, panicked world. And in reading the Scriptures, I've learned that He hasn't changed.
In fact, almost all of the great men in the Bible had to wait. Some agonizingly long. Let's look at three examples.
Your Prince is Ready
Though Moses grew up in the house of Pharoah and was groomed to be the next in line for the throne, I believe he saw all of this as God raising him up to deliver his people, Israel. His mother probably had something to do with that.
As the years passed and Moses looked from the window of his stately palace and saw the oppression of his brethren, he grew more and more impatient. Finally, he acted on impulse and killed an Egyptian taskmaster.
So that meant 40 years in the wilderness. Here God's people were suffering and their future deliverer is leading sheep in the backside of the desert. Yet God wasn't delaying. He wasn't stalling. He wasn't anxious.
Finally, when Moses was broken and humble enough to be used as an instrument by God, God sent the 80-year old prince-turned-shepherd back to Egypt.
But do you see what is happening? The headlines wouldn't read, "Prince leads coup. Prince leads revolt. Prince overtakes Pharaoh." No, it wouldn't be about Moses anymore. It would be about God. How about, "God Miraculously Delivers His People"?
Dreams of Greatness
As a young man, God spoke to Joseph through dreams. In these dreams, Joseph was leading and his brothers and even world leaders were bowing at his feet. Kind of heady stuff for a teenager, don't you think? And it didn't play too well with his brothers.
But Joseph knew God was calling him to a special place. A place of impact and leadership and power.
So that's why Joseph was probably stunned and shocked when he found himself in the bottom of a pit, praying his brothers wouldn't kill him. Or when he found himself sold into a strange country, Egypt. Or when he was thrust into prison on rape charges.
Didn't seem like those dreams were panning out too well, did it? Didn't seem like God was working out His plan?
Oh, but God was working out his plan. And Joseph, while he didn't know a lot, He knew He could trust God.
Running for King
Okay, so this prophet comes to his house, dumps some oil on his head, and then whispers in his ear, "Oh by the way, you're going to be Israel's next king." But then it was back to the shepherd's fields, back to being the forgotten son and brother, back to obscurity.
David was anointed king as a teenager, but he waited 14 long years to assume the throne. And those 14 years were hard years. He was Israel's next king, but there was his madman, Saul, who was determined to see David dead and buried.
If you read the psalms you can experience David's angst. He scratched his head in wonder, "Why is God allowing Saul to do this?" "Why doesn't God just move Saul out of the way?"
But again, like Moses, like Joseph, David had to learn to trust God. And waiting, is trusting. David had to be broken, humble, and read to lead God's people.
Do you see a pattern developing here? God often gives his people a dream, a desire, a calling and then puts them through a period of waiting.
It is in this waiting where your real courage and character are forged. It is in this period of uncertainty that you're life takes on a whole new dimension. You learn how to trust God. You learn to lean on God. You learn what's important and what's not important.
So if you're like me and you really hate to wait, know that waiting is trusting.
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