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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

In Stillness, I Wait

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

As I gathered myself yesterday morning to begin the week, I began to think through all the things I needed to do this week. Instead of getting up to hid the ground running, I decided to lay in bed and meditate on the Lord and pray a little bit. My personality is such that I am very driven in what I do. It is a habit of mine to plan out my day down to five minute increments as I don’t want to waste a moment doing frivolous things. This also protects me from idle time which often produces either sinful thoughts or slothful behavior—both of which I abhor. I was reminded this morning of what Piper said in a conversation about his sabbatical due to his cancer. He mentioned that he “found rest in productivity.” I heartedly agree with this sentiment as the times I feel at most rest is when I most be used to serve God and honor him in my life, marriage, studies, etc.

However, with my mind constantly running and my heart passionately pushing me onward, I find it hard sometimes to simply sit still. I know this sounds silly, but what I kept on going back to in my meditation of Scripture was passage that kept speaking of waiting on the Lord and being still. The spiritual discipline of silence, solitude, and stillness is much needed in my life today along with a steadied waiting on the Lord. Waiting on God is no passive matter, as I have found that it requires a disposition of dependence on God as well as a determination to remove all distractions from my mind. The Psalmist gives us several admonitions to wait on the Lord, such as

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land.” Psalm 37:34

Moreover, the Psalmist gives us wonderful expressions of such waiting:

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. Psalm 38:15

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. Psalm 52:9

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

For God alone, O my soul, waits in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6

I share these verses about waiting on God because we live in a day where waiting is not appreciated. It seems that we are in a world where the clock is so wound up that life is experienced in a “hurry-up, no huddle” mode. The air we breathe is full of eschatological expectation, and the world we live in pressures us to jam as much into our day planners as possible.

A couple of things I have gleaned from waiting on God and being still in recent days. First, I am reminded that my day is to be spent on God’s agenda, not mine. It really doesn’t matter what I have to do, what deadlines I have to meet, or what people I must meet with. There is nothing more important that “abiding in the Vine.” Secondly, waiting on God shows that “my times are in his hands”, not mine. When life is a vapor, it is too short to be spent being in a hurry or acting in presumption. Thirdly, waiting expresses “not my will, but Thy will be done.” In order to know God’s will, one must know the God of the will, lest I find myself doing what “is right unto man.” Fourthly, waiting reveals God’s power, not mine. I do not want to live or minister in my own strength, but in the “strength which God provides,” Surely I will grow weak, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). Finally, waiting results in God’s provision, not mine. The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, who feeds the ravens though they do not work, will take care of His own, for He is my portion in the land of the living. I need not worry, doubt, or be anxious about anything when I have waited on the Lord. Truly, he will hear my cry.

So in stillness I desire to wait on the Lord—to behold his sovereignty and supremacy as King over all the earth and King over all my life (Psalm 46:10). Whatever I do, I hope to know God’s agenda in God’ time, doing God’s will in God’s power through God’s provision. So if you see me in a hurry or acting like there is something more important than waiting patiently on the Lord, please pull me aside and remind me that our Good Shepherd will lead me beside still waters. And please pray for me that I would not be so presumptuous and self-independent to “live, move, and having my being” apart from divine, enabling grace and the fullness of the Spirit. More than watchman wait for the morning . . . I wait.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Life of Chica Loca! said...

Hola Timmy i have finally hit the real world of blogging. I just read your post here about waiting. I have the problam about being so busy and constantly wanting to do something that i dont have time to just sit back and focus on my time with God. I wonder sometimes what am i to do with my life or whatever, but i was just reminded that i have to wait on God and what he is revealing to me at the time. Sometimes in life have learned it is worth the wait in whatever im waiting for. Its time to just be still.

7/12/2006 12:40:00 AM

 
Blogger The Life of Chica Loca! said...

this is Julie by the way.

7/12/2006 12:41:00 AM

 
Blogger Nick Kennicott said...

Timmy:

Thank you so much for that - what an awesome encouragement. This for me, as of late, has been an incredible difficulty of mine. I, like you, and particularly anal about my time and if I feel it is being spent on useless activities, enjoyed or not, I feel guilty or useless. I think being committed to full-time ministry can sometimes give the impression that since there's always more to do, we need to get it done - sleeping is a waste of time, vacations put us further behind, and if we're not reading, writing, praying, preaching, counseling, or ministering we're not using time wisely. Surely, there is a time and necessity for all of these things, but we need to delight in the stillness. How much I wish I could adhere to this in my own life. I just prayed for you and I would ask that you please do the same for me... I hate going to bed with a feeling like I didn't accomplish enough!

Thanks again brother!

Blessings,

Nick

7/12/2006 09:43:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Juls,

Glad to see that you have gotten a blog! You always have some Spanish nick name going on!

Nick,

I appreciate the encouragement brother. I know that there are some bloggers who totally discourage blogging about one's life (in a journalistic sense), and to some degree I agree. I mean, I really don't want to know about the unimportant details that are relevant only to those who are "in the know." But then again, I disagree in that I believe it is important and helpful to provide some disclosure and transparency in my life and lessons I am learning. I also happen to think that there are others who could be encouraged or edified by them as you have expressed. I praise God that he can uses things he teaches us to build up one another to pursue Him and at times pursue Him by waiting. Every so often I hope to share my heart, some struggles I am facing in my pursuit of holiness, or some things the Lord has been showing me in hopes that people will see (and read) me for who I am under grace, and with hope pray the same grace in which I stand will extend into the lives of others.

God bless you brother, and I pray the Lord renews your strength as you wait for Him.

7/13/2006 04:12:00 AM

 

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