Monday, March 23, 2009

LINGERing - In the Meantime


No. Don't just wait.

Wait patiently.

Few things in life are more difficult. More frustrating. More exasperating than having to wait. Our society today abhors waiting. Everything is fast. Technology is at our beckon call. Our phones do everything for us. They scan the Internet, call anyone, anywhere, anytime. They keep us connected with social networks; and direct us when we get lost on the road to our desired destination.

Food is in our hands no sooner than we pull up to the little window and hand over our hard-earned money. Gone are the days when we called our children's teachers to make an conference appointment. Everything we need to know about their progress is available for viewing online at the simple entry of a password.

It's a wonder we've run out of patience. I remember paging my husband and waiting for his call (whenever he could get to a landline phone). Now, I call; he answers. Or vice-versa. Instant results in an instant society. Just add water. Stir, and voila! Life without the wait.

And when the Lord calls on us to wait, we cringe. We fidget. We try to fill every waiting moment with some sort of activity. The interim hardly reflects our obedience to ... wait.

Hence our topic for the week. LINGERing in the meantime. There are few things as difficult. Perhaps you never thought about it until now. That's probably because you've not been obedient to the call to stop... and wait. Because it's the hard thing. Understood. But we must realized, it's the RIGHT thing to do.

*Remember guilt and judgment hold no place on this blog. It's a place to share openly. It is my prayerful goal to assist you along your journey - as you assist me - with real life, relevant answers to the challenges of how-to LINGER with our Lord smack in the middle of our hectic lives (maybe better interpreted, lifestyles). AND, more importantly, this is a place to minister to one another with God's Word. He is, after all, our ONLY reason for LINGERing.

So... You've prayed for direction. You're sure you've received an answer. He's leading you to minister, somehow, some way. We are His vessels, open to His use, anywhere, anytime. What that looks like? I have no idea until it happens. One person perhaps, maybe two. Maybe a multitude? It matters not. It's all in His time. It's all according to His will. It's the best way.

Now, what do we do with the call? Or better asked, what do we do in the meantime until the call comes to fruition? Do we just wither away in our constant cries of "when, Lord?" becoming more frustrated than encouraged? Do we focus on the impossibly faraway goal or on the present? Are we willing to keep our meantime filled with LINGERing moments of praise and fellowship as we enjoy - though sometimes simply endure - His process of winnowing the chaff before the harvest is complete?

Do you LINGER patiently? Or do your LINGER anxiously? To answer my own question, I've LINGERED both ways. I can tell you from experience, that LINGERing patiently is the better way. Because it's His way. It is.

How about you?


Robbie Iobst said...

Sharen, Do you mean waiting on the Lord during the time when we sit at His feet. Just waiting on Him in quietness?
OR, do you mean waiting on the fruition of a promise or a call God has given me?

The first one I am getting better at, but it is VERY DIFFICULT, because I want to rush God. Can't do it. :0) Duh.

The second one is a little easier for me because I am learning to wait on instructions, a little at a time. Kind of like "Okay God what is the next step for me?" This can be praying for something specific or doing something specific. My frustration in this has been when I tried to control a major outcome instead of waiting, knowing I had no control.

Does that make sense to you? Can you clarify a bit what you are talking about?

myrtlebeachgirl said...

I can really relate to this lately where my writing is concerned. The Lord has put it upon my heart to hold back making moves in certain areas so He can work things out in their perfect timing and to His utmost glory. This is hard, as I have had some neat opportunities land at my feet. But the moment I tried to move in my own power, I was greatly convicted to "be still and know" He is working His perfect plan. And when I do, He throws open another door that I could have bolted shut by my impatience. It's like seeing that hunk of triple chocolate cake just sitting there and knowing God wants you to have it, but...NOT YET. "Just trust's yours," He whispers. "And soon, if you're PATIENT, I'll give you the fork." I am leaning on the verse, "Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:4) May we want for nothing as we LINGER on God!

Sharen Watson said...

Robbie... Thank you for calling me to the carpet, as they say :-). Let me clarify a bit:

As I wrote this post, I was actually thinking about LINGERing while waiting on God. Whether it be for a call to come to fruition OR for an answer to prayer - in the meantime is key - for anything we've asked Him of Him.

Patience is hard in the interim - in any situation. It means WAIT. Lingering in those moments is hard. Our LINGER time becomes a time of agendas. When this? And why that? etc...

Does that help make better sense of the purpose of this post?

Sharen Watson said...

Alisha... Welcome to LINGER! So glad to have you here. I love your example of waiting while LINGERing. I especially LOVE your last sentence wrapping your idea up. "May we want for nothing as we LINGER on God!"

... even if that triple chocolate cake causes us to drool :-). I'm sure we can all relate.

And what a perfect Scripture to tie in. James 1:4. Thank you.

Jan Parrish said...

I agree that our society is out of the practice of waiting. Like, what did we do before all this technology?

I remember how I waited a letter to arrive in the mail. Sometimes it took up to FOUR days for a letter to arrive. Now zip, zap zoom, here it is via text or Tweeting or email.

Then it occurred to me, while reading this, to ask Him how I should wait.

Sharon Ball said...

I find that I wait more patiently when the thing I'm waiting for is less critical. Once the heat turns up, it's a constant battle to wait patiently and trust the Lord.

I decided earlier this year not to allow fear to rule me. Even when awful, scary things happen, I won't allow fear to keep me from my Lord and block what He's trying to teach me. Fear is a powerful weapon of the enemy, and I've decided no more. I'll wait and patiently pray while the Lord works everything out according to His perfect plan.

Kay Day said...

Waiting for direction for the call is getting easier. I just make myself available and wait for further instructions. I'm kinda there now.

Waiting for answered prayer is much tougher for me. Especially those that drag on for decades. Very tough.
I struggle and fight, then come back to His arms and rest, then struggle and fight again. But He always brings me back to the knowledge that He is God in the now. And I can trust Him.

Nishant said...

The second one is a little easier for me because I am learning to wait on instructions

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