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Thursday, February 16, 2017

It is ALL a waiting game

Joyce Meyers speaks of patience as the "behavior" we exhibit while waiting: "Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it's how we behave while we are waiting." Many of us feel waiting involves us just doing nothing - being kind of "stagnant" for a period of time until whatever it is we are waiting for happens. It is really quite different, though, for waiting involves movement, just not ahead of schedule or in a direction of our own making. According to Webster, patience means we bear pains and trials calmly and without complaint, but it also means we don't act hastily or rashly. If you think about that one for a moment, you will begin to realize "bearing" suggests action - we don't act when we sometimes think we might have a "solution" to the problem at hand, but trust in the one who will bring the right solution in the right time. It means we remain steadfast - not easily swayed or affected by the circumstances.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT)

In the scheme of things, our present troubles are pretty small in comparison to the vastness of this universe that God holds together by the simple command of his voice. We seldom realize that in the midst of trouble, for our focus is easily directed to the impact of the trouble upon our lives rather than keeping our focus on the one who holds all things together, orchestrating all things for our good. As Meyers suggested, how we "behave" in the midst of trial or trouble is an important factor to be considered. We aren't just idle - we are trusting (an action); focused (an action); hopeful (an action); and obedient (the toughest action of all).


To be "immovable" doesn't just mean we are "steadfast", it means we know where it is we have our footing and that helps when it comes to our first action - trusting. Our ability to stand firm is really subject to what or who it is we are trusting in when the troubles seem to want to dissuade us from that peaceful trust God wants us to have when our trust is placed in him. If we are trusting in our own ability to "figure out a solution", we might just find ourselves "rationalizing" a whole lot and placing our trust in what it is we can "put together". While I honestly believe there is a place for us to act upon what we know is consistent with good judgment - such as getting our resume out to employers when we are seeking a new job - it isn't up to us to "figure it all out" on our own. God does expect us to act upon what is good judgment - but he also wants us to be certain we aren't just depending upon our own efforts, but are reliant upon the wisdom he gives, listening intently to the things he tells us - this is where obedience plays an important factor in the mix of things.

The "behavior" we exhibit in the waiting times often reveals much about where our trust is placed, how obedient we really are to the things God reveals to us, and where it is we are focused. Focus on the issues at hand and you will be overcome with doubt, worry, and all manner of anxiety-ridden side-effects of the issues. Focus on Christ and you will begin to sense peaceful anticipation even in the midst of what looks like "hopeless" circumstances in the eyes of those who don't have that same focus. There is a plethora of counsel offered in the midst of trouble - from all kinds of sources. Not all of this counsel will be able to see things through the eyes of Christ, though. Listen to those who won't encourage you to lose focus, act rashly, or intentionally place trust in anything other than Jesus. These are the wise counselors God places in your life for such times as these when you are tempted to lose focus, drift into doubt, or get ahead of the plans God has. These counselors will advise you to stay grounded, act upon what you know to be good judgment, and then wait committed to the trust that God has already prepared the outcome. Behave as a wise and trusting child of God and see the tremendous things he will do on your behalf! Just sayin!