Devotional 5/25/2020

Since I sent a Memorial Day devotion on Friday without thinking about that today was actually a holiday, this one is non-related. 

Well it kind of is non-related because it is really not surprising that I sent it on Friday because I dislike waiting for anything.  Why wait until the holiday to send it when I could just send it Friday? But this is not just work related, this is everything.  My birthday was earlier this month and when the package came with my gifts from Felix, I opened it immediately because why would I wait? I made my cake a full week before my birthday.  And had my birthday meal two days before.  When I buy the girls present, I really struggling not giving them all right then. In fact, in 2018 we did our whole family Advent calendar by Thanksgiving (aka before Advent even began).  I justified it by that the girls were too young to understand. In 2019, we made it to Dec 15 which is not great but so much better.  This shows in everything from my vacation planning to my work style.  Why wait? Just do it now.  Or make the change now.  Or get it now.  I am a now kind of person.  

I was thinking about this last night when I was reading Belle her good night story.  We were reading "Waiting in Not Easy" by Mo Williams. This is part of a series that follows Gerald the Elephant and Piggie who are good friends. Piggie tells Gerald there is a surprise but they have to wait.  Gerald melodramatically waits and is downright angry about waiting by the end.  Gerald says they wasted the whole day waiting but then Piggie shows the surprise which is a gorgeous night sky.  And I kind of feel like I am Gerald.  I do not want  to wait for surprises or anything.  Waiting is a waste.  Yet, there are some things, like night skies, that happen on their own time and are worth the wait. 

And we are often forced to wait in this life on God and God's timing.  Isaiah 30:18 says 'blessed are all who wait for the Lord." Scripture calls us in many places to follow God's will and plans which means often waiting for those to be revealed and even then practicing long term focus instead of right now focus.  Any successful long term church knows that God's work often takes longer than we want to bear fruit.  It is a period of waiting or doing boring tasks while we wait.  Yet, there are somethings worth waiting for and being part of God's work is certainly one of them.  Because when we hang in there, when we don't abandon God's plans for our own, we will be amazed when the fruit of that ministry or plan does come.  It will be more and better than we ever planned.  But we have to wait sometimes.  And we have to remember waiting is not doing nothing.  Christian waiting involves alot from 'boring' prep work, to discovery to alot of prayer.  I think we would all be amazed if instead of rushing God, we prayerfully waited.  This goes from everything to our church's ministries and visions to our waiting on loved ones to overcome their struggles.  There is alot we have to wait on in this world but there is alot for each of us in that waiting. 

I am tired of waiting right now on so many things.  The return of normal worship.  The return of normal parts of my job that I miss.  For that energy that pulses when we are on the edge of a new ministry or direction.   On Amanda to be a little less clingy.  To be with my family.  For nice weather (dumb humidity!).  For our house to stay clean for three seconds. For vacation.  For education opportunities.  And I am guessing your lists are at least as long as mine.  

So I have decided I am not focusing on the waiting.  I am focusing on God and where God is at work.  Instead of rushing or wishing for God to move faster,  I am getting on board with God.  First by praying more.  Second by reading more.  And third by hoping more.  I believe that we are all called to do God's work in this world and that we as communities are also called to do God's work.  God has a plan for us and it is worth waiting on but we need to not waste a waiting period by doing nothing. Rather we need to be praying, reading scripture, holy writings, and other writings- any where we find God's fingerprints, and hoping and dreaming.  We are going to wait no matter what so we should change our focus.  

I invite you to read Romans 8:18-30.  Try to discern what they are waiting for and why that is hard.  Then think about what you are waiting for and why that is hard.  Take the time to write each out.  Then look at what scripture says about what is coming when we wait (focus on verses 26-30).  Consider what faithful actions you should be taking on each of the things you are waiting on.  And then go to God in prayer asking for the strength to wait and the faith to keep your hope in the Lord. 

With Love, 

Beth