Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Wait Training Room (Part 1)

“I waited patiently on the Lord, and He heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1).

I’ve been in my share of waiting rooms, and things never go according to schedule. Even when you arrive 20 minutes early, somehow the schedule is always off by at least thirty minutes – so you spend almost an hour before any thing happens.

There are assorted magazines and newspapers for the adults, and a smattering of gadgets for the kids to play with; and the receptionist stays intentionally occupied with stuff on her desk; only flashing an occasional smile of reassurance so everyone will know that everything is actually moving along quite nicely.

That’s all well and good – unless you are “crying.”

Waiting is never easy, but it is especially difficult when you are crying. And that is exactly the predicament we find the Psalmist in. If we read only the first line we might assume that he is sitting quietly, composed almost in a saintly glow, waiting for the Lord to act.

But that’s not the case at all. He tells us flat out -- “and He heard my cry.” This word cry in the Hebrew depicts an individual in bondage, crying aloud for reprieve and freedom. This is a desperate man ensnared in a situation from which he could not extricate himself. All he could do was wait....and cry out to God.

No, waiting is not easy; but often that is what we must do if we would experience the Lord's greater works.

I think of Mary and Martha sending word to Jesus, asking Him to come tend to their ailing brother Lazarus. And what was His reply? He tarried two days longer, during which time Lazarus died. I can only imagine the heightened sense of anxiety and hurt that Mary and Martha must’ve felt.

However, when Jesus did arrive -- He raised Lazarus from the dead! Well, there you go. I'm sure nobody saw that one coming!

Sometimes God delays longer than we think He should, in order to give us a far greater blessing.

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