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Friday, June 25, 2010

Waiting for hope to appear

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions.  Wait for hope to appear.  Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return.  If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.  He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way.  (Lamentations 3:28-33)

 
We continue today in the not too well read book of Lamentations.  Yesterday, we left our discussion of this chapter with the understanding that we are to exhibit an expectant hope in our waiting.  That hope leads us to action - and that direction is determined by God himself.  If we are pursuing correctly, we are directed correctly.  It is a guarantee.  Now, the writer explores the times in life when things are dealt us that seem heavy and hard to take - not like those times ever come up for a Christian, right?  I have lived long enough not to know that if you are not in the today, just wait - they are right around the corner!
 
The attitude exhibited by our writer when these heavy and hard to take times come is to run to God - spend some time by yourself with your heavenly Father.  There is benefit in taking time for God to bring clarity to the circumstances of life.  In those times, he is able to show us where and how to move.  We tend to want to over-think the situation, don't we.  We allow all the possibilities, all the challenges, all the seeming impossibilities to rattle around in our thoughts for a long time sometime before we finally escape to that quiet place and allow God to bring clarity.  We want to "over-think", but God wants us to "over-turn" our worrisome thoughts, our fears, and our dread about the situation - he wants us to enter into rest.  That is only possible when we have learned the value of patient, expectant, passionate waiting.  Seeking is a process - we may seem to be inactive, but when it is a waiting filled with passion, it is not inactive at all.
 
The writer goes on in this same chapter to say that we need to take a good look at our lives - the way we are living - and then we need to "reorder" our lives under God.  Okay, good thought, you might say, but how do we really do this?  We often need time to look at the way we are living and then the reordering process can begin.  It is often not until we have an understanding of "how" we are living that we see "who" we need to be living for.  In the "examining" times of our life, we can be reordered by the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the gentle pull of a loving God.  We just need to be available to be reordered!  It is frustrating to me to go online, look for a product, and then find it is on back-order or no longer orderable.  I just want to say to the website owners, "Then why do you represent that you have the goods if you aren't capable of producing what you advertise?"  God often looks over our lives in hopes of finding that we will be produce what is being advertised - we say we trust, but do we really exhibit that trust?  So, when we spend time allowing God to settle us down, we learn the ways of a trusting heart.
 
What God does in the silence of the waiting cannot be replaced by any other advice we can receive.  Here are some closing thoughts for the day:
  • Enter in silence - silence born of sorrow, silence born of fear
  • Bow in prayer - in reverence and awe
  • Don't spend a lot of time asking questions - get them out there quickly, then listen attentively, be present in the moment
  • Wait for hope to appear - expectant in your pursuit, hopeful in your waiting
God stirs hope within - it is his calling that stirs us.  Our response to the call determines the outcome of the waiting.  Remember, even in waiting God is calling.  Even in trouble, God is providing and directing.  Even in silence, God is speaking.  Are we listening intently?  Or are we too busy asking questions to see the answers that stand right in front of us?  Let's learn to be passionate in our waiting and "reorderable" in our walk.