December 26, 2006

Waiting . . .

Nancy said, “When it comes to prayer, ‘Yes’ is the best, ‘No’ I can handle. But I have a lot of trouble with ‘Wait’.

Waiting. Like children saying, “Are we there yet?” I’m often impatient with God. Are we there yet? When are You going to answer? Why is nothing happening? How long, Oh Lord? How long?

From the last book of the Bible, the last prophet, the last time He spoke, the Jews experienced 400 years of silence from God. No promises, no encouragement, no revelation of Himself, no commands, nothing. He didn’t even say, “Almost, just about . . . .”

Many died in hope, never hearing from God. Some gave up, I’m sure. Others hung in there, but never heard Him speak their whole lives. I cannot imagine what that would have been like.

Then, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son . . . .”

The answer was so unexpected. Some of them, in their waiting, had developed a vision of what God would say, what He would do. They hoped for a political Messiah who would redeem them from the bondage of Rome. But they got the Son of God who died on a cross to deliver them from the bondage of their sin. He didn’t match their vision so they rejected Him.

Yesterday I prayed that my children would rejoice in Jesus’ coming, say some Christ-honoring words. That didn’t happen. At first dejection tempted me, but something did happen that honors God, and I nearly missed it. I was so focused on the answer to my prayer that I wanted, that I almost overlooked the way that our children honored their parents.

When anyone does what God tells them to do, it is fruit in their lives, a God-pleasing obedience. They were amazing, a total blessing to us, and a selfish response would have been easy. Maybe it was because I so badly wanted something for Jesus that I didn’t glory in what they were doing. Instead, I experienced the pleasure of His Spirit in me, but I nearly missed it.

When I read that verse in Galatians about God sending Jesus when the fullness of time had come, He reminded me that His timing is always perfect. I still want my family to honor Jesus, but I cannot push a “Yes” answer when He knows “Wait for exactly the right moment” is the best answer. He did that with His Son; I must trust Him to do that with my children too.

Yet, like Nancy, I do have a lot of trouble with ‘Wait’.

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