Monday, April 26, 2010

For those in a Waiting Season

I was reading and wanted to share the insights I gained.

When i was in the team building process for New Zealand, a friend wrote this on a paper and gave it to me. I have held on to this and it is pretty much the condensed version of the following book insert:

"Brent, you have heard God speak to you of Joshua 1, but before Joshua conquered the land he was known as a man who tarried long in the Lord’s presence (The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent Exodus 33:11). In the same manner, you must know this tarrying to know the conquering. 11/26/07 Brian Holda"

Others "...would describe their current place of service as an intermediate point in the career journey. It may be a stop that is fulfilling or long-lasting, but it is definitely not the destination of their dreams…

Psalm 37 is a special text for this season of waiting. It seems written just for second chairs who are struggling with the contentment-dreaming paradox. The first nine verses (particularly three through seven) are profound in their description of waiting on God: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:3-7).

God has an important part in the waiting process and so do we. These parts go hand-in-hand. Our responsibility is to trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land, enjoy safe pasture (or cultivate faithfulness, as in the New American Standard), delight in the Lord, commit our way to the Lord, trust in Him, be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.

In a season of waiting, we have a lot to do! We are responsible to trust in Him and do good at every opportunity. In doing this, we can cultivate faithfulness wherever he has placed us. As we worship God, we are to commit our lives and ways to Him. These responsibilities are great reminders of how we should be living in faith if we truly trust God in our season of waiting on Him.

It appears that Joseph did exactly these things during his seasons of waiting. He believed God was ahead of him, working things out for His bigger, unseen purposes. Joseph chose to make the best of each situation, so he cultivated faithfulness everywhere he went. The Scripture shows that God was with Joseph, and we see that Joseph honored God with his actions, displaying his commitment and trust in the Lord.

It is easy to see our responsibility in this passage, but do we see the good part- God’s part? Do we see God’s response to our responsibility? Psalm 37:4 and 6 promise that god will give us the desires of our heart, make our righteousness shine like the dawn, and make the justice of our cause like the noonday sun.

Do we need to say anymore about God’s response in our seasons of waiting on Him? No matter how hard we try, manipulate, or jockey for position, we can never capture the desires of our heart or make the justice of our cause shine like the noonday sun. Simply stated, there are great advantages in choosing contentment and waiting on God. He will do what we cannot do, even in our greatest strength and effort. We are responsible for the waiting, trusting, and dwelling. He is responsible for the outcome…

We all go through seasons of waiting…Even if we are not waiting for God to move us somewhere else, we may have to wait for an organization that does not change quickly enough. How we respond while waiting tells us (and those around us) much about our faith. Two competing forces pull at us during these seasons: the pace of society and the grace of God.

The pace of society tells us we should always be on the lookout for the next opportunity, never staying in one place too long… the cruelest part of the clash between society’s pace and a season of waiting is the false hope that is often created… thankfully, God’s grace seeks to offset and overcome our impatience. In the challenging seasons of waiting, we have a unique opportunity to experience the grace of God at a whole new level… You might feel overwhelmed by your present circumstances. You feel you could abandon it all- your ministry, your faith, your church family, everything! You do not understand why you are in this prison experience or what you did to deserve it… Robin Smith, who has endured some difficult seasons of waiting, says he has often prayed, “God, I am asking today for the ability to cast all my cares on You.” (Leading From the Second Chair by Mike Bonem & Roger Patterson, 128-130)

2 comments:

Amber Janelle Livermore said...

Brent,

Did you have me in mind when you wrote this? The Lord did at least. :) Thank you for the Scriptural reflection on the waiting season. I needed to read it. :)

-Amber

Lynne Payne said...

Thanks for this Brent! It was great, and blessed me!