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Friday, July 21, 2006

"Waiting on the Lord"

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:14). "My times are in your hands" (Psalm 31:15a).

I have a friend who is dealing with cancer. She is trusting the Lord for her healing, but is finding the "wait" period extremely difficult. I know so many of you can identify and undoubtedly some of you are in the midst of a very hard "wait" period as you read this message.

A young lady in our Wednesday Bible Study gave an interesting illustration about "waiting." She told us that she had recently placed separate orders for two items.  She was able to track one item online and could find out exactly where it was in the process of arriving at her front door.  She found reassurance and growing excitement as she was tracking her package and knew exactly where it was and when it was going to arrive.

The other order had also been sent and will undoubtedly arrive, but the whereabouts and specific time of delivery is unknown.  In so many experiences of life we are waiting for God's promise to be fulfilled but we're uncertain of the timing in the process.   Although the reality of the promise is assured the timing and often the means by which God will bring about the promise is unspecific.

The daily Scriptures bring great assurance when appropriated. I want to especially encourage readers today who are in the midst of a wait.  Twice in one verse the Psalmist calls us to "wait for the Lord." I have a feeling waiting has always been hard.

In the second verse the Psalmist acknowledges, "My times are in your hands." We can each make that proclamation as well and can experience our Lord's unsurpassing peace when we place our times in His hands.

Consider the annoyance and impatience that can come when things don't work out as we had planned due to an unanticipated delay.  Oh, for the ability to really understand that our times are in His hands.  We all face unexpected delays that try our patience and bring on the anxiety jitters and sleepless nights.  But remember this truth today; when it's beyond our control, it is always within God's control!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, You made us to be time-sensitive creatures.  Our schedules are guided by hours, days, weeks, years, seasons and on and on it goes.  While most of our activity is decided by our prearranged schedules we don't usually allot waiting time, but You do.  You arranged it for the patriarchs of old and expect it of Your followers throughout the ages as we've often found ourselves waiting and waiting and waiting.  But it's not a waste of our precious time, for You tell us that we are strengthened in the wait, as we depend upon You to work out the details for our lives.  You've promised that if we wait upon You we will renew our strength and we will mount up with wings as eagles.  The Psalmist reminds us that we are safely covered under Your wings where we find refuge, as Your faithfulness is our shield and protection.   As we do so we're refreshed in our spirit and we find ourselves more patient as we wait upon You to accomplish Your intended plan for our lives.  We look to You and are sustained by Your Almighty Hand during the wait!  Amen.

Three songs on waiting:
A worshipful song I've never heard from an independent musician.
A very upbeat song concerning waiting
I will wait on You Lord   (short clip)

For many years I've had the following short perspective on my computer and have shared it in the past.  Today seems like another appropriate time to share it. It's written by Elizabeth Elliot, but I'm just not sure how I came across it to properly attribute it (so many of these nuggets now come in emails). She provides insight into one of the verses I use in today's encouragement:


Is there a harder discipline than that of waiting, especially when one's desires seem as wild and uncontrollable as a prairie fire.  Without real trust in who God is- trust in His never failing love and wisdom, we set ourselves up for disappointment.  Is He a good God?  Will He give what is best? 

If the answer is yes to both questions, it follows that He will withhold many things that look attractive to us.  It is His mercy to withhold them.  Shall we accuse Him of failure to get "His act" together, or shall we echo the psalmist word, "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."  (Psalm 27:13-14)

If we imagine that happiness is to be found by furious pursuit, we will end up in a rage at the unsatisfying results.  If, on the other hand, we set ourselves to pursue the wise and loving and holy will of our Heavenly Father, we will find that happiness comes - quietly, in unexpected ways, and surprisingly often, as the by-product of sacrifice.  Waiting is a form of suffering- the difficulty of self-restraint, the anguish of unfulfilled longing, the bewilderment of unanswered prayer, flesh and heart failing, soul-breaking.  These are indeed tribulations, and tribulation is the curriculum if we are to learn patience.  We want answers now, right now, but we are required at times to walk in darkness.

Nevertheless, God is in the darkness. "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5 KJV).  In Him alone lies our security, our confidence, our trust.

A spirit of restlessness, and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms will find strength and peace.
God is in the waiting.

- Elizabeth Elliot

Newborn titmouse (bird) at 6:00am 7/21/06
Newborn titmouse (bird) with unhatched egg (7/21/06 6:00AM)

Newborn titmouse (bird) at 8:00am 7/21/06
Newborn titmouse (birds) (7/21/06 8:00AM)

Note from Brooksyne:  The first fledgling in the photo was born yesterday afternoon.  The evidence was right at my feet when I walked into the back yard gate.  The egg shells which we assumed were robin's eggs were broken and my initial thought was "Oh, no.  More birds destroyed by predators."  Imagine my delightful surprise when I looked up and saw a little beak wide open making cute little noises.  The nest is less than 6' from the ground so I placed a stool next to it so I could see inside. 

I was excitedly showing a couple visitors who stopped by later in the afternoon.  As the friend hopped upon the stool she began oohing and aahing the newborn bird.  I told her it was a titmouse.  She shook her head and she was looking at the fledgling and said, "No, it's a bird."  I responded, "I know; it's a titmouse."  She turned around and looked right down at me and said matter of factly, "No, it's definitely a bird."  Only then did I realize she thought I was telling her that is was a newborn mouse.  When I gave her a fuller explanation we roared in laughter. 

This is the first titmouse nest that we've seen in our yard.  I really like the cute little birds and was proudly declaring that the titmice couple decided to make their home in our small back yard.  Of course, some of you may not see the humor in our little story since you probably didn't know there was a bird by the name of "titmouse" and the truth is I didn't know either until about three years ago.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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