Today’s post is brought to you by my hubby…
Our pastor, Ray Jones, started a new sermon series this morning titled “Getting to Know God”, with the first message titled “Waiting on God”. The sermon was from the following passage:
“He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all I had hoped from the Lord.’
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me . Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust – there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
I don’t know that I have heard many sermons preached from the book of Lamentations, but this one was really good and it was very appropriate for the journey we find ourselves on. In this passage, the prophet Jeremiah is expressing his grief, and at the same time is reminded of the goodness and love of the Lord during the waiting times of life.
Brother Ray mentioned four things that should be done while we wait on the Lord. First of all, we should look down in humility (as opposed to turning away in rebellion) (v.20). Secondly, we should look back and remember the love, mercy, and faithfulness that God has shown us in our past situations (v.21). Thirdly, we should look up with hope (v.24). And finally, we should look out toward the future, for what He has in store for us (v.31).
So why does God make us wait? Brother Ray gave three reasons (and I’m sure there are more, but these are good):
1. To regulate our speed – we get in such a hurry these days, sometimes we need to slow down and listen to what He is trying to tell us.
2. To refocus our attention – we stay so busy that we tend to give Him less and less of our time and energy.
3. To refine our spiritual hearing – sometimes it takes a trial or a season of waiting for us to get quiet enough to hear what the Lord has to say to us.
All three of these things really hit home with me this morning, because they all made sense in light of our struggle with infertility and loss. It made me think back to where we were when we first started trying to get pregnant, and how we (or at least I), just assumed that it would happen the way I envisioned it, and life would go on from there. How differently things have happened! And at the same time, thinking back to the me of almost 4 years ago, I never would have dreamed that we would be waiting now for a call from Russia to find out who our child was. If someone had told me then, that I would be waiting for that now, it would have been unnerving and scary, but God has taken me so far from where I was 4 years ago, in a good way, that I am excited about, and looking forward to, getting that call.
Even though almost nothing that has happened in the last four years was part of my original plan, knowing that it was always part of His is comforting. Even though waiting is hard, I know that the wait and what the Lord has in store for us will all be worth it in the end.