Secondhand Info or Firsthand Experience
For longer than I want to admit, God has had me in His “waiting room.” That has become somewhat of a Christian cliche over the past decade, but we have come to understand it is when God is doing things in you, so He can later do more through you. He has you in a holding pattern, in some major area of your life, for His purposes and reasoning. We may like the waiting room for a little while when we want to rest, but soon it becomes difficult because . . . well, we don’t like waiting, do we? And then there comes the question, “What am I waiting on? What is God waiting on?” Then there’s the Accuser who comes and says, “If you were really valuable to the Kingdom, you wouldn’t be in here, now would you?”
Events of late have led me to see that God is preparing my discharge papers from the waiting room. We’re walking toward the door. Not out of the room yet, but headed in the right direction. The other morning, I felt like I needed to go to the book of Job. I have read this book many times and even taught through it. It is a painful, but fascinating read. Here is what I honed in on chapter 42 from The Message:
Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
Job is essentially saying, “I rattled on and on, demanding answers, which You did not give me. But, in the end, instead, I got You, God. Now, instead of second-hand info, I have first-hand experience! I’ll take that any and every time!”
That got me to thinking . . . how often are we sitting, by our own hand or God’s, and He is just waiting on the questions to stop? I suddenly realized how many times in the past 2 years I have asked, “Why, God?” when I should have been saying, “Work, God!” Now, I don’t mean a demanding, spoiled-kid command, but a faith-covered, anticipatory request from an adopted son.
There are times when it is absolutely necessary and perfectly understandable to ask God why. That is a part of so many of our processes with Him as a Perfect Father. However, asking why time and time again and not moving forward can become a pity party, a wimpy whining session, if we’re not careful.
So, is there an area in your life, like I saw in my own, where it is high time to stop asking, “‘Why, God?’ and start praying, ‘Work, God!’? I want to see You in, around, and all over this area of my life! I want to stop focusing on my lack of activity and start seeing Your pro-activity. And then we all join Job in saying, “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.”
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