A Reason for the Waiting

Cease striving and know that I am God.

–Psalm 46:10

This week, we’ve discussed several reasons for God’s thundering silence in our lives. Sometimes God’s silence is the result of unconfessed sin that has created a barrier between God and us. Sometimes it’s the result of uncontrolled emotions, such as fear, that drown out God’s voice in our lives. Sometimes it’s the result of unpredictable timing because God’s timetable is different from ours. Finally, sometimes God is silent because of undeveloped faith.

Pastor Ben Patterson wrote, “What we become as we wait is at least as important as the thing we wait for. To wait in hope is not just to pass the time until the wait is over. It is to see the time passing as part of the process God is using to make us into the people he created us to be.” We think of waiting as something we just have to endure until God gives us what we want. But it’s in the waiting that we become the people God wants us to be. Think about something you’ve been asking God for. Couldn’t He grant it to you immediately if He wanted to? It’s not that God is incapable of answering our requests. But He is much more interested in what He is doing in our lives than in giving us everything we ask for.

And what is God developing in our lives? More than anything else, God wants us to develop faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Faith is the assurance that God is going to do what He has promised to do. If God immediately gave us everything we asked for, what need would we have for faith? Through waiting, we develop the assurance that God can be trusted.

Theologian Henri Nouwen befriended a troupe of trapeze artists called the Flying Rodleighs. One day, the leader explained to Nouwen the crucial relationship between the flyer and the catcher. The flyer lets go of the trapeze bar and arcs out into space, and with absolute precision, the catcher grabs him out of the air. “How does it work?” Nouwen asked. The acrobat explained, “The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. . . . The flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.”

If you’re waiting on God right now, God is saying to you, “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Trust that He will catch you–in His way and in His time.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “God’s Thundering Silence” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Ben Patterson, Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1989), 168–69; Robert Jonas, ed., The Essential Henri Nouwen (Boulder: Shambhala, 2009), 131–32.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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