“While I am Waiting”
Prayer – dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for your presence. We thank you for getting up this morning and allowing us to gather here, in this moment, to give You all the honor, praise, and glory that you deserve. We are humbled by the love that you showed us, through your sacrifice on the cross. We love you and we thank You, in Jesus’ name.
This morning, the title of my message is “While I’m Waiting”. I believe that I have spoken on this before as have others, but it struck me this last week that we seem to have a lot of folks that are waiting on some healing.
I am also sure that there are some here that may be waiting on some resolutions in some areas in our life that we have prayed for and are looking for God to make a way in whatever situation we may be facing.
I’ll be honest, I can be impatient. The primary focus of my job is to either make something new that was not there or to fix what is there. In my work, what I have tried to achieve is to provide excellent results in a timely fashion. With experience, and the wisdom that I have gained, I have gotten fairly competent. When I do come across something new that needs to be fixed, I take the time to get familiar with how it works correctly, to diagnose and fix what is broken.
And I can be stubborn when it does not work. I will research it. I will try and try again. I will spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to just make it work. There are times that when I am at a job, I will get a text from Diana that simply says “lunch?” I text her every time I arrive on a job site, when I head to another, when I have lunch, and when I head home. So she will send a text “lunch?” as a reminder that I need to eat – she knows me well. I can get so focused on resolving the problem at hand, that thing that is right in front of me, everything else kind of loses priority.
I will also get a text from time to time from her that is simply “???” Like the other night, I went to a job at 8:00AM to install some network gear, a couple routers and a cellular backup device, and I was told that it would only be a 3-4 hour event. I did text her when I had lunch – which was 5 minutes of gobbling a turkey sandwich, no pun intended – and I did text her to pray that the job would be completed, that was at about 4:00 PM – and she did. I was waiting for a release code.
At 6PM I got the “???” text – and I realized 2 more hours had past and I had not even let her know – now, I could have walked off the job, but there is that thing in me, and maybe it is in you as well, that I was going to do whatever it took to make the things work that were in front of me. There was that thing in me that did not want to fail and said I can fix this! There was that thing in me that said I have spent so much time, spent a lot of my resources trying to solve this,that there was no way I was giving up. Anyone ever feel like that?
It may not be a computer or anything like that.
It might be a relationship.
It may be one of your kids.
It might be your health.
It might be someone else’s health.
Maybe it is a spouse or a girlfriend and you think that they need to change, and you think you can fix them.
And you may be waiting as well.
Here is the rest of the text exchange with Diana:
We watch a show called Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine. Robert loves to go into a new business and smash a wall to start the renovation. Diana had used an app and put my face on the original image. I laughed so hard!
Anyways, with that being said – I can be impatient in many situations, but what do I do when it comes to praying to God and getting His response? I can be exactly the same way! I give it to God and then right away I try to take it back, thinking that in some way I might be able to do it better – how foolish of me I can be.
So, again, as I was pondering all of those in this body that are waiting on something from God, including Diana and myself, I thought I would refresh my mind and my spirit about what His Word says about waiting for some comfort and direction.
Matthew 8 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Immediate healings, we see them throughout scripture, don’t we. If I had my way, all of my prayers and hopes would be handled this way. I go to Jesus, I worship him, and then He does His thing and then the situation or the healing is realized and I can move on.
How about when Jesus healed the blind man at Bethesda:
John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
That is what I want, I want that instant result. But what I fail to see in some of the scriptures at times, is somehow, and some way – this man struggled for 38 years. Yes, Jesus healed him in a moment, and that is wonderful, but for 38 years he struggled. He had some faith, amen? There was no Jesus yet, but he knew that there was an angel of the Lord as scripture states, and he made his way there with hope that he would get into the pool and be healed.
I never even consider the effort that it took for him to be there. Scripture does not tell me if he stayed there the whole time. Scripture does not say how he ate. Scripture does not speak to how he took care of his daily needs. Scripture does not tell me if he had some family he visited. There are a lot of unknowns.
