Wait and Watch Dear friends, as we find ourselves WAITING in this time of uncertainty, I ask you to consider these thoughts!
Wait is defined as "to stay in a place or remain in readiness or in anticipation until something expected happens or for someone to arrive."
We are all waiting for something in these days of uncertainty - waiting for news and updates, waiting for test results, waiting for stimulus checks or CARES Act monies, waiting for .............. (fill in the blank)! I certainly had my own period of waiting these past two weeks - waiting for my son to complete his 14 days of self-isolation and to return home to his family after a medical issue requiring a hospital stay. And praise be to God, that happened on Saturday morning and this particular period of waiting ended, as I was able to return to my home. Waiting is not easy! It goes against our human nature - certainly in the here and now of 2020. We struggle with waiting, with inactivity, with lack of control over the circumstances we find ourselves in! But waiting has a purpose. It had a purpose for the people of Israel as they waited before entering the Promised Land. During that time, the LORD spoke to the people through Moses and He reminded them time and time again of His power, His provision, His requirements for worship, and of His promises. Waiting had a purpose for the disciples, even as they waited - in fear - in a locked room. Listen to the words of John 20:19-22: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the LORD. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you." And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit..." The gift of the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to carry out the work of the LORD, but they had to wait for it to be given to them. Acts 1:4 says, "Wait for the gift My Father promised...." But what about us? Does this period of waiting have a purpose for us as well? Let me share a few ways that the LORD has spoken to me during this period of waiting. I am participating in a study of the book Draw the Circle led by Bob and Mia Koehne. Bob is the executive director of Valley Lutheran High School and Mia shares her gifts as worship leader for Aspire. We are reading the daily chapters and then sharing insights on the group's Facebook page. The 'goal' of the study is to examine and to reevaluate our personal prayer life. I have found the book to be insightful, thought-provoking and convicting! Here is one small excerpt that addresses waiting from Day 24 - "Waiting is a part of praying and praying is a form of waiting. Prayer will sanctify our waiting, so we wait with holy expectancy. And waiting doesn't delay God's plans and purposes. It always expedites them. Waiting is the fast track to whatever it is that God wants to do in our lives." I have found myself returning time and again to the phrase "holy expectancy!" I have begun to include these words - this promise from God - in my prayers. I prayed it over and over again as I waited for Brandon's test results. And praise be to God, when He answered, my heart was filled with incredible gratitude! Waiting for Christians requires faith! Faith in His Word! Faith in His promises! Faith is His timing! But waiting also requires WATCHING - watching for the ways in which God is using this time -
to grow us through intentional time spent in His Word and in prayer.
to see our educators stepping up to find new ways to 'connect' with their students and families.
to see our churches in action, reaching into our communities through technology to share the HOPE of Jesus.
It is my prayer for you that, as we wait with "holy expectancy", watching to see how God answers the prayers of His people, you will be blessed! All glory be to God! Amen!
-Lynne Rose, School Ministries Early Childhood Consultant