I am waiting – not so patiently, I must admit – for a parcel from my parents. It is full of wonderful things like jeans, pens, and Christmas decorations that I would love to put on my little tree. Each day I beg Jesus multiple times to bring my parcel in the mail that day. At the time when there is no way it could still arrive that day, I ask that tomorrow will be the day.
It occurred to me a couple of days ago, that I ask for the arrival of my parcel far more diligently and with more urgency than I request the things that God has promised.
A few weeks ago I read a devotional about the power of desperate prayers. The example given was the story of Hannah in the Old Testament. She was barren and petitioned God in her desperation to have a baby. Her husband assured her of his love, and urged her to be content with him.
The devotional pointed out that Hannah was willing to face her pain and longing, and not content to accept her condition as “the will of God” for her. Instead, she went to the temple and poured her heart out to God so desperately that she was mistaken for a drunk.
For those that don’t know the story, by the same time the following year Hannah was the mother of the boy who would grow to be the prophet Samuel. (This story can be found beginning in 1 Samuel chapter 1.)
As I read this short encouragement, I was convicted that I had become complacent in the name of contentment. God has promised me several things that I have yet to see fulfilled, and after years – or even decades in some cases – I have learned that I don’t like waiting.
It ‘s amazing how often we in the church are told to be content with God. I wrote previously about the danger of becoming so “content” that we don’t long for the Kingdom of God to come in fullness. I think it goes beyond that though. What I have called contentment recently is a half-hearted or even indifferent attitude toward believing for the promises of God. I had stopped asking. I might have still flippantly tossed a request for one thing or another into my conversations with God, but the requests lacked any expectancy or urgency.
As I await the delivery of ranch dressing mix and other goodies from home, I am taking steps to ensure I am ready. I make sure the door to the entryway is unlocked each morning so the postman can get in to leave the mail. I run downstairs to check whenever I hear the doorbell signaling that something has been left. I am expectant. My waiting involves action and anticipation of the arrival.
So, why is it that all too often, as I await the arrival of all that God has promised, I sit idly by and simply watch? Why don’t I anticipate the delivery of His gifts? What might I need to do to ensure that delivery? Is there a door to be opened, or another action I could take? And finally, why don’t I wake up every morning pleading that today would be the day, or go to bed each night wondering if tomorrow will be?
Are you in that “fun” place of waiting? If so, are you just sitting and staring out the window and expecting that the delivery will fall in your lap, or are you preparing for the arrival of whatever it is you’re waiting for? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.
More than ever before, I’m realizing that waiting is a verb – an action word, and for too long I have allowed no action to be associated with it. It’s time to change that in my life; it’s time to ask, seek, knock, and prepare, expecting that delivery could come any day and I don’t want to miss it!