Thursday, March 27, 2008

Waiting games

Living Room tomorrow. Yes!!! I'm so looking forward to it - so looking forward to seeing who all will be there. Will some people who haven't been for a while surprise me?

Our devotional will be about waiting. All our life seems to be filled with a long series of waiting games, doesn't it? As a child we waited to grow to adulthood. We wait for our first car. We wait to be able to pay off the car. ...and on it goes.

We will list some of the things we are waiting for and what the waiting feels like. Are we waiting expectantly, excitedly, or - in cases of illness or depression - with a sense of hopelessness? Are we able to wait patiently? What does it mean to be patient?

One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 40:1-3. I start my new book with this:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Unfortunately, being patient and hopeful is pretty difficult during times of depression. It's the nature of depression to take away hope. And we often don't feel God's presence at times like that either, so it becomes hard to trust Him. Fear takes over.

It's good at times like that to have a friend who has a strong faith, a friend who would have faith for us, who will show God's love to us. If we can sense God's love through another person it will be easier to hang on and to be comforted and encouraged.

As we wait for things, we need to keep praying...though I know that this can be difficult in cases of depression. But we should try to pray realizing that - in the end - it is God's will that will be done. Instead of forcing our own will, we submit to God's. We need to do what we can, emboldened by our prayers, but then we put what we are waiting for in God's hands. That's where trust and patience come from.

If we can wait in that way - prayerfully doing what we can and leaving the rest to God - we will be transformed, as the Psalm above describes so well. It happened to Abraham (waiting for the son God had promised him), Moses (waiting to deliver the Israelites from Egypt), David (fleeing King Saul's army for ten to thirteen years), and Jesus himself (in the wilderness resisting the temptation of the devil).

...those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I do hope we get a bit of a discussion going around this theme tomorrow.

5 comments:

Jim said...

Like "Job", I have learned about my own sufferings and learned patience through them. Waiting is important part of faith. Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Paula Joy said...

Marja,

Thank you SO MUCH for your comments on my blog. You have already been such a blessing and encouragement to me and I've only "known" you for a few days!! How thankful I am to God for letting our blog-worlds meet.

Waiting is difficult, but totally worth it. Sometimes we think that "waiting" means "on hold" but that's not true at all. We can still life life to the fullest, and enjoy everything that God has for us, even in those waiting periods. What a great God we serve!

Dream Writer said...

Oh, Waiting! Yeah, that is the hardest part. To wait, to be patient, very hard.

I love that you are still part of Living Room. That is so cool.

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Thanks for this encouraging post, Marja! Psalm 40 brings a lot of comfort to me as I learn to wait upon the Lord during severe depression. Waiting is indeed very difficult when depressed but thank God that in Him is our hope and help.

Jenalexa said...

'Waiting' is very difficult. Thank you for sharing your wise insights on such a challenging topic! For me, waiting is exactly the topic I needed encouragement on. Thank you again :) xoxo