FIRST Focus

Waiting.

For most of us, it ranks right up there with the thought of testing positive with Covid or anyone of its variants. Something to avoid at all costs. Waiting may well be the greatest test of the human spirit in this hypersonic paced world. Have you ever had to wait in a line with several others, possibly hundreds that had the same idea you had? If not, you've never been to Disney World or any one of a thousand places or more where people congregate for family fun and entertainment. My family and I had the opportunity to be together prior to Christmas at Disney World in Florida. While I am grateful for the time with family and the experience of seeing something that I had long heard about, I was quickly reminded that others had the same idea, in fact many others. While the lines could have been much longer, the temperatures much warmer and the patience much shorter, you still had to wait your turn to enjoy whatever you desired to do with your family unless you paid a little extra. Paying a little extra permitted you and those with you to go through the express lane. You might still have to wait but nothing like those that chose not to. You could get more 'bang' for your buck, so to speak IF you were willing to pay for it. When you really think about it, there are many things in this life that are very similar. While paying for the express lane may lessen the severity of crying children who want to ride the flying elephant or the roller coaster, it still does not change the fact that we, most often will do almost anything possible to keep from waiting or at least shorten the wait. I get that because on many occasions still, that describes me. I should know better by this time but when the choice is given between waiting and watching others do what I would like to be doing and moving along at a quicker pace, I will choose the 'short-cut' if at all possible. My justification is something like, if they would just hurry along or get out of the way altogether, then I would not have to deal with what is involved in having to wait. While most in our culture today are looking for short-cuts, waiting has its advantages. Waiting with expectation that God will do for us that which we can't do for ourselves causes each of us to be drawn closer to Him and more dependent, as well. That's a great thing in an ongoing relationship established by grace with God's goodness toward us as the goal! Isaiah 40:27-31 is a great section of verses that help those willing to listen on the advantages of waiting. Isaiah begins that section of scripture with a question--"why do you say, O Jacob (okay to put your name in there),...My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim (note the use of the word 'just') is passed over by my God. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the young shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But (thankful for that conjunction in scripture) those who wait on the LORD, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." I began to realize several years ago that I can walk a lot farther than I can run. I also realized that my days consist more of walking than running. The good news is that God provides for me in both. He provides when I am willing to wait on Him. He protects when I am willing to be drawn to Him and better experience the moment. If we would only learn the benefits of waiting, we would be glad and more thankful we chose to walk with God through the obstacle, at least as we most often perceive it. I was reminded a few days ago, 'the only thing that is worse than waiting is wishing you had.' Ever been there? I have. And if you are there today, there is a better way forward. It may be slower than you would like but it will prove beneficial in the journey toward home. Don't waste your wait. Walk with Jesus. Walk at His pace and you'll enjoy the journey much more! The joy of His salvation (Psalm 51:12) will be much more rewarding as well! Be encouraged, Pstr K Jeremiah 29:11