Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wait for the Lord -- Be Strong

Psalm 27:13-14 says, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

I don't know about you, but the idea of waiting conjures up all sorts of images in my mind that I do not find peace and joy in. Waiting in line at the grocery store, stuck in a traffic jam, waiting for an important phone call, and waiting for my food in a drive through. Waiting seems like an inconvenience, a nuisance, a waste of time. We are checking our watches, checking the mail, sizing up the shortest line, or trying to calculate the shortest distance from where we are to where we want to go, because we do not want to have to wait!

As I reflect on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I am struck with the waiting the Jesus must have endured. Knowing what was to happen, he patiently waited through being glorified by the crowds as he entered Jerusalem, knowing that ridicule and betrayal were in hot pursuit and would be on His back within days. He endured betrayal, deception, mistreatment and abandonment. Jesus had the power and the authority to come down off of the cross, throw His arms up in air and say "Enough with you people!" But He did not. He, in strength and confidence, stayed there and died an excruciating death.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, while His beloved disciples slept, He prayed to Abba Father. He acknowledged that everything is possible for God, and then said, "Yet not what I will, but what you will" (Mark 14:32-36). Jesus waited and endured because He knew the Father's will and was willing to trust Him. He waited and endured because He loved you and me.

Waiting feels passive. It feels like, "Surely we should be doing something!" We want to take a short cut, perhaps get off at an earlier exit and weave our way home a different way, just to avoid the waiting. We size up the situation and look for the shorter line. We just want to get on with our lives, not wait! It feels as if nothing is happening, and like I mentioned before, like we are wasting time.

But this is not truth. Waiting requires a great amount of strength, strength that is given to us by the Lord. Waiting on the Lord is an active process of relying on the Lord and knowing Who He is. We are to know not just who He is, but we can know Him deeply and intimately and with that comes an assurance of Whom we can depend on and rely upon.

There is something in me, and perhaps in you, too dear reader, that says "Hurry up! Make a decision! Do something! You are wasting time!" But we are called not to rush ahead of God, but to wait on Him. We are to seek His Will and wait patiently.

Lamentations 3:25-26 encourages us that, "The Lord is good to those who trust in Him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait patiently for deliverance from the Lord." (NET) As we wait for the Lord, we can be assured that He will answer, and He IS answering. We can be confident that even right now, in the waiting, He is at work in our hearts and in our situation. We will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

So let us slow down, take a deep breath, grab hold of God's heart and be strong. Think upon our Lord Jesus today and what He endured as He waited and remember that He really does love you very much.

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