“As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.” (Psalm 123:2 NIV)
A friend of mine is suffering from an annoying physical ailment which also causes much loss of sleep. This, in turn, aggravates the situation even more. Their physician has prescribed an appropriate medication. However, the pill takes up to a year before the patient may begin to see any noticeable changes in their condition. Talk about feeling frustrated. What a bitter pill to swallow. Yet what can they do but wait and pray for continued strength and grace to endure.
Waiting is a common theme in the Scriptures. God always seems to be making His people wait. Abraham and Sarah, David, Moses, Jacob, Noah, and Daniel, just to name a few had to wait. And their waiting periods were much, much longer than a year. Yet what could they do but persevere and pray for continued strength and grace to endure their own bitter pill of waiting.
The Bible discusses waiting in the book of James this way: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7-8 NIV)
In this case, the waiting refers to the second coming of Christ, and yet, when we are looking to God for an answer to prayer, isn’t that also always a waiting for His coming: His coming to us to heal, or lift us up or strengthen us amidst the situation which we are praying about and seeking to persevere through?
Today you may be waiting. And the waiting may be difficult and even scary. You may feel discouraged and even angry that you are still waiting, fed up with this bitter pill and ready to throw the towel in, so to speak, on God and His promises and loving kindness. If so take a moment and consider all those in the Bible who waited and did not give up but kept their faith in God, persevering just as the farmer perseveres and awaits with anticipation the coming crop. Their names have gone down in history to be forever remembered.
Your name and my name shall never appear in the Bible this way, but it will be stored in the memories of our family and friends and even acquaintances. So the choice is ours regarding how we want them to remember us amidst our waiting. As those who lost their hope in God due to a difficult situation, a bitter pill to swallow. “Or as people who rejoiced in our sufferings, because we knew that suffering produces perseverance, which in turn leads to character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)
Prayer: Father God, waiting, as You know is never an easy thing for us human beings to endure. And yet as we turn it over to You in faith and anticipation You are able to do great and amazing things in our lives, through the working of Your Holy Spirit amidst. Bless those today who are struggling with what may have become a bitter pill of waiting. Bless them with renewed hope, faith, strength and insight that they may know that You are indeed, at work in their lives doing mighty things. Things that will not only inspire and encourage them, but also others, to keep going within their own lives of faith and waiting. In Christ’s name we ask. Amen.