April 18

“And he shall bring it to pass.” Ps. 37:5

I once thought that after I prayed that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise, and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle into our own hands is often tremendous.

We all know how impossible it is to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not, but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working. (Streams in the Desert)

I customarily arrive early for appointments to avoid the risk of being late and to survey the lay of the land, so-to-speak. This occasion was no exception. A would-be guest had agreed to meet at a local coffee shop on a certain day and at a specific time; in fact, he chose the time and place. I stood just inside the doorway so that I wouldn’t miss him, checking my reflection in the window, and watching everyone in the world go by except the individual I was to meet. Our appointed time came and went, but still I waited. By the time he was fifteen minutes late I was restless and began pacing back and forth in front of the large windows facing the parking lot. My agitation must have been obvious because the manager walked over twice to ask if I needed something to drink or a place to sit until my guest arrived. I thanked him, declined the offer and continued to fret. Following two failed attempts to reach him by phone, I returned to my vehicle and exited the parking lot an hour later than I had arrived—frustrated and fuming.

There is a seismic difference between waiting for someone and waiting with someone. Waiting for someone breeds passive restlessness—agitation void of benefit. Waiting with someone encourages deepening intimacy and holds potential for myriad of creative and delightful engagement. You and I are never told to wait on God; on the contrary, life is full of opportunity to wait with Him. Waiting with God as we look to see Him act on our behalf is an invitation and opportunity to edge closer to the Creator and the purpose for which we were created. “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Catechism). If you find yourself aggravated at God for any reason, check your heart. Most likely you are missing the point of waiting altogether.

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