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Archive for the tag “Purpose in Waiting”

Preparing the Way

As we contemplate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, I want to draw your attention to the waiting time. Have you ever noticed when God gives a promise, it usually doesn’t happen right away? Abraham and Sarah waited twenty-five years before the promised child arrived. Noah had to wait 120 years before the first raindrop fell. The Israelites lived in the land of Egypt for over 400 years before they got sick and tired of being oppressed by their slave masters and cried out to God for deliverance. God waited forty years for Moses to be ready to lead the people out of Egypt. Once they were led out, it took forty years before they took possession of the Promised Land.

From religious scholars we are told that it was 400 years of silence from the last Old Testament Prophet until the voice of the Lord spoke to Zechariah to announce the birth of John the Baptist. A baby would be born to Zechariah and Elizabeth to prepare the way for the Lord fulfilling prophecy concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus. The Old Testament prophets prophesied the birth of Jesus and the anticipation grew year after year. But when He arrived on the scene, only a few recognized Him as God’s promised One. It was foretold about His death and His resurrection, but again, no one understood what this would represent to all of humanity. The promise was fulfilled and the sting of death would be removed for all who believe. Promise after promise – and it all came true.

God is faithful in His promises. The silence though is unnerving to us. It erodes our confidence. It causes doubt to arise in us. Did we really hear from God? Noah built a boat on dry land! Abraham and Sarah decided God meant something else; after all she was in her sixties when the promise of a son was given to them. So they took matters into their own hands to fulfill God’s promise to them. But that was not the promised child. God said what He meant. Elizabeth too had a promise of a birth in her old age. Really? This makes no sense to us; yet, God is faithful to fulfill His promises in His time for His reason and in His way.

Then there’s the birth, life, ministry of Jesus written for all of us to read and believe. Prophecies are meant to be fulfilled in God’s will, in God’s way and in God’s time. And we still wait on the fulfillment of more prophecies to come. The Bible is full of promise. It’s full of hope. We are told that Jesus will return one day and receive the church – His bride. And we wait. Like the people of old who didn’t recognize their Messiah, will we lose sight of the promise? After such a long wait, generation after generation; complacency and doubt sets in. God has taken forever to send the promise, maybe He’s forgotten. But we know that’s not true. To God, a thousand years is like a day. His timetable is not ours.

Every time we are waiting for fulfillment, God is still at work. God continues to move things in place in order for everything to be right for the promise to be fulfilled. During the 400 years of silence, the language had to be common throughout the known world; roads had to be built for easier travel; military peace was given throughout the land to make the way for the Word to travel when the time came. God was busy preparing the way. I believe He is still preparing the way for the next event in His eternal plan.

It may seem God is slow in fulfilling His promises. We may have to build a large boat. Or we may have to live in the desert to grow to our potential for God’s purpose. Or there maybe roads that need to be built or nations that need to be lined up to God’s plan. God is always working, even when we hear nothing but silence. Maybe the silence is for us too. Maybe He is preparing our hearts for the promise to be received. Maybe there’s a reason that we cannot fathom right now, but we can be confident in our God – He always comes through – no matter what. His will, His ways and in His time. Just look to the cross of Jesus as proof. He is faithful and He loves you beyond any reason. Count on it and trust Him to fulfill His Word to you. No matter what you’re waiting on; if you have a promise from God, He will fulfill it. And we can count on Jesus coming back. Are you prepared to meet Him?

And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. 2 Peter 3:14-15a (NLT)

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Waiting Patiently

One morning I was feeling a bit impatient. I was struggling in my waiting time. I asked God in my quiet time, “Why am I waiting?” “What am I waiting on?” I have been waiting for two years to find my purpose. Well, longer than that. I have been waiting for the last two years for the next step. I left my job two years ago in February. I thought the plan was set, and I was moving out in faith. But it didn’t go as planned. The leads fizzled out. The income stream dried up. I was questioning did I hear correctly? In the meantime, my body has done some great healing. My spirit has grown significantly. I am listening more intently than ever before. I have enjoyed the opportunity to write. I had made a comment to my Aunt one night as we were having dinner long before I quit my job. I said, “I just want to quit and write.” Well, that’s what I have been doing. The lesson – be careful what you say (or pray for)!

This year, I decided to get out an old classic to read during my quiet time. I had been given “Streams in the Desert” by my Mom for Christmas in 1981. I probably hadn’t read a word of it in at least twenty years or more. This year, I felt pulled toward it. I opened up the cover on January 1st and saw my Mom’s handwriting. She wrote “Denise, I hope this devotional book will mean as much to you through the years, as it has to me.”  How special is that? Well, this is the year that it comes to fruition. This is the year when God has placed the need to read it before me.

So how did God answer my quiet time rant on my impatience? “I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry – we must be doing – so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us “Stand still,” or “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something.” (February 5th devotional) Can this actually be the answer to my impatience? Reading further, “Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still! Nor deem these days – these waiting days – as ill! The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way, hath not forgotten thy great need today! And, if He waits, ‘tis sure He waits to prove to thee, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.” Okay, I will wait patiently, and let God do the work in me that needs to be done. God’s got this under control.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

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