03 October, 2012

The Waiting is the Hard Part

It's a cool, dark and damp morning here in the Burg, and I've been moving kind of slow today. I've been sitting enjoying my coffee and a couple of blueberry scones and listening to smooth jazz on the computer and just reflecting on life. I found it kind of funny, but two of the songs coming out of the computer were actually Christmas songs, and in my mind I started thinking about Christmas coming. It is only a little more than 2 months away. Even though my kids are grown, my daughter is still one who gets very excited about Christmas and can't wait for it to arrive. All this led my thoughts to how hard it is for us to wait. Even in our Christian lives, most of us don't do the waiting thing very well. We want answers NOW. We want God to move NOW. We want a change in our situation, yesterday! No, we just don't like this whole waiting thing. I'm not just talking about you, the reader... no, I'm talking directly to myself today. I don't like to wait! I'm better than I used to be, but I have to confess, this is one of my weak areas. It's hard for me to wait on God's timing. I don't understand the delays or the twists and turns in the road. I mean, if I were God, "POOF!" it would be done! But God generally does not operate that way. Instead, he lets things unfold... and I am convinced that a part of this plan of his is to teach us to wait, trust and obey. Obeying is waiting and not rushing on ahead of God.

In Ephesians the sixth chapter, Paul writes, " Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, where with you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy."
Note those words I put in red, "and having done all, to stand."
Paul is saying a couple of important things here.
1) There are some things we are to do, and a large part of this is described here by saying "put on the whole armor of God." In other words, "do the preparations."  We are to study, pray, and ready ourselves for the next battle. God did not call us to sit around being lazy until such a time as he might need us. Quite the contrary, as with a good soldier, there should be training, preparation and readiness on our part. Put on the whole armor and stand. While it does not say these words, I like to add, "at attention."  We are to be dressed to kill and ready to go.

2) The second thing is that standing. It means don't start until you have your marching orders! Could you imagine a military unit that was put through boot camp and advanced training, and then set out to their own devices without marching orders  or direction? Chaos would ensue! You'd have guys charged up, ready for battle running every which way, possibly killing the wrong people. In my mind I see a bunch of football players, all in uniform, standing on the sidelines while the announcements are being made. They are screaming, slamming one another, headbutting each other.... ready to go into battle... and they are so amped up at this point that they really don't "hear" anything the announcer is saying. They are ready to run out and hit someone, and that is all that is on their mind. Many times when guys are charged up like this, when the game starts, it begins with several penalties because someone jumps off sides or hits someone illegally, and many times, injuries ensue. They are just too energized.
That's the way a lot of Christians are. They are so excited and raring to go that they run out ahead of God, (jump off sides) and often times mess up God's game plan. This is why Paul says, to prepare ourselves, be ready on a seconds notice... but having now readied yourself... STAND.

It's one of the hardest things in life when you KNOW in your spirit what God is saying... you are amped up and raring to go... but you have to stand... ready and waiting until the marching orders come. But if you charge on ahead, you might mess up the whole game plan. And if you start in on something else, you might not be ready when the call comes... so you ready yourself... you stand... and wait.

Oh... but waiting is hard.

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