Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Meditation: Waiting on the Lord

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Passage
James 5:7-11

Context
James the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ and leader of the Church in Jerusalem is writing those Christian Jews that have gone abroad.  The Church was undergoing great persecution and so he is offering this word of encouragement to the believers of that day. 

Key words
Patience, Wait, Suffering, Endure, Compassionate, and Merciful

Message
"You want me to wait?  But I don't have time!  What is more I don't want to.  Never mind I will take care of it myself!"

I am not so sure that any of us would say such a thing to God with our mouths, and yet we tend to say it with our actions.  Let's face it we do not like to wait.  I like this passage it uses three pictures to help us to understand waiting. 

The first picture is from agriculture.  A farmer works the ground, plants the seed, tends the crops, and then reaps a harvest.  His waiting is a act of trust and of work.  Crops do not produce themselves.  they are not instantaneous.  They require and investment of work and they require that the farmer wait for the right season to harvest.  I wonder what I have missed because I have not waited or been willing to invest in God's plan. 

The second is a picture of prophets of God.  It makes me think of this passage:

And what more can I say? Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead-they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised,
Hebrews 11:32-39 (HCSB)

When I consider the suffering that other have endured for the name of the Lord my light affliction seems insignificant.  What more can I do to faithfully endure when surrounded by such incredible feats of faith, devotion, and love.  Lord forgive my whining. 

The third picture is of Job.  Job was a man that was afflicted by the Devil himself.   In the book that bears his name the account is given of how he became increasingly afflicted and eventually lost everything except for his life.  In the end he was restored and God richly blessed him.  He had to wait and endure great hardship to get to that place. 

If I ever become anxious or despise that I have to wait, then I would do well to remember the farmer, the prophets, and Job.  When I do my waiting does not seem so difficult a thing. 

Bless You

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