Easter Sunday was a glorious day as we celebrated in unique fashion the resurrection of Christ. Someone well noted that our empty churches was a demonstrative reminder of the empty tomb! At the same time, Easter Sunday was a challenging day for all of us across the state as we waited for one line of severe weather after another to pass our way. Most of us were spared any serious damage, but that’s not true for all of us. Several of our churches in the southern part of the state were hit hard by severe tornadoes, and some of these churches were seriously damaged. Beyond that, most of these churches had multiple members who were affected by the disaster.
In light of this, I’m reminded that one of the most repeated directives in Scripture is the instruction to “wait on the Lord.” We’re guided in this direction dozens of times ranging from Genesis to Revelation. We’re encouraged to wait on God’s salvation, His deliverance, His promises, and His return. Generally speaking, the call to wait is issued during time of crisis when questions are plentiful and answers are rather sparse.
As a general rule, we don’t like to wait for things. One of the most dreaded places for most of us is a waiting room of any sort, whether it’s in a doctor’s office or at an auto repair shop. We get anxious at a red light if it seems to take a few seconds longer than normal (by the way, most of us have an internal clock calibrated to red lights). We grow frustrated when we’re made to wait for our food order longer than seems normal (same clock, different calibration), and no one I know ever gets in the longest checkout line at the store.
Sometimes, people will even play a little game they call the waiting game. It goes like this: I’m in control and will make you wait until you cave to my point of view. This game is played in the political arena, in the automobile showroom, and in struggling relationships almost every day. This, in part, cements in our minds the sinister nature of waiting.
During this season of pandemic and tornado disaster, God is calling all of us to wait on Him. His call to wait is designed to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Sometimes God’s waiting work is intended to be a test, as it was with Abraham. At other times His call to wait is a refiner’s fire intended to cull the compromise that sometimes interferes with our commitment to Him.
Whether God is testing or purifying your faith, be sure that He doesn’t play waiting games as some people do. In fact, there’s no game at all about God’s call to wait. It may seem unpleasant when we’re forced to wait in a cycle of uncertainty. Truthfully, it’s one of the best exercise of obedience and surest sources of spiritual nourishment we can experience. When we wait on the Lord, we learn that He’s never late and that He was at work all the time.
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