Can Anything Good Come from Waiting?
MONDAYS WITH KERRI
We are distracted on a daily basis from remembering we are only blessed in His presence. When we forget that He is our destination, we find it hard to wait for His plan to unfold. In fact, humanly speaking, it is impossible. We fight waiting because it is awkward and uncomfortable. We often feel like failures when we wait because we aren’t doing anything. Tangibly speaking, nothing is accomplished when we wait, so we would rather busy ourselves with anyone or anything to avoid the “waiting place.” However, it is critical that we choose to endure the agony of waiting if we desire maturity. It is a discipline that wields great power in the spirit realm because it is the antithesis of what our enemy offers us and what our flesh desires the most–control.
When we learn to wait on the Lord, we are sacrificing our need for control and relinquishing it to Him. The lies of our enemy have little power against us when we choose to surrender control; there is no “handle” to use against us and we are free to act in obedience, no longer slaves to our sin nature. Paul describes our problem in
The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really The One doing it; the sin within me is doing it. It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
We must come to grips with the fact that unless we learn to wait on the Lord, we will always be a slave to our plan and our will. We will live for things to go our way instead of living for The One who created us. This is the manifestation of sin in our lives. Waiting is the posture of surrender; it is the spiritual stance that allows us to claim victory over the sins that keep us entangled. Think of it this way: if we are owned by an evil slave driver, we are powerless to set ourselves free from his control. It takes the power, covering, and ownership of a new master to unlock the chains we are wearing. We cannot set ourselves free. It is only in waiting and fully surrendering our will and agenda to the Lord that we truly experience the love that frees us.
It is also in this context that we understand the gift and blessing it is to be a bond servant of Jesus Christ. It is only in willfully relinquishing control of our lives to Him that we can be free. If we don’t, we are simply slaves of our enemy.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.
When I read these verses, I think of an ox with a yoke around its neck. The apparatus once secured on the animal makes a ring around its neck. Not the kind of ring we want to wear, but it is useful and necessary. It is a ring that when submitted to has great purpose and productivity. The animal can only surrender to its yoke after it has been broken. However, if the ox fights the yoke, it becomes a painful and heavy burden, like a weight around its neck. In the same way, our yoke fits perfectly and our burden is light when we chose to surrender to our Heavenly Father’s will over getting our own way.
This is especially true when we are asked to submit to the yoke of waiting in circumstances we don’t understand. Often there is nothing more offensive to our flesh than being asked to wait. We are impatient, impulsive, and want immediate gratification. We most certainly do not want to wait. When we learn to submit and to not just endure the process of waiting, the burdensome ring around our neck stops cutting into our flesh as we learn to receive it as a necessary part of our growth process. However, like brokenness, if we resist, the process is thwarted, and our growth can be stunted.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas and opportunities you have been resisting the process of maturing “IN” the waiting. Have you been frustrated in the waiting or have you surrendered to this necessary growth process? In what ways, if any, have you been fighting the yoke of waiting given to you in mercy by God? How have you experienced its maturing in you?
Waiting makes us long for Him to act in our lives on a daily basis, but more importantly, it causes us to look, long, and hope for His return. If blessings are anything that makes us desire more of Him, then waiting is the ultimate blessing. Yes, waiting is one of the biggest blessings we can experience here on earth because it prepares us for The One we were created to worship. Today, write a prayer of thanksgiving for the process of waiting, and choose to see how God is maturing you during this precious time. Then encourage someone with your prayer so they can experience God’s mercy in the waiting with you.
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