Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. Psalm 31:24ESV
All throughout the Bible God promises to answer prayer, but don’t you sometimes just wish that He would do it right now? Today, I am still desperately praying for a grandson who is not only lost in sin but who is choosing to no longer speak with us. But as I brought my request rather angrily this morning to God, He reminded me that having faith means I must trust He is listening and that He is working in ways I may never understand to answer because He is good.
Waiting on God is not just waiting around till He does something. For example, on July 4th, 1776, 56 people including, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence, but just signing a piece of paper was not enough to make the United States a free and sovereign land. That accomplishment did not come about until, September 3, 1783 – seven long years later. In between the Declaration and true independence, we passed through a waiting period called The Revolutionary War.
The same is true when we wait on the Lord. Our declaration of independence from sin was signed in blood on the cross of Calvary. But the whole of our Christian life is a series of Revolutionary Wars as by God’s help we win the battles one by one. Maybe you have been praying for years over a broken relationship, salvation for a loved one or a longing to serve God in a greater way. Don’t give up, stand down or walk away from God in anger. He is working on us just as much as He is working on our prayers. He is calling us to be strong and courageous, because waiting on God is more than just waiting around and is not for the faint of heart. There is a war going on and God is calling us to the battlefield of prayer trusting that He knows what He is doing, and that victory is already ours in Jesus Christ our Savior and our great Commander in Chief!
Today I am reprising a post from last year’s Easter season that I thought might be perfect for this year. After all through this long-long Covid season we have been forced to learn to wait. I don’t know about you but waiting is not high on my list of things I am dying to do. Have you ever seen a seminar on waiting? So to not make you wait any longer let’s re-visit our friend the donkey!
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. Matthew 21:1-2 NKJV
Some days I feel a lot the donkey in this story. Everyone else had something important to do but the donkey. I hate to wait because it makes me feel helpless. But just like the donkey, waiting gives God time to accomplish His plans on His schedule.
First, the donkey waited quietly. Imagine what might have happened if the disciples came and found the donkey and its colt wildly tugging at the ropes tying them. Just as the disciples were looking for gentle beasts that would be useful for their master, so God is looking for hearts quietly waiting for His call.
Second, the donkeys had to be ready to go. I wonder if the donkey had bucked and kicked as it was untied if it would have been brought to Jesus. But, isn’t that the way we sometimes react when we are called to do something new?
Last of all, because the donkey and her foal waited, they were brought to Jesus. Like those donkeys,, we are also not forgotten. Instead, we are like a restaurant table that has been reserved for the master’s use. When Jesus comes, we must be ready and waiting. We must be willing for Him to show us where to go because we will only get where Jesus is going, when we are ready to wait until He calls.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 KJV
So you might ask, “What exactly is Lent? Great question! Well, in general, Lent is the time from Ash Wednesday until either the Wednesday before Easter, Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday depending on what tradition you follow. You also might wonder why, since there is no record of anyone in the Bible observing this roughly 40-day period, why should we? For starters, it is never a bad idea to set aside special times for seeking God’s will and purpose. We call it, “Waiting on the Lord” and waiting comes with God’s promise of strength and renewal. Some people may choose to fast certain foods or commit to special acts of service, during these weeks. However, you choose to honor the season, the most important thing of all is to focus on Jesus. For me personally it brings me back to the excitement of my first months of faith in Jesus (Which just happened to be on Easter Sunday!) I come to each morning’s quiet time with an open-heart asking Jesus for a brand-new insight into His word and for His will for that day. Instead of racing ahead or lagging behind in my devotional readings I need to slow down so I can hear what God is saying. Walking with Jesus will lead us along the path that He has chosen. Following the path, He chooses will bring us to His destination for our life. My prayer is that during these weeks of Lent we will see with fresh eyes the miracles of Jesus, the table of His Last Supper, the Cross, the empty grave and most of all our Risen Lord!