This beautiful pink blossom, the color of cotton candy, appeared on an old bromeliad plant that had stood on our patio for several years. I lost patience many times and wanted to throw the plant out. It wasn't doing what it was supposed to do; produce a lovely flower now and then. Our neighbor Jim encouraged me to keep it, water and feed it, and one day we'd see the fruit of our labor. I had my doubts, but kept it sitting there, taking up room, doing nothing. Jim was right. One day I was startled to see a blossom ready to open. I wanted to have him come over to see it, but he wasn't feeling well. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with a bad infection. After a couple of weeks, he came home to recover. But the Lord took him to heaven on August 4th, and he never got to see the results of my impatient wait. Jim was a very positive person, always smiling, an artist, musician, surfer and a very good neighbor; we'll miss him. Every time I look at this flower, I think of him and appreciate his encouragement and zest for life.
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5
Sometimes I feel life is a 'waiting game'. The one who waits most patiently wins. We are always waiting for something - and this starts at a very young age. Parents wait for their child to be able to sit alone, crawl, and take their first steps. When they do, we parents often lament, "We want those wonderful baby days back, our child is growing too fast!" Human dissatisfaction abounds.
Most of us could make long lists of things we've waited for, or are waiting for right now. I have no doubt that God's timing is perfect but always waiting can be agonizing. I want life to fall into place according to my timing. I think it's wise to look at the original Greek and Hebrew for a fuller understanding. Sometime a brief study will totally illuminate a passage of Scripture.
The Hebrew word for 'wait' is qavah and literally means to bind together like a cord made of several strings woven together to make a strong rope. The Greek word is proskartereo and implies a consistent show of strength, endurance, a willingness to prevail and make an intense effort to stay in a fixed direction. As I write this last line, I'm reminded of a verse in Hebrews 4: 9 -11.
"There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest. . ."
God has a plan and purpose for all He's doing. We live out our life on earth one day at a time, but God sees the beginning and the end. The timing of our life events has been woven into the history He has purposefully planned for us. At an appointed time, Jesus Christ appeared on earth as our Lord and Savior. For those who believe in Him, Jesus won the battle in their behalf when He died and rose again. Do you know that Psalm 139: 16 states that every day of our life has been written in a book before there was one? Even in the age of the 'un-believable', this is hard to comprehend.
The 'work' we now do as believers is to rest in God's plan. It takes an effort to do this; we want to be in control and turn our life in the direction that we want it to go. If we take our hands off the steering wheel and let the Lord draw us toward Him, relief will come, and the 'waiting' won't be so hard because we're learning to trust and walk in faith.
This doesn't mean we wander about aimlessly or sit on the couch watching movies and eating popcorn all day - no, we'll have a plan and will find ourselves 'waiting' for something to happen. But, we'll be waiting on the One who holds time in His hand, not our imperfect world to 'get it done'. We will, by faith, adjust our agenda as we sense shifting sands around us and will have less stress.
"The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."
I Thessalonians 5:24
When we replace waiting with faith, our wait will be more peaceful. Bottom line, it's the ONE we're waiting on that matters, not WHAT we're waiting for. I'm so glad I didn't lose patience and throw that ugly plant out; the Lord's timing was perfect, even though it didn't appear that way to me.
Lord, thank you that we can go to your Word, the Bible, and find peace and hope. Thank you for showing us that our gift of faith will sustain us in any circumstance. You are trustworthy and we can wait for Your plan to unfold.