Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Passion is part of waiting

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.  They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!  I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.  It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.  It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.  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 3:22-33 MSG)

The merciful love of God - his loyal love - new every morning! Beyond the mundane of my today is the awesomeness of God's love! Our writer is feeling pretty beat up by life - he is in a low place. If you took the time to read the couple of chapters just before this, you'd see that he has been through some pretty ugly stuff and his walls seem to be coming in around him. Life has been a challenge and he is barely keeping up! Yet, in the midst of it all, he has made a determination of heart that keeps him steady. That determination? He is sticking with God no matter what comes! In the midst of the toughest stuff we face in life it is not uncommon to feel like all we have left is God and nothing else. The writer goes on to say, "God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks." What a hope for each of us when God becomes ALL we have left! Most of the time we think of 'all we have left' as the dregs of life, but when our ALL if God, there are no dregs coming our way!

Please indulge me just a moment here while I explore the meaning of "passionately" and "waits" with you today. I don't know about you, but I don't really connect waiting with being passionate! In fact, I find the two ideas just a little bit at the opposite ends of the pole.  If I am passionate about something, I usually am pretty much driven by that passion - it energizes me, pulling me forward, and I am "active" in some respect in that passion. Waiting implies that I am not moving forward, perhaps not even very energized about the whole thing - I am standing still - or so some may think. So, why does this writer connect the two? Let's look.

Passionately carries the idea of being affected by something so deeply that there is an expression of intensity within - kind of like an enthusiasm that moves you forward. It also has a way of revealing us as capable of being acted upon by some external agent or force - not dead to what once moved us deeply and that 'force' is free to move us deeply once again. To be moved in such a way that you exude fervor or zeal - intense emotion that compels you to act and not be immobile - this is passion. Most of my 'waiting' doesn't actually seem to come with this type of intensity, though. The idea that comes to mind when I think of passion is something like a current - maybe it is hidden below the surface, but it has an intensity that carves out the course of the river and keeps the waters fresh and new each and every day! Waiting implies that we are staying in one place, but it doesn't have to mean we are getting stagnant! We stay in place in expectation of something, with a readiness to receive or respond. Now, do you see why the writer connects the two?

Think of it this way - we are having our passions ignited by a holy and passionate God in order to be ready to respond to the moves he makes within our life! Even in the waiting, there needs to be the compelling of our heart to earnestly seek with a passion that comes from deep within. To this end, the writer adds that we need to be diligent seekers. Steady, earnest, and energetic in our pursuit of God's best in our lives - not the mediocre, but the best. Someone who seeks is one who makes every attempt to discover, to ask for or request in such a way that nothing else will satisfy until what is hidden is discovered completely. That is the absolute culmination of passionate waiting! As we realize there is actually a passion in our waiting, we might embrace our waiting just a little bit differently. Just sayin!