15 February, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Waiting – Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
This week we will be reflecting on characteristics that relate to patience. Our patience is tested while we wait. It might be as simple as waiting for your kettle to boil, or much more significant like waiting for your child to be born or your career to be completed. Usually we wait because there is circumstances beyond our control that need to begin, end or change before our wait is over. While we wait we distract ourselves with non-urgent activities so that the wait doesn’t seem so long. When we go for car trips, we try to sleep so it seems shorter. When the kettle is boiling, we busy ourselves with cleaning the counter or buttering the toast. But, there’s some value to learn to just wait and recognise the limit to your control. That should then bring to mind, that God is in control and he has his own sense of timing. That conscious thought might ward off the anxiety of waiting and allow your wait to be one of anticipation of what God might do.
Jesus did his fair share of waiting. I’m sure you have mused over why he needed to wait until he was thirty years old before he started his public ministry. You have to wonder why he waited for three days to go and raise Lazarus from the dead. Or, while we are thinking about being dead, why was it significant that he was raised on the third day? Wouldn’t half way through day 2 still be a miraculous event? We understand, or at least assume, that God had his reason for the wait. There were cultural norms that needed to be met for the Jewish people to believe someone was dead. I imagine that there were hearts that needed to be shaped, disciples that needed some rest, and the impact of his death needed to sink in to the hoards that screamed for him to be crucified; all these would be good reasons for the delay. Jesus waited because his Father wanted him to do so and he always submitted to the Father’s control and timing.
In the course of any one day, we wait often. We wait in traffic; we wait for the workday to end. How’s that waiting going? Do you catch yourself intentionally finding things to do so you are not anxious, not impatient? Give a thought about something that you are waiting for today, or you will be waiting for this week. Enter into the delay and try and settle yourself to just wait. Your mind will wander; your emotions might build, but allow yourself to enter into the thought that God is doing something while you wait. With that in mind, whisper a quiet prayer “Lord I wait for you”. You might find you enjoy the thought that as you wait, God is at work. That thought might make waiting a positive change in your life.