Tuesday, December 8, 2009

`And Wait On Your God Continually...'

In our culture, we don't like to wait. Think of waiting at the stoplight. Or waiting in line at the store. Or waiting at the doctor's office. Get my drift? Did your blood pressure jump a couple of ticks just thinking about those things? I mean, a few weeks ago I was in line at Wal-Mart with a couple of items -- in the express line!!!! -- hoping to hustle out of there because I was a very busy man at the moment with things to do and places to be, when the old codger in front of me pulled out a checkbook. A checkbook! Who writes checks anymore? Dude, have you heard of a debit card? How about cash? It's the EXPRESS LINE!!!! It took him longer to write that check than it took me to park the car, bolt into the store, get my two items and get in line. The old codger had other plans for my precious time and as I sat there and watched him, the conviction that only comes from the Lord washed over me. You know what was so beautiful about standing in line behind Mr. Checkbook Man? He was in no hurry. At all. What a lesson. I'm sure it's why he looks like he's never had a heart attack and he's 90 years old, give or take a decade, and writing checks in the express line -- because he's in no rush. I mean, why for? It's so counter-culture. We're the America of fast food, express lanes on the freeway, drive-thru banking, vegetables you can steam in a bag in a minute (Who cares what the veggies taste like! They're done in a minute!), video on demand, remote controls ...

And then there's God's word. In the kingdom of God, we're to be in a state of waiting on the Lord, not in a rush for answers in our timing or on our schedule. The latter part of Hosea 12:6 reads: "Observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually." In Hebrew, the word `wait' can mean to bind together, perhaps by twisting. Or to expect and gather together; look patiently. Hebrew for `continually' means to stretch, or continuance, or extension. As I meditated on this idea of being bound together and stretching, the Lord gave me a simple picture: Tying a shoelace. You know how you stretch the loops apart to tighten the knot? That was the picture the Lord gave me, of being stretched in my faith but being bound closer to the Lord through it. The harder you tug those loops, the more you stretch those loops, the tighter the knot and the more secure it becomes. And it's the place I want to be because if I'm being stretched, I'm relying on the Lord for sustenance and comfort and peace, tightening my relationship with Him. It's when I'm comfortable that frightens me, because I know my heart and how easy it is for me to become self-reliant and drift away from the Lord and His will in my life.

And you know what? I'm seriously considering writing checks in the express line.

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