Intentionality is a good thing. Periodically, I examine three areas of my life: body, mind, and spirit, just to see if I am still on track. Way too late in my life I discovered that, if I am not intentionally moving forward, I am choosing to move backward, and I try to set realistic goals for increasing my capacity in these areas. The first two are easy to quantify: so many miles a day, so many books a month, etc. The third is a little trickier: How do I quantify spiritual development? Reading through the Bible? Memorizing verses? Devotional readings? What about stepping into the “problem areas” of your faith? When we think of problem areas we often jump to struggles with addictions, lust, greed, selfishness, but what about distraction, impatience, or trusting God?
I recently found a small devotional on the bookshelf that became my first devotional read for the year. “Waiting on God” is a thirty-one-day devotional written in 1895 by Reverend Andrew Murray. The book examines different aspects and situations of waiting on God as seen in 31 different scripture passages. I found this book challenging because, in all honesty, I hate to wait. Getting it today is OK. Yesterday is even better. Tomorrow? Not my first choice. Waiting is hard, especially in a world of instant gratification We are used to having things our way, right away! If God loves me, why would He make me wait for the good things He wants to give me? Waiting is just mean and unfair, and I have other, important things to do for God.
But God wants us to learn to wait, because waiting involves trusting Him in the middle of challenging and uncomfortable situations, like the mundane and tedious everyday tasks He often gives us to do. Learning to wait on God teaches us prayer, trust, patience, long-suffering (a word we don’t like to hear), and endurance. Learning to wait on God also forces us to come to the realization of just Who is really in control (Clue: It’s not us!).
Now, here is a confession: I rushed through this book on waiting on God. Each morning, following my Bible reading, I opened it, read it, closed it, and moved on with my day. Why? Because I am impatient and had other things to do. But God calls us to both “be” and “do,” and the doing must rise out of our being, and our being must be centered on Who He is and who He is making us to be. And the only way we can learn this is to…you guessed it…wait on Him. I challenge you to do a word study on the word “wait” as it appears in Scripture. You will find some interesting characters in some interesting situations. If you don’t have the patience for this, just get the book by Andrew Murray. Amazon has it. And you can get it in just two days J
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to start rereading a sweet little devotional. But, this time I will slow down and really read it. Lord, give me patience, but please hurry!
Waiting on God with You,
Kelley & Jola Johnson
NCD Pastoral Care