Wait on the Lord!-A A +A
Friday, May 23, 2014
WE LIVE in a world that is obsessed with everything fast. Fast food, fast service, and fast cars. We admire quick thinking, quick action and quick rise to power. Not that they are essentially wrong. But, too much focus on them seems to undermine the value of patience.
Who enjoys waiting in a long line, whether to pay for one’s bills, to see a doctor, or to check out of a grocery counter? I have heard of people losing their heads over a simple traffic altercation, triggered by a long wait for the vehicles to move on.
I understand how this kind of waiting can cause frustration. The longer the wait, the greater the frustration; and this can be dangerous. If we are not careful, this “frustrated waiting” may cause us hurried and wrong decisions.
But, if we look closely at these given incidents, they are actually opportunities to grow. When we learn how to wait, we can grow in patience and humility. We can grow in strength of heart and character. How then, do we wait?
C. Gene Wilkes in his book entitled “Jesus - On Leadership” wrote about the two kinds of waiting that produces patience and humility.
The first kind is “quiet waiting” through reflection and prayer. Wilkes describes this waiting as a “calculated pause to listen and learn.” It is like “sitting on a porch at the end of the day, reflecting on the day’s events.” We can spend time reflecting by looking/thinking back, reading through our journals, getting feedback from people we regard highly. When we do this, we learn (both from what we did right, or wrong), and thus, we grow. The past can be a good teacher if we know how to listen. Aside from reflecting, praying is another way to wait quietly. When we pray, we communicate with God. In the gospels we will read that throughout Jesus’ life, He consistently waited quietly on God for His direction, through constant prayer and reflection.
The second kind of waiting is called “expectant waiting”. Wilkes wrote, “Expectant waiting is like sitting in a restaurant waiting for a friend who said he would join you for breakfast.” Because you trust in your friend’s word, you wait expectantly for him to keep his promise and join you. “Spiritually, expectant waiting is trusting God’s Word, knowing that He is up to something. You wait and expect something to happen, based upon His Word.” When we learn how to wait expectantly, no matter what the situation it is that we are facing at the moment, we are still filled with hope that He, who gave His Word and promise, will fulfill it. We focus on the promise and not on any problem that we may be facing.
Jesus Christ showed us with His life how to wait. Because He trusted completely in His Father’s Word and will, He was never frustrated. Armed with the knowledge of His mission, He waited on the Lord, quietly and expectantly, unto death, and His resurrection vindicated Him. I believe that the same manner of waiting is what God asks of us.
My Dearest Readers,
In the early stage of my married life, raising 4 highly energetic children was often times difficult, demanding and draining. I used to always pray for the gift of patience.
I like to believe that I have grown and improved since those days. Hopefully, my husband and children will agree.
Looking back, I realize that there are a number of things that helped me, and are still helping me develop patience.
Being a very busy businessman, my husband Michael is always held up somewhere, that he doesn’t notice the time. This is why, among our family and friends, he earned the moniker, the “late Michael del Rosario”. Somehow, I had to cope with the “waiting”, and in the past many years, learned to patiently wait. I learned to stop complaining, and instead spend my waiting time quietly, in prayer or in reflection, by reading a book, writing in my journal, or doing my artworks.
Being a parent is never an easy task. There are many trials that we face. These trials can bring out the worst or the best in us. There were periods in the past when I was in a hurry to see our children grow. Oh how time flies! I miss those times when I could just easily snuggle with anyone of them. I wish I consciously and deliberately enjoyed more of those moments. Indeed, quietly reflecting on those instances now is a great way to learn new insights. It is often in hindsight, when we see things more clearly.
To those of you with young children, enjoy every moment, even the most challenging ones. Savor your times together. Avoid complaining and getting angry. Be loving. Be patient. Create more happy memories.
So, the promotion you have been expecting has not taken place? The salary increase is taking forever? Your one true love has not manifested himself? My friends, now is the time to wait on the Lord, quietly and expectantly.
It took a while, but I have slowly learned that if I just trust in God, “He makes everything beautiful in His time.” I have learned to accept that my concept of time is not always in synch with God’s time. So, to make it easier on myself, I just simply believe that God is never early or late. His timing is perfect. So, I can rest easy and be patient, and wait on the Lord, to make everything work together unto good.
Now, I seldom wait frustratingly for anything or anyone. I don't mind waiting in the car for Mike as he does his rounds in the stores. It means more time for me to doodle art or read a book. Heavy traffic? More time to reflect or to pray. Two hours before our turn with the doctor? More time to write on my journal, or even to talk to the other waiting patients.
I still have many seemingly unanswered prayers. Healing for a sick loved one. Petitions for each of my children. Dreams unfulfilled.
In spite of these, I have peace and joy because I have learned to keep the hope alive in my heart. I live with an expectant faith that our God, who is the God of hope, will bring to pass all the things He has promised.
In order for us to be able “to wait on the Lord”, quietly and expectantly, we need to have complete trust in Him and His promises. To trust Him, we need to know Him more. We can know Him more by reading His Words, especially His promises in the bible. Our waiting need not be a passive one. We need to be “on alert mode”, ready to spring into action when God’s perfect time comes.
You and I are a work in process and in progress. We will continue to falter and fall. Let’s be patient with ourselves. Realize and be comforted with the fact that God is not finished with us yet. Yes, we can be patient!
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 24, 2014.