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Archive for the ‘waiting’ Category

How much time of your life have you spent waiting? On the phone being on hold? In a car stuck in traffic? In a doctor’s office or hospital waiting room? In a checkout line? For a reply to an email, text, an application, or test? For someone to show up?

How good are you at waiting? Are you the patient or impatient kind? Do you progress from irritated, to grumpy, to nasty rather quickly? Let’s face it, we live in a most impatient culture, time is money, waiting wastes the most precious resource of them all – life itself. We want it now, not later! We want things to be in stock or qualify for free same or next day delivery. Heck, we get irritated if the confirmation text or email takes longer than 30 seconds.

Have you ever considered how much waiting God has woven into the fabric of life? How much waiting there is in the Bible? You have to wait nine months to see and hold your baby. Almost everything we eat didn’t grow overnight, needed time to grow and ripen. You can’t speed up the seasons, you have to wait for each one to arrive and take its turn. The earth turns and circles at its own steady pace, it will take 364 from Christmas to Christmas, from New year to New Year. The ancient Israelites yearned for deliverance and freedom for hundreds of years, the Jews were looking for the Messiah for over a thousand years before Jesus appeared. The martyred saints, who have been crying for justice under the altar of God for who knows how long (Revelation 6:9-11), were told to wait a little longer.

From as far back as can remember an Advent Calendar (it counts down the 24 days before Christmas) is part of my Christmas memories. At first, it had just pictures in it, until someone had the bright idea to put a piece of chocolate behind each calendar window – needless to say, some days were raided prematurely, we couldn’t wait. But, Advent still takes 24 days, even though Christmas shopping has sped up, Black Friday shopping now starts early in the week and Cyber Monday will try to catch up.

Waiting slows us down but it does not necessarily mean doing nothing, especially when you are walking through life with God. Since patience is a fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23) whenever and for whatever God makes us wait is not without purpose. It is a great paradox that in a world were everything seems to speed up God slows us down, that in a culture that hates to wait, God refuses to speed things up, for people who want things now, God has not opened a convenience store nor offers same-day shipping to expedite answers to prayers.

We are no longer waiting for the first appearance of the Christ (Messiah), we merely remember it, but we are waiting for the return of Christ, the consummation of the ages, the completion of salvation, the execution of complete justice. In that waiting impatience is a dangerous thing, it sidetracks us, gets us out ahead of God, has us running through life at a crazy pace like the rest of our world, with little time for prayer, for worship, for anticipation, reflection, and dependence. Our impatience wants to cram our lives full of what we want. In having us wait, God is trying to create room in our lives for what and how he wants it. We want life to take place at our pace, God is continually inviting us to slow down to his.

How we wait tells a lot about whose agenda we are on, who and what we are most concerned about. How we respond to being slowed down says a lot about what is going on inside of us. What are you waiting on God for this Christmas season? Whose pace are you on during this Advent?

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)

To God be all glory, even when waiting. Love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

 

 

 

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Waiting

Have you ever been tired of waiting? Like when you are on hold on the telephone for the “next representative” (I think there really is only one who does lots of different voices)? Or maybe at the fast food joint where the food is so fast they can’t catch it? Or at the airport security line when you are pressed for time? Maybe it is for that tool, book, or GPS you loaned out? Or how about that apology, thank you, or a little help? Maybe it is for that break, that fortuitous change, that streak of good luck?

Most Germans are not good at waiting (This German excluded). Next time you are at the airport look for a bunch of people wearing sandals and socks who sound like they’re arguing when they talk (and they might be). You can almost read their collective mind as they scheme, jokey, look for the passing lane, and quite literally will run you over if you don’t watch it. The goal is to be first, to outwit everyone else, to win, to be able to sit in your seat and watch all the losers dejectedly file in after you and try to find some space for their overhead luggage. Maybe you have observed people other than Germans behave in such a way, or maybe you strangely find yourself being described by the above. This can only mean two things: 1. you are more German than you think, 2. a bunch of Germans have bypassed you and you have not moved for an hour, so you have decided if you can’t beat them, join them.

Being tired of waiting is often accompanied by desperation. Time is the most irreplaceable resource we have. While we wait we lose life, opportunity, and depending on what we are waiting for, hope. After all we don’t have forever. It feels strange that the scriptures encourage us to learn to wait. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD”
Psalm 27:14 (NASB), is King David’s advice when life pushes us to be desperate.

Being tired of waiting is often the stage right before giving up. At what point do you throw in the towel, hang up, check out, cut your losses. You can’t wait forever, can you? There comes a time to move on, to no longer wait. Right? Yes and no. Some things we are waiting for we might actually need to let go, while some things we never meant to let go of, especially faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Nobody is better at waiting than God. This doesn’t mean he always waits forever, nor does it mean God overlooks things, but his patience, his long-suffering, his kindness, his mercy, his grace, and his love are amazing. In a way we will run out of life before God runs out of patience. If you have breath it is clear evidence that God hasn’t thrown in the towel on you, given up on you, hoping to save you, change you, grow you, and use you for his kingdom and glory. It is a glorious and gracious reality, God’s waiting, even on our worst day, when we are tired of waiting, desperate, and even ready to give up, God has waited for you and me to engage us with his love, hope, strength, mercy, and grace.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV).

To God be all glory, love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

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