Wait a minute!
Life is so fascinating when viewed from the spirit realm.
Although it's often not possible to see what is happening in this realm in the
present, hindsight is 20/20 and often very clear as to what the Lord was doing
in our lives back then.
For nearly 8 years we have been the sometimes proud, many
times sad, and often stressed owners of a commercial fishing boat. The Lord has
used it a lot in our lives to teach us practical lessons such as trusting Him,
seeing His amazing provision, and learning how to deal with unusual people -–
fishermen are a breed all of their own!
We finally got to the point where the disadvantages of owning
the boat far outweighed the advantages and so we made the difficult decision to
sell. There was no problem in trusting the Lord to sell it for the right price
to the right person and when a buyer turned up and agreed to buy it after taking
it for a test run, we felt that the sale was 'in the bag' and that the Lord
had come through for us again.
We were so complacent about the Lord working on our behalf
that it came as a dreadful shock a few days later to hear that the buyer no
longer wanted to buy the boat and left us feeling shattered, wondering what the
Lord might be doing (but wishing He wasn't doing it right now!)
A couple of days later, we went to church and a friend of
ours, a psychologist and counsellor, stood up to speak. He said that he felt
that the Lord had a message to give that morning and it was for some people in
the audience. Having heard this same statement the world over, we weren't
particularly affected by it and positioned ourselves comfortably to await the
end of the service. It didn't take him long to get our attention as he
announced the title -– "Waiting! As Christians who are surrounded by an
environment that stimulates a desire for 'instant gratification', we don't
like to wait for anything, particularly the Lord's salvation from certain
We were now listening with all ears and learned that 'waiting
is not wasting' and that the Lord uses this time to challenge us in many ways
to promote our growth but first we go through different stages.
- After a period of waiting, where it appears that nothing
seems to be happening, we can perceive that we are out of God's will and do
something silly. A perfect example of this is Abraham and Sarah. Abraham
believed the promise of God that he would have a son but after some years had
gone by, he and Sarah started to feel that maybe they'd missed God's exact
will and planned how they could help get things back on track again. The
tragic mistake they made is still affecting the world thousands of years
- The longer we wait, the more out of control we can feel
because nothing seems to be happening. Joseph, who was given clear promises of
great worldly position through dreams, went through tragic circumstance after
tragic circumstance. He spent years as a slave or a prisoner and eventually
got to the state where the Bible says that he was begging his
soon-to-be-released fellow prisoner, the cup-bearer, to remember him to
Pharoah as he was just 'languishing' in jail. The outcome was that even
the cup-bearer forgot him until God's timing was perfect.
- Confusion arises in waiting. Chronos time (earthly time)
versus Kairos time (eternity) can bring confusion as we work in chronos and
God works in Kairos. In the eyes of the disciples who were looking for the
Messiah who would free Israel, His death on the cross was a disaster and they
ran in disappointment and fear from it. In God's eyes however, it was the
triumph of all triumphs when Satan was defeated once and for all!
Although the disciples failed at waiting during the time of
Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus gave them another chance to develop this
skill and to realise how important it was. In Acts 1:4, He said, "Do not
leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have
heard Me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will
be baptised with the Holy Spirit." This gift was definitely worth waiting
In John 11, the story of Lazarus's death and resurrection,
three great principles stand out.
- Both Mary and Martha pointed out to the Lord that had He
come when He was called, Lazarus wouldn't have died. They didn't realise
that Jesus deliberately waited until Lazarus was dead so that when He raised
him, the miracle would resound for God's glory (verse 4). Someone rising
from the dead has a greater impact on the community than one being healed from
- God's timing is to prepare circumstances to display His
glory (verse 40-42).
- The result of the wait is always for the building of the
kingdom of God (verse 45).
I have no idea what part the sale of a fishing boat can play
in the building of God's kingdom but I can surely see the glory that will
result from it and so, difficult though it is, I'm asking for strength to make
it through the waiting period. Hopefully it won't be too long!