I am waiting for my laundry to be done.
To distract myself and take a break from these myriad household tasks I check my email for the twentieth time today. You see, while I’m waiting for my laundry to be done, I’m also waiting for word about a possible job opportunity.
But . . . there is not a single new message in my inbox. Nothing—not even those emails from WordPress that I like so much.
The timer goes off—it startles me, and then I remember that the laundry is now done. Well at least there’s one less thing to wait around for. I go with my laundry basket downstairs, and as I fold clothes and pair up socks I glumly think about my life and complain and whine in my head to my ever-constant companion.
Father, this waiting is maddening. One email, one phone call, one reply is all I need. Is it so hard?
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The Discipline of Delay.
In his book Enjoying Intimacy with God J. Oswald Sanders takes the reader along a very difficult subject. Discipline. One of the opening verses he uses is Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves…. Sufferings and setbacks are means of God’s perfecting. “If we are to enjoy a deepening intimacy with God, we must react to His providential dealings in a spiritual way, even though they may be inscrutable.”
Waiting. What is my strength that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze? (Job 6:11-12)
It’s so hard to wait! Why? For me it is because in the stillness of it I am forced to look at my life. I see the mistakes I did, the “should have done” and the “what if” moments. I find myself wondering—did I do right in my choices? Back then when I thought God was guiding me—was he really? And then I look at the future—what is going to become of me? I hate to admit it but sometimes while I wait I tend to lose hope as if I did not have a loving Father in heaven. This, of course, dishonors him.
But most of the time while I wait I am led to think about the past, realizing that all I accomplished was because of someone else. I was in junior college, and I had no money to continue my education and transfer to University. Who made it happen? God—two years were paid for through various means. I was in my senior year in university; tuition had increased by 50% since I’d transferred. I needed money to complete my final year! Who made it possible for me to finish it? God did by various means. God works in many ways—through miracles, scholarships, strangers off the street that give you well-timed advice and encouragement. My pride is shattered, my self dies a little, and my self-confidence gives way to humility.
God was good and faithful at a time in my life when I was just lukewarm. Through it all, though I was still so far from Him, He was faithful. And now that I have made a pact with him to be faithful and to do his will wherever he will lead me to the very end—why do I find myself doubting him? Why when he has left me precious reminders of his love for me?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:7 ESV)
[So] Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. (Psalm 37: 34,37)
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. (Psalm 37:5-7, 9)
[For] they who wait for 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 (Isaiah 40:31)
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This week, if you find yourself waiting like me, take heart.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3)
God “will not spare present grief if it means future, permanent profit. He is concerned with our ultimate blessing more than our present comfort. But that does not mean that He is unmoved by our sorrows and trials.”
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord…. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men. (Lamentations 3:22-33)
For we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
Have a blessed week.
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PS: I’ve been trying to complete this entry for about a week. It seriously has been difficult. Still, these promises are as true now as they will be when I get the job that God has prepared for me. So I am posting it now, celebrating with the Red Sea in front of me, cliffs at my side, and the Pharaoh’s army is at my back, because I know–I am absolutely sure–God’s deliverance will come in due time.
Meanwhile, if you can remember to, please pray for me.