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“And yet will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious to you, and because of this he will be exalted. He longs to have mercy on you, for the Lord is a God of judgement. Blessed are all they who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18
In the book, “Waiting on God,” Andrew Murry points out that not only are we to wait patiently on God, but that God waits patiently on us.
Murray writes, “Look up and see the great God upon his throne. He is love…and has an inexpressible desire to communicate his goodness to all his creatures… He waits with all the longings of a father’s heart. And each time you come to wait upon him, or seek to maintain in daily life the habit of waiting, you may look up and see him ready to meet with you.”
There is a picture in the Bible of God waiting for us. It is in the story of the prodigal son, who left his father and home to go into the world to find happiness. The son finds fun, but no lasting happiness and decides to go home and ask to be a servant in his father’s house.
But the father is watching the road. He is waiting and hoping for his son to return. And when he sees him coming down the road, the father jumps up and runs; he runs until he is with his son and he hugs him and welcomes him with open arms.
This is a picture of God waiting for us. And even if we are Christians and have given our lives to God, he waits each day for us to come spend time with him – telling him about our thoughts and feelings. Asking him for wisdom, and reading in the Bible those things he would like us to do. He waits, and sometimes he waits all day for us to come give him some attention and we ignore him. He wants to share our lives with him. We need to share our lives with him.
If I had shared my deepest pain with him on a certain day, I wouldn’t have taken sleeping pills and passed out. He would have taken my pain and helped me through the problem of my aching heart. He would have shown me that he is bigger than any pain this world can give.
C.S. Lewis told a friend that after 30 years of praying, he had finally forgiven someone who had betrayed him. I think perhaps he meant he finally had the feeling of anger and hate gone towards that person. I think if we say, “I forgive this person,” then we have forgiven. Our feelings confuse us and lead us astray. But still, it took 30 years for his feelings to catch up with his wanting to forgive. So, this may be a kind of waiting on God. Waiting means staying with God and not giving up, like being tired of waiting in line at a store and finally giving up and leaving. No, we must stay in Jesus, because he is our only hope in this life.
Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” John 15:4-6
Murry writes, “The giver is more than the gift; God is more than the blessings he gives. And our being kept waiting on him could be the only way for our learning to find our life and joy are in him himself. Oh, if only God’s children knew what a glorious God they have, and what a privilege it is to be linked in fellowship with him, then they would rejoice in Him!”
(I changed a few words when I was quoting Murry. He speaks in old English, so I cut a few words or changed them a bit. The book is well worth buying.)