Daily D – Lamentations 3:25-26
The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. LAMENTATIONS 3:25-26 (NLT)
It is that time of year when we sit down in our cars to discover that all of our tires are a little low on air. I awoke to this reality a couple of years ago. No bother. Discount Tire Company is less than five minutes from my house. It became the first stop of my day.
Apparently, the four tires beneath me were not the only ones requiring a little topping off. There was quite a line. This required a text to coworkers informing them of imminent tardiness.
This time, I outsmarted the long line. I made an appointment to have my tires rotated and balanced along with the necessary inflation. It was a good call. The line was longer than I had ever seen.
I arrived a few minutes before my appointment. There was no place to park and the attendant working outside greeting each new arrival had me back into a handicap parking place where he or another employee would find me when it was my turn.
My appointment time came and went. A good fifteen minutes, then twenty, passed before I was waved through into bay number five. Anticipating possible delays, I brought along a book I am reading to review and my Kindle loaded with John Grisham’s latest novel. It was a fruitful time of learning. I enjoy killing time by reading it to death.
One of the most important disciplines of life is learning to wait. One of these days I am going to do a Bible study on all God has to say about waiting on him. These two verses sit beneath the two most loved verses in this short book of grief writ large. You know verses 22 and 23 well:
_The faithful love of the LORD never ends!_
_His mercies never cease._
_Great is his faithfulness;_
_his mercies begin afresh every morning_
If you have read anything else in this book scribed by the Weeping Prophet, you know these verses cannot be considered sentimentalism. In some of the most devastating days of recorded humanity, Jeremiah saw evidence of God’s mercy and faithfulness every day.
He who was tossed in a cistern, who sunk in the mud, and who was left to die wants us to know that pandemic plus protest plus politics in no way negates grace, mercy, and peace.
Some things are worth the wait.
Get good at waiting.
How to wait? Learn how to pray like King David. Learn how to persist in prayer like Moses. Learn how to respond in prayer like Paul. Learn to read to focus more deeply on God’s truth like Ezra. Meditate on God’s words of life to align and attune your life more precisely with his will and ways. Get comfortable with silence. As Elijah discovered, that is when God speaks most clearly.
I know, you hate waiting. So do I. Waiting becomes something rich and rewarding when we invite God into it, when we expect him to show up, when we meet him mind to mind and heart to heart.
Waiting is sometimes God positioning us for what’s next. Maybe it would be helpful to stop thinking of waiting as sitting on hold and to start thinking of it as sitting at the starting line preparing to run an important race.
Focus on what is before you. Stay loose and ready. Breathe deeply. Know that he who brought you to this moment will empower you to perform in it. Run to win. But do not start running before the starter fires the pistol. That leads to disqualification.
Your next win is worth the wait now. Your next win is worth the preparation of mind, will, emotions, and strength. Waiting is never wasted when it is used as preparation. Come to think of it, whenever God tells people to wait, it is in preparation for something amazing he was about to do.
Be prepared. You do not want to miss what God is going to do next.
I will wait and prepare.
Our Father, you are worth waiting for. You are worth preparing for. I will turn waiting into preparation. I do not want to miss what is next because you are forever merciful, faithful, and full of grace. Amen.
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Daniel 6:4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. (NLT)
Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, You Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (NLT)
Daniel 2:20, 21 He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. (NLT)