Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Waiting Room

Originally written on June 21, 2011, this study and reflection inspired the song "With the Lord," written about a year ago and shared with you today.

I hate waiting.

If you know me, you probably know this fact about me.  I don't like the feeling that precious minutes are passing by, and we are just stuck until something comes.  I don't like factors outside my little realm of control dictating how I spend my time.  But more than the waiting, I hate the letdown of waiting for something that doesn't work out.  All the energy that went into that week or month or year seems to collapse right on top of me.  

I feel like that has been my life the last few years.  I've shared that we have been wanting a baby for some time, so you could probably guess that my life is lived in months.  A new month comes, a new opportunity, a new waiting game, and, as it has proven so far at least, a new disappointment.  

This whole routine gets me very restless and anxious.  I try to keep busy because that at least gives myself the impression that life is fine, but the truth is, distractions don't last very long.  At the end of the day, I still have to deal with the fact that things are absolutely out of my control.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Scripture tells us to "wait on the Lord."  Waiting goes against our human desire to control things.  When we are forced to wait on someone, we are no longer in charge; we are at the mercy of someone else.  Thankfully, we are able to wait on the Lord knowing He is good and kind and merciful.  There is hope involved in our waiting because we have a gracious and loving Father, and we know He will respond.  Nevertheless, it is still hard, which is probably why it is so good for us.  Waiting is what the Great Physician often prescribes to build our character and grow our faithfulness--but this medicine is hard for me to swallow!

As I was looking up Scriptures about waiting, I came across this little study.  It's quite lengthy, but I wanted to share some of the points.  You can read the whole text here if you'd like.  No doubt, I am not the only one playing the waiting game these days.

Waiting on the Lord
Study by J. Hampton Keathley, III

What is involved in waiting on the Lord?
1.  Waiting means confident expectation, so waiting and hoping go together.
2.  Waiting involves an expectation based on knowledge and trust - our ability to wait on God is connected to our confidence in who God is and what God has done!
3.  Waiting involves seeking the Lord, spending time in His Word, in prayer, and in meditation.
4.  Waiting involves resting in God's timing, acting when He is calling us to act and resting when He is calling us to rest.

Why should we wait on the Lord?
1.  Because of who God is and what He is able to do - again, we need knowledge of God through experience and Scripture
2.  Because of who we are and what we are not able to do - we need to have a right view of ourselves and our weakness

What benefits are there to waiting?
1.  Waiting strengthens and enables us.
2.  Waiting strengthens and builds character.
3.  Waiting lifts us out of despair and causes praise to God.
4.  Waiting encourages others and gives greater ability to witness.

I am looking forward to printing out the study and spending some time with it, but the truth is I always know that when I feel restless and anxious, God is calling me to Him.  No distraction on this earth can fix my heart when it's broken.  Only God can lessen my disappointment and ease my pain.  Only He can give me the strength to wait -- to wait with expectancy and hope and love.  Strangely enough, it brings me comfort to know that God wants us to wait.  It brings purpose to this trial in my life, when I am tempted to think it is all for nothing.  There is no trial, no struggle, no pain that God cannot and will not use for His glory.  Praise Him!

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice.  Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word, I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.  
Psalm 130:1-2, 4-6

1 comment:

  1. 1) I don't know why I am not getting updates for this blog on my dashboard. 2) I saw the new post on the Fresh Nest feed and went to it. Anna sees the song on the post underneath -how she knows that bar means music, I have no idea. 3) She wants to hear you sing and loves it. As the music plays, Nicholas interest is caught and slowly makes his way over to the computer to check it out. He likes it too. So cute. 4) I forgot to mention it isn't just this psalm we read during lent, it is all of the psalms of ascent chanted at every pre-sanctified liturgy during lent.