But there is one thing I do know. Somehow, some way, he got there – and what got him there was his faith. It was His faith and the waiting that put him into that unique opportunity to be healed By Jesus Christ. All glory to God
Another thing that I take away from this scripture is don’t give up. Again, I do not know how many times he was there – it is not clear, but let’s just say he went there 50 times. Ok, let’s say he went 50 times and then Jesus healed him. What if he stopped going the 48th time?. What if he stopped at the 49th time? What if he gave up and said,” you know what, it is what it is and I am just going to be this way forever, it is enough.”
It is a good reminder for me to keep moving forward in faith, to keep waiting on the Lord, because while he was waiting in his 38 years – something happened. The disabled man had nothing to do with it, but a Savior was born and he could not know this was going to happen. There is no way he could have seen that His healing would not be from the one place he expected which was the pool – rather it came from Jesus!
And therein lies another truth I can hang onto while I am waiting. The way that God heals me or answers my prayer may be completely not in line with my expectations. You know, sometimes while I am waiting, I am so busy telling God how to do what needs to be done, I can’t see or hear what He may be saying.
And as I look at some other instances, it is a good reminder that waiting is not something where I am the only one that ever went through it.
Mark 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, Eph-uh-tha that is, Be opened.35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Here we do not even know the name of the man who was healed in this scripture. Again, I see an individual who had obviously suffered with deafness and the inability to speak for a significant amount of time. It was not like catching a cold or something like that.
But there is something a little different here. Because he was deaf, I am not even sure he could know who Jesus was. He did not have the luxury that we do today of having the Word of God in a bible or on our smartphone. But what he did have was some folks who did know about Jesus, who had faith in Jesus, and could take him to Jesus to be healed.
And sometimes, I think, while I am waiting, I do lose my sight – not literally of course, but of how big our God is. I can get caught up in the minutia of the moments filled with longing, filled with fear, and just being weary in the waiting. But then there can be my brothers and sisters who pray in the moment, that can remove the blindness and help open our ears to the Word and the love that Jesus has for us. A gentle reminder of who we are to Him and that He indeed still heals the deaf and the blind, and can heal whatever situation we are in and restores that which we long for.
I was impacted on Friday as I met with a client. I was in their office and they wanted to make sure that I knew that they had prayed for Diana. You see, they have these things called prayer huddles, it is a faith-based organization. I had mentioned in passing to the Pastor there about Diana’s recent struggles. What an absolute breath of fresh air it was to know that someone, besides me was praying. The same goes for the prayers of this church. But that these brothers and sisters in Christ, were coming together to pray for the love of my life, whom they had never met. And it refreshed my spirit and it reminded me:
Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
It is a great reminder for me to ask for help, to ask for prayer – because we are not in this by ourselves. The bible is pretty clear:
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
And while I am waiting, in that scripture is a good reminder as well:
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
I am not alone, even if I am the only one in the room, amen. His Spirit dwells in us and he will not leave nor forsake us. Even in the middle of the storm, in the middle of sickness, in the middle of trials and tribulations, He is with us. I am with Pastor Jeff, declaring His name. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I have to remind myself, and others, declaring His name that He did not leave us all alone, but He is a helper while I wait:
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Thank you Jesus!
The Word has many examples of why to wait:
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
And believe it or not, the Bible says that waiting is not a bad thing:
Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth
Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.5 I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
The Bible also says that there can be some good while we are waiting – which I personally, am encouraged by – even though no matter what I have said today – I don’t like waiting.
Isaiah 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Some other thoughts on waiting. After I have prayed and given whatever situation to God, there are some positive things I can do:
Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
I like this phrase from the writer Ann Voskamp: “When you are waiting, do what waiters do: serve.”
When I am serving others and working for the Kingdom the focus comes off of me, and that is important for me. Like when I was stuck at that job, I was so focused on the issue I did not even think to let Diana know what was going on and she worried. Because sometimes, I focus so much on the problem that I do not focus on what is important. The priority of the problems changes the priorities in my life.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I cannot tell you how many times when I just praise God that my attitude is better, my hope grows, because it reminds me of who He is and what He can do!
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
Some things I have learned:
- Never underestimate the power of a prayer for another, just like I was encouraged the other day, so will others.
- Never underestimate the power of a kind word or thought for those that are waiting – remind them of who they are to God.
- Never underestimate the power of a little humor!
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.