Sometimes it feels like our dreams and visions are buried under the snows of winter when spring should have shown up by now.
Sometimes it’s very tempting to take things into our own hands and help God out a little. We know what happened when Abraham tried to figure out how to fulfill the promise of fathering a son by his own ingenuity. It resulted in a son who carried and passed on the wounds of rejection his whole life. When the prophet Samuel didn’t show up in time to quell the murmurs of lack of confidence in the leadership of the newly crowned King Saul, the insecure leader panicked and offered the sacrifice himself. The dream became a nightmare right there.
I’m too embarrassed to tell you the things I’ve done in the past to manipulate the fulfillment of a God-given vision. At the root of all of them was an over-developed sense of responsibility and a lack of trust in the goodness of God. I know I’m not the only one. All around me is the evidence of people with good long-term goals employing short-sighted methods. The pragmatism of belief/unbelief can really screw up our lives. How many people have signed up for a mate or a mortgage or a move – or even a cell phone plan – because the “close enough” solution seemed like the way to force a promise to bloom in our timing?
One of the best parts of the story told in the book While He Lay Dying (link here) is this: Picture a young pastor with a vision trying to employ creative methods to get church people, including children, to overcome apathy and unite in love to take the importance of prayer for the Body of Christ seriously. See him making posters, scheduling classes and pinning sign-up sheets in the foyer. Listen for the response. It sounds a bit like a picnic area under snow.
Then picture people reconciling their differences to come together and pray 24 hours a day. See the call to prayer spread to tens of thousands around the world. See little children nagging their parents to pray for Mr. Bruce while he lay in a coma on the verge of death. See the church arising, throwing off the coldness of resignation and melting apathy with love. See God bring about the vision His way. See the message of the power of a God who is still the God of miracles continue to inspire burned-out pastors, disappointed grievers and so many others who have lost sight of hope around the world. Realize all this happened while Bruce did nothing, absolutely nothing. He simply lay on that bed, his life supported by machines and the prayers of thousands, and in that state God fulfilled his dreams.
Waiting is not about being passive. When it’s time we need to run, to fight, to build, to stay awake all night. Waiting is about trusting for God to bring about His promises, His way, in His timing. It’s about standing in the dark like Gideon’s tiny army, feeling somewhat foolish, with a clay pitcher over our torch waiting to smash it. It’s about waiting for the “Now!”
It’s about trust. It’s about faith. God’s long term plans are not about our hard work, ingenuity or gift of the gab. He partners with faith.
Wait for it…
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this.