Waiting is Not a Game

(How well our  heavenly Father  teaches us this truth as we experience the trials of this life.
The original article with this title (below) was written almost five years ago while we were waiting for Jerry’s healing after the amputation of his leg.
(It took 4 1/2 years and a third surgery. Now almost six years later, he is able to wear a prosthesis a few hours a week.
~~~~~~~~~~
October 24, 2007

Today is exactly a year since Jerry’s amputation.  He has been three weeks in rehab, wearing the prosthesis a couple of hours a day, more just for sitting and getting used to it, a few minutes of exercise to put weight on it, and a few minutes walking on it with a walker.  Because of soreness he has not worn it the last two days.  Monday the prosthetist put in a small pad to help buffer the sore area.  It was feeling better, so he wore the prosthesis for about forty-five minutes this afternoon.  When he took it off, his leg was bleeding.  We have to wait again for healing before he can wear the prosthesis again.

Sixty-eight years takes its toll on those who have not learned how to wait.  By this time most think that they have arrived at the point of having all things under their control, getting things done when they want them done, settling down to the golden years, and being happy in all their progress.  This is not our case, but we can attest to something better.

How do you explain to those who are impatient that waiting is good for you?  Whether it is for a response to a letter, the arrival of a guest, a special event, for our children to grow up, or healing, the process of waiting is a part of life.  True waiting is the essence of hope, and a means to the end of obtaining contentment in this life as we wait for glory.

Waiting is a natural trait for God, but not for man.  Impatience was born in the Garden of Eden, and plays itself out in every person’s life, from the time of birth until death; except as we are given new hearts that know how to wait.  We learn from experiences that as we wait we receive blessings we did not expect.

Why do we not want a baby to be born before its full term? It will not be fully developed, or, not live at all.  Why do we not get a diploma until we have finished the required courses?  Why do we not marry at the age of eight?  Why do we not eat green bananas?  Waiting is not only necessary for life, but, the means to attaining true life.  It is not something we play at, or think about when we want to.  It is not a game, but a reality, that when practiced enough will become the beauty of life, without wanting to be the winner.

Waiting is serious business, in the same family as endurance, the big brother of patience.

Waiting is the will of God for us, and serves His purposes. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36)

Waiting gives Him time to accomplish His work in us to His glory. God waits for the precious fruit of His husbandry, and so must we. (James 5:17)

Hope, and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord is synonymous with patience, the characteristic of the saints mentioned in the Book of Revelation. (13:10, 14:12)

 “I had fainted, unless I had believed
to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Waiting strengthens our faith, letting patience have its perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4)

I praise the Father for teaching me to wait. It comes more naturally now.  He is waiting with us, teaching us, loving us through it all.  I thank Him for all of you who have waited with us. I pray for more patience, more strength, more faith, more grace for us all—for His glory and our joy.

“The LORD is good to them that wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Fran 10/07
(Excerpt from In Prayer and In Touch~ Articles and Stories of Faith)
Music:  Wait on the Lord Psalm 27:14 
They That Wait Upon the Lord Isaiah 40:31

Profaning the Sabbath

“My soul, how hast thou profaned that day thy God hath sanctified! How hast thou encroached on that which Heaven hath set apart!  If thy impatience cannot act a Sabbath twelve hours, what happiness canst thou expect in a perpetual Sabbath?  Is six days too little for thyself, and two hours too much for thy God?”
~ Francis Quarles 1592-1644 (From Horatius Bonar‘s Words Old and New)

Dear Father, let us not presume to think that we have an interest in Heaven if we have no interest in You.  Why would we want to spend eternity with You if we have no desire to spend a day with You now?  Forgive us, and by Your own Spirit draw us to Yourself in Christ with Your people today. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

This Old House of Prayer

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
In the morning hours, visit ~

Wake me with a gentle breeze,
Or however you may please.

Search my heart and know my thoughts;
Reveal to me what is of naught.

Remove that which you see as strange;
And by your own design, arrange ~

A place where you may sit and rest;
Where you may draw me to your breast.

Come and find a special place
Where You may dispense Your grace.

Stay ~ and at the noonday meal
Make me know You linger still.

Teach me of Your Holy Word ~
Of Your strength to undergird.

In my heart and in my mind
Write and hide that I may find.

All day long ~ into the twilight hour
Work in me indwelling power.

That I listen and hear your thoughts~
That I may love you as I ought.

Knowing that we both are blessed.
~ When You are Host, and I am guest.

(I wrote this poem after “meditating on my bed” in the early morning hours.   It was a blessing, as I have been concerned about my loss of memory recently; coupled with the study that our church is doing in Thomas Watson’s book The Great Gain of Godliness, Chapter 8 – The Godly Should Meditate on God’s Name. We are challenged to consider what and how often our thoughts are on God. My prayers are that whatever I forget, that I will never forget Him.)

The Lord’s Day ~ The Christian’s Day of Deliverance

“The Christian as well as the Jew, after six days spent in his own works, is to sanctify the seventh, that he may profess himself thereby a servant of God, the Creator of heaven and earth.  For the quotum the Jew and Christian agree; but in designation of the day they differ.  For the Christian chooseth for his holy day that which, with the Jew, was the first day of the week, and calls it the Lord’s day, that he might thereby profess himself a servant of that God who, on the morning of that day, vanquished Satan, the spiritual Pharaoh, and redeemed us from our spiritual thraldom by raising Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead; begetting us, instead of an earthly Canaan, to an inheritance incorruptible in the heavens.  The Christian, by the day he hallows, professes himself a Christian.  The Jew and Christian make their designation of their day on like ground: the Jews, the memorial day of their deliverance from the temporal Eqypt and temporal Pharaoh; the Christians, the memorial day of their deliverance from the spiritual Egypt and spiritual Pharaoh.”
~ Joseph Mede 1586-1639    (From Horatius Bonar’s Words Old and New)

O LORD MOST HOLY

O Lord most holy, O Lord most mighty,
O loving Father, Thee would we be praising alway.
Help us to know Thee,
Know Thee and love Thee;
Father, Father, grant us Thy truth and grace;

Father, Father, guide and defend us.
Rule Thou our wilful hearts,
Keep Thine our wand’ring thoughts;
In all our sorrows, let us find our rest in Thee;

And in temptation’s hour,
Save through Thy mighty power,
Thine aid, O send us;
Hear us in mercy.
Show us Thy favour,
So Shall we live and sing praise to Thee.

Music by Cesar Franck
Lyrics: unknown

Jerome Hines: O Lord Most Holy

Free Sheet Music and Midi ~ same music as Panis Angelicus

Distracted, Detained, and Deceived

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden. vs.9) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

With the choice of Life or Death, I would think that our first parents would have immediately headed for the center of the garden.   Were they dilly-dallying, haphazardly making their way through the garden, tasting the fruit from the other trees, when they were stopped by the devil “who had the power of death?” (Hebrews 2:14) Was the tree of life not as attractive as the others?

Were they so caught up in their surroundings that they were totally unaware of the danger of disobeying God’s command?  I can relate.  We can be distracted by the many blessings that our heavenly Father bestows on us.  The things become our focus. We then, forgetting our intentions and our goal for life,  are detained, “staying too long at the fair.” Deceived by our own lusts (James 1:12-15)  we settle for what is easy and what looks good in this life, instead of moving on in pursuit of God and His holiness. (Hebrews 12:14)

In the middle of this wilderness Jesus Christ still waits.  He is that tree of Life to all whose hearts and minds are focused, and feast on Him.  We must pray for the diligence and discipline to keep our eyes on Him; for the Spirit of wisdom to enable us to recognize the distractions of the enemy and the world; and for perseverance to proceed to the goal—Christ, Himself.

 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power
hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2 Peter 1: 2-3

Melted and Poured Out

“I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.”
Psalm 22:14 

As I have struggled these past two weeks to discipline myself to do all that I need to do—not what I want to do—the thought came that God, our Father knows what we need, for all that He plans for us to do.

From revelation to repentance He is willing and able to work in us this “great salvation.”  He knows how to preserve His own, to work through us all that is needed to sanctify us and make us willing citizens of His kingdom—members of the “household of faith”—servants of the living God.

If it means that He must bring us to a melting point, so that we are not only pliable in His hands, but unable to do what we want to do.  Then is when He can use us.

I imagined what this would be like for me; totally beyond my doing anything on my own—everything under the power of His mercy and grace, being used to fulfill the “counsel of His will.”  It would seem that I would be useless; but not useless in His hands.

What can you do with a piece of ice? It is too cold to hold in your bare hands.  If you drop it it will shatter into lots of pieces.  All you can is wipe up the mess.  Take the ice cube and put it into a liquid and it will be melted and eventually become a part of that liquid.  In God’s hands of love we are melted.  When God’s Spirit melts a cold heart He can do whatever He wants with it and then pour it out on His altar as a living sacrifice.

In Richard and Joseph Alleine’s book Heaven Opened ~ the Riches of God Covenant this “great salvation” through the covenant of grace is explained.  It is all in God’s hands.  Our hearts are in His hands, to reveal Himself, to bring new life, to turn us to faith and repentance, to reconcile us to Himself in Christ; to conform us to His image.  Through His Word, and His Spirit, He continues to transform us by the renewing of our minds, sanctifying and preserving us through our struggles and our sufferings, and service in His kingdom.

“A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.”
Ezekiel 36:26

A Heart to Know Him
“I will give them a heart to know Me.”  Jeremiah 24:7

One Heart
“I will give them one heart.” Ezekiel 11:19

A Heart of Flesh
“I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

“Flesh will bleed.  A soft heart will mourn, melt, and grieve while nothing moves a hard heart.  Flesh will yield.  It is apt to receive impressions.  The power of God will awe it.  His justice will alarm it.  His mercy will melt it, and His holiness will humble it and leave the stamp and image of it upon it.  And as the attributes do, so the Word and works of God will make a sign upon it.”*   

A Heart to Love the Lord
“The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thine soul.” Deuteronomy 30:6

A Heart to Fear the Lord
“I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me.” Jeremiah 32:40

Obedience in the Covenant
“I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statues, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27

Perseverance in the Covenant
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good…” Jeremiah 32:40

“There are two things secured to believers  in this passage—things which secure their perseverance.  The first is that God will not depart from them.  The second is that they shall not depart from Him.”*

Thank you Father, that you have poured out your whole heart and soul to us in your Son, Jesus Christ.  We praise you that you are exceeding abundantly able to do more than we can ask or imagine to accomplish all for which you created and redeemed us.  Melt us and pour us out today as a living sacrifice for you and your people.

* Heaven Opened ~ The Riches of God’s Covenant by Richard Alleine, published by Sola Deo Publications