Friday, October 29, 2010

The Waiting Game.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
--Psalm 130:5

"How long must I wait?" The Psalmist asks. I love the honesty of his question. So many verses give accounts of waiting on the Lord as if it is a delight, a joy, a comfortable thing. Not for me.

I am like the guy who whines "how long must I wait!" (Ps.19:84).

And so we wait for our adoption of Levi to go through. Letters come stating we have reached the next phase, but it's all a game of waiting on a faceless bureaucracy to bring that precious face home.

Waiting is a concept that saturates the Bible. That does not make me like it any better. I am not good at it and I do not want any more practice.

But I do not have a choice.

I must wait.

But while a great deal of biblical waiting has to do with our call to wait on the Lord. The fact is that God does a great deal of waiting on us.

Unlike many missionaries, God does not typically hit people over the head with Himself. He woos and waits. He reveals aspects of Himself in unexpected ways and waits. He grants us glimpses of His love and light and waits and waits and waits for us to respond.

But we, frail and fractious creatures that we are, know what we want and we want it now! Sad thing is that we apply it to our spiritual life.

William Carey noted it in his time.

“The temper of our times is for instant gratification and short-term commitment—quick answers to prayer and quick results with a minimum of effort and discomfort.” Yep, that's me. And I know it's ugly.

So God is making me wait. And slowly I am learning to wait. But I am still not good at it. May I learn in this time of waiting that like our adoption, the conversion of one into God's family is also a process that takes time. And it is God's process not mine to manufacture. Carey said it best:

“There is no such thing as easy and instant discipleship,” Carey explains. “One can commence a walk of discipleship in a moment, but the first step must lengthen into a life-long walk.”

And so as I wait, I hope to learn to love well and in doing so discover a bit more about what a genuine patient passion for souls is all about. For Oswald Chambers rightly warns against the impatient evangelist -- he who is not willing to wait on God's work:

‎"Remember that there is a passion for souls that does not come from God, but from our desire to make converts to our point of view."

God help us in our poorly practiced discipline of simple waiting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a thought I heard today in line with the false Evangelistic approach: there are 3 stages of sharing the Gospel: 1 - ground work 2 - planting - 3 harvesting. From these the easiest and the quickest is the 3rd and it is often done by someone else, but the first 2 are definitely long-term commitments.
Everybody is waiting for something, mastering it must take a life-time!
Ábel (not Ákos:)