Waiting is only half the battle. Whether we are pressing forwards or standing still, there are healthy and harmful ways to live. As we await news on Sarah's visa application, I face a near daily struggle for patience, trust, and satisfaction. My morning meanderings through the Psalms have been so helpful. Today, my heart leapt at the following verses:
Psalm 37:8–9 (ESV)
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
What follows are three reflections on this waiting season. The longer we are in this "between" stage, the more we are learning. I offer these present thoughts that I hope will be of help to you in your own journey.
1) Know Who You're Waiting For
When I focus on what we are waiting for, I'm seeking satisfaction in the wrong place. I need to focus on who I'm waiting for - and it isn't ultimately a government agent. Yes, true authority has been granted to governments. But it is always a subordinated authority. Understood properly, we are waiting for God to act, whether directly or through an appointed agent.
I was so thankful this morning for the correction of v.8 - "Fret not yourself, it tends only to evil." The sharpness of it pulled me back from danger. Worry and fret are signs that a) we do not trust God, and b) the outcome is of more importance than our relationship with God himself. Fretting is symptomatic of idolatry.
Waiting allows us to identify and crucify this kind of heart-sickness, and enjoy God even more.
2) Remember the Promise
The waiting can feel all-consuming. In those moments it is possible to forget why we're waiting in the first place. Some days it is Sarah or our kids. Sometimes the Spirit in me brings a thought of England bubbling up at the most needed hour.
Today it was the Scripture that reminded me. The promise of inheritance in v.9 lifted my sights from the "Oh, why are we waiting" now to the immanent promises of God.
We wait for God to release us. And in releasing us we will receive the promise - which is not the physical possession of land, but the reestablishing of God's Kingdom rule in Britain concurrent with the temporary sovereign rule of the monarchy.
3) Add Value Where You Are
Waiting does not have to equate with a lack of present engagement. Sarah and I have been challenged to look for the opportunities that are in front of us in Nampa, and to look for ways in prayer to begin our ministry in England.
We can be useful here. We are on our way somewhere, but that does not preclude authentic service here. In fact, it is a far more Biblical concept to see the journey and the destination as part of the mission-field.
What dreams and promises of God are you waiting for? Keep your eyes on the One who made the promise in the first place. Don't stop hoping and trusting, but don't miss the things you can do right here in the right now.
NOTE: I owe much gratitude to the writing and thought of John Piper, and this blog post is a nod to his book, "Don't Waste Your Life."