>What is "Waiting for God"?

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G. Campbell Morgan offers a tremendous definition of what it means to “wait on God”…and I, for one, find this discipline of “waiting” to be a most difficult part of following after Jesus…I’d rather do just about anything than, ah, “wait…”

“Waiting for God means…readiness for any command; that sense of
perpetual suspense which listens for the word in order that it may be
immediately obeyed. Those who wait for God are pilgrim souls that have
no tie that will hold them when the definite command is issued; no
prejudices that will paralyse their effort when in some strange coming
of the light they are commanded to take a pathway entirely different to
that which was theirs before; having no interests either temporal or
eternal, either material or mental or spiritual, that will conflict with
the will of God when that will is made known.”

>Tears Are Held

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There hath not one tear dropped from thy tender eye against thy lusts, the love of this world, or for more communion with Jesus Christ, but as it is now in the bottle of God; so then it shall bring forth such plenty of reward, that it shall return upon thee with abundance of increase. “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21)

John Bunyan

>The Good of Suffering

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Suffering is relative…the Hager family has had a rough year, but it pales in comparison to so many others…but, it is sort of like puppy-love – it is real to the puppies!

Here’s a great insight into suffering:

“Suffering helps us look for our Savior. If we never have any trouble along the journey, we would never have any reason to long for Heaven. Like the Israelites, we need the house of bondage to help drive us to the Promised Land.”

– Philip Graham Ryken, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2005), 37.

>Waiting Wisdom

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I type this in a motel located in Pontiac, Illinois. In a little while we will journey to our new house-to-make-a-home! Our NY lawyer says, prayerfully, the sale of our NY house will “close” today. We have early entry into our new place tonight; and the truck will arrive Saturday afternoon.

Just a reminder…it was 13 months ago that I announced my coming resignation from Family Life (NY) to assume a position with Midland Ministries (MO). That resignation became official June 30; but our house simply didn’t sell…until the buyer showed up in September…

So we know some stuff about waiting. We also know that the Lord God reigns omnipotent…His timing is perfect, and we were privileged to see His fingerprints all over what appeared to us to be “delay.”

We are so thrilled to finally be relocating.

It was a long wait!

Speaking of waiting, read these wise words:

“He came back.

After that brutal Friday, and that long, quiet Saturday, he came back.

And that one intake of breath in the tomb changes everything. It changes the very reason I drew breath today and the way I move about in this world because I believe he’s coming back again. The world has gone on for more than two millennia since Jesus’ feet tread the earth he made. What would they have said back then if someone had told them that some two thousand years later we’d still be waiting? They would’ve thought back to that long Saturday and said, ‘Two thousand years will seem like a breath to you when you finally lay your crown at his feet. We don’t even remember what we were doing on that Saturday, but let me tell you about Sunday morning. Now that was something.’

These many years of waiting will only be a sentence in the story. This long day will come to an end, and I believe it will end in glory, when we will shine like suns and stride the green hills with those we love and the One who loves. We will look with our new eyes and speak with our new tongues and turn to each other and say, ‘Do you remember the waiting? The long years, the bitter pain, the gnawing doubt, the relentless ache?’ And like Mary at the tomb, we will say: ‘I remember only the light, and the voice calling my name, and the overwhelming joy that the waiting was finally over.’

The stone will be rolled away for each of us. May we wait with faithful hearts.”

—Andrew Peterson, CD liner notes for Resurrection Letters Volume II (Centricity Music: 2008)

>Waiting…waiting…waiting

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We’ve had our house on the market for over six months…no bites, no offers, lots of lookers.

Do we get frustrated? Yeah. Is it tough? Sort of, especially for Jane and the two youngest; trying to keep the house “presentable.”

In our hearts, we know the Lord has a timing and a plan (and a buyer!). We don’t know the “whys” and may never know. But we do know the Lord is on the throne; that He has called us to Midland Ministries (where I am already on staff, though working out of my NY house) in Missouri…and that He will relocate us according to His will…

On a bike ride I pulled over and journaled the following ideas using the word “waiting.”

Waiting is a test…but it is not a “test” of God’s goodness, grace, or power; it is a test for us…will we keep our eyes on Him? Will we trust? Will we redeem the time? Obviously God knows how we’ll do on the “test”; so the time of testing is, again, for us…we learn, we grow, and we will look back with smiles…

A testimony of grace, strength and patience. Currently the testimony is “current events,” soon it will be “history” (His story?) that will remain Christ-honoring…

I don’t “get it.” Again, don’t know the “whys,” don’t understand the delay, have a few ideas and hints; but the bottom line is God is God, I’m not…

This too shall pass. Yes, it may be a “valley” of sorts, but the psalmist reminds us that we pass through the valley.

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n everything give thanks. Not for everything, but in everything give thanks…Why? For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Never take eyes off Jesus, for He is the author, perfector, and pioneer of our faith. Don’t focus on the economy, the housing market, the other houses for sale (or the ones with “sold” signs on them), but focus on Jesus.

G
od is good, all the time!

>Waiting and Learning and Waiting Some More

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As we anticipate while we await the buyer of our house to show up, there are times of gritting teeth and wondering “why” and/or “when”. “Our times are in His hands,” and I am confident the Lord has a plan…but waiting is hard.

My boss dropped some stuff on my desk today asking me to look it over. Lots of material, but I think it providential that one of the writings is titled “A Time to Wait. It is written by Rev. David Hammerle of New Day, Inc.

Here is part of what I read:

The fact is that the waiting period is the most difficult time of any dream. We are a people who are so bound by time limitations that we want things to happen yesterday. However, the waiting period is where changes take place in us. It is during this time that our faith is defined and brought to maturity.

Maturity in the natural world is marked by a growth toward independence. This is not so in the realm of faith development. The mature faith is the faith that becomes more dependent. The waiting period causes us to realize how little control we have of the circumstances surrounding our life. It is here that we learn to abandon our need to control everything around us and surrender to God’s infinite wisdom and divine control. During the waiting period we learn the value of the prayer that Christ taught and lived – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The waiting period also affords time to develop a different view of things. Paul prayed three times for God to remove what he calls a “thorn in the flesh.” God’s answer to his request would bring about a change in Paul rather than a change in his circumstance. Consider the text of 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “And He said unto Me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God would rather teach Paul the value of trials for the purpose of bringing spiritual growth than to remove obstacles from his pathway. The teaching would need time to work. The work of the Holy Spirit often centers more on changing lives than on changing things…

Failure to see what God is doing during the waiting period does not mean that He is doing nothing. Your faithful service can sharpen your vision and enable you to see the workings of God in the midst of your difficulties more clearly than when simply biding your time while waiting for God to make a change in your circumstance.

Good stuff sent by God to kick me in the rear and get my thumb out of my mouth!