Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
When something needs doing I want to get cracking and get it done… Especially if it's distasteful. I hate waiting. I hate it when I’ve put in my order and it takes more than 10 minutes to get my coffee and biscuit. I hate it when I’ve asked God to do something and He just sits there. So often it seems that He is completely ignoring me. I want to say, “Hey! Up there! I’m here needing You to DO something and You aren’t even paying attention to me. What’s going on? You promised to answer all my prayers if I just pray according to Jesus. Do I need to remind you where that Scripture is?”
For some reason, God rarely responds well to my sarcasm. It looks like I’d remember that. At times, I have had to get really serious with Him and tell Him that I really do not want this problem that has been hanging on for more than two years to spoil the Faith I have in Him. And yet, year three is just around the corner and here we sit with very little done concerning a job for my daughter. It got to the point where I was embarrassed to even mention it during prayer request time. Then it hit me that God was dealing with my daughter not with me. This problem was between Him and her, not me. It isn’t like He has let her starve, or lose her home, or live in a box under the Interstate. He is teaching her something while I sit stewing. Finally, I got it. I’m still praying and waiting, but the lesson isn’t mine. I’m on the sidelines this time, but the wait is excruciating.
Sometimes, we can't help but wait on the Lord. Things just won't move until He moves them. Then there are other things that we already know what needs to be done, it's just doing it that we have to follow through with. Like in making decisions in our life.
The Bible (especially Paul's letters) is an excellent, moral guideline for making decisions about jobs, friends, churches, getting married, choices that we make in our lives that should be done from the Christian morals viewpoint.
I see waiting on the Lord for things that I don't have any control over and even though they affect me personally, I can't DO anything about. These things are totally in God's hand and we either trust Him or we worry and fret about them until we're sick. <<<this is a specific reminder to me to listen to what I say. Which I don't always do.
Some people say that waiting upon God is the most difficult discipline in Christian living.
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4, NIV)
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31, KJV)
But what kind of waiting are we talking about?
I understand the statement "Wait upon the Lord" as several different things.
1. Wait before acting to be sure I know His will for my life decisions.
2. Wait before reacting to a situation. When someone "pops" off at me, I am to wait. Calm down before speaking back. Too many times I have "popped" back and regretted it. Too many times I have reacted to a situation before I knew all the facts or simply reacted because I jumped to a conclusion which turned out to be wrong.
3. Wait within a situation until it is time to act. Only God knows why He wanted me to stay in a marriage with an adulterer, liar and mischief-maker. Only God knows why this man was allowed to tear up 7 lives. Because of him my oldest daughter and her husband spent several hours at the police station and my youngest daughter was arrested. However, the word from God was "Wait. Let Me handle this." So I did. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was wait and forgive this man.
4. Wait upon the Lord and His timing for me to go home. I would rather be with Jesus than here. I have a yearning and longing to be there. However, I am waiting upon the Lord because He has a purpose for me here.
5. Wait upon the Lord and His timing for Jesus to come again. That will be a joyous and glorious day for Believers everywhere and The Day of despair and horror for unbelievers.
Wait… and wait… and wait… Oh, how those words make my head ache! What is so crucial that God needs me to wait?
What is actually happening when we wait upon the LORD? About 15 years ago I received such a marvelous poem entitled Wait. You can click the link to read it. It was so good I have shared it with hundreds of people, but I have never been able to find out who wrote it. The substance of it keeps reminding me that the lesson is not in what happens after the wait, the lesson happens while we are waiting. It isn’t that difficult to perceive, yet it is most likely the hardest thing we ever do.
We see a story in John 2:1-11 that correlates well with waiting. This is the when Jesus turns the water to win at the wedding in Cana. My friend Petros offered this correlation to scripture, and I’ve noted some comments…
Mary told the “waiters” at the wedding to “do whatever He tells you to do.” Without this direction, they may have just stood around fretting, wringing their hands, and even might have been yelled at by the host. Mary directed them to wait upon Jesus and to heed what He said.
The Waiters needed to be attentive. Mary instructed them to pay close attention and to obey Jesus. Well, that is the classic Sunday School directive, and shouldn’t be surprising, however so many of us flatly do not obey what we know God to be instructing us to do because it just isn’t the answer we want to hear!
The Waiters had to be patient. We don’t know if Jesus turned right away to instruct them or if they, indeed, had to wait. Jesus said, “My hour has not yet come.” He may have communed with the Father, asking Him permission or taking His instruction from the Father before giving direction.
The Waiters needed to be dedicated and focused on solving the problem. They had to set everything else aside to follow Jesus’ instructions. It is so very easy to get side-tracked or even derailed when so much in our life demands our attention. Everything from family, to work, to church, to ministry things, to traffic, to assignments, all of it can clamor so loudly that it drowns out the still small voice.
The Waiters had to be discrete. They didn’t stand around gossiping about running out of wine. They didn’t spread the news to all and sundry that the host had no more wine. They listened, and quietly obeyed. Is that a bit novel? Is that too wild a notion? Am I getting sarcastic? No one except Jesus, His mom and the waiters knew what the problem was, and no one knew where this Best Wine had come from.
This gives us a magnificent broad spectrum in how we must act when we are Waiting upon the LORD.
I was in a snit about something so I was praying about it all, laying it before God so He could take care of it. God talked to me about making someone comfortable. What does that mean exactly?
Mennuchah...men*oo*kaw-- is what I found when I looked up comfortable. That's only found in two places in the Bible. Comfortable in only TWO places? It means provide peaceful place to rest. Or as in 2Sam. "comfortable words" peaceful and true and trusted.
How can we Wait if we are not at peace? We are not in a true state of waiting on God if we are worrying and fretting about something or someone.
Here's the tie-in. When we provide comfortable words and/or days. We literally are following 1 Corinthians 13. So as we wait upon the Lord, we put on the white jackets of peace and willingly bend to His service. This, of course, is only part of a Christian's life, but I find it very comfortable.
"'Winging It" from
Finding ChristmasRead Article »
She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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