by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate…
and the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!”
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?”
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign.
Or even a ‘no,’ to which I’ll resign.
You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again,”Child, you must wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…for what?”
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine…
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.
You’d never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
You’d never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I’m doing in you.
So,be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still “WAIT”.
Have you ever watched a child anticipate Christmas day? Oh, it seems it will never arrive. They sit next to the Christmas tree, eying each present, wondering what is in store for them, and waiting…waiting…impatiently, I might