The Waiting Room

17_waitingroom_invI have those days, today being one of them, where it feels like I’m just waiting on God to do something.  The thing about faith is that it means waiting.  We’re told to wait on God (Ps 37).  It’s like going to the doctor’s office, there’s a waiting room, and then you go to a smaller room where you wait some more (this is a Seinfeld bit, BTW).  Sometimes you wait a little, sometimes a lot.   I’m not quite sure what I’m waiting for, just that it’s what I’m supposed to do.  I’m not good at the waiting, the being still.  I’d rather be doing something.  But even when I’m restless and hurrying up to wait, even then God is still moving & working in some form or fashion.   That’s my hope.  And that is the essence of faith, isn’t it?  Being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we don’t see?  I look forward to when the waiting is done.  But until then, I’ll wait some more.

Go where?

“Go to the land I will show you.”  “Follow me.”  Nothing more.  These are God’s invitation to Abraham (Gen 12) and the disciples (Matt 4).  Not much to go on is there?  How can I put together a pro/con list with that?  “But what about _______?”  “How about _______?”  The list could go on.  Shouldn’t God give me a little more direction to help me make an informed decision about following Him?

I fly on rare occasion.  I’ve never stopped and asked the pilot how the plane works.  I’ve never asked to get out & go look at the engines or to look around the cockpit to make sure everything is in working condition.  After all, what would I be able to determine?  I’ve never flown a plane other than on the computer when I was a kid.  So, why is it any different when God invites us to follow Him?  Why do we stop and question Him, as if He isn’t capable of doing what He’s promised to do?  The reality is that I/we often balk at God’s leading because it makes us uncomfortable, because it takes us somewhere other than where we want to go.

Christ sent out His followers with nothing except the clothes on their back (Matt 10).  He had promised them earlier that their needs would be provided for.  After all, doesn’t God feed the birds that neither reap nor sow?

So maybe the issue isn’t a faith issue as much as it is an issue of control.  For once we’re willing to give up control, the life of faith becomes much more likely.  And thankfully, Abraham, the disciples and many others have simply said “yes” when Christ called them to follow.  After all He is God.

Still haven’t found what I’m looking for

Ok, I know I’m plagiarizing a great song, but it makes a great intro into some thoughts.  I had coffee with a good friend today & we had a great conversation, in part about God’s will, which is something most of us have thought about, asked about, wondered about at some point.

I’ve asked God His will about my job, about my wife, about most major decisions I’ve made. After many years of ups & downs, moments of clarity and moments of thick fog, I’m starting to realize that it’s the pursuit of God that is His will for us. If God told me up front the specific things He wanted me to do, I’d probably try to go out and do it on my own (think Abraham, Hagar & Ishmael). What I’m realizing is that as I seek after God, I learn more about who He is, so that when He does reveal specific things about His will, I’ve been prepared for what He’s doing.

James talks about our maturity being brought about through perseverance which is brought about by difficulties and testing. I suspect that it can be God’s seeming delays in answering our questions that actually develop the maturity we need to do what God has prepared for us to do. At the end of the day, it is God Himself who is our pursuit and is the fulfillment of our hearts greatest desires (Ps 37:4, Matt 22:37, Matt 6:33). It is in pursuing God Himself that we discover His will for our lives, it isn’t something He shows us so we can go off on our own and report back on occasion.

Ironically, the closer I get to Christ, the less I’m concerned about the specifics of His will (the what, where, when…) for the closer I get, the more I am overwhelmed by who He is and how much I have in Him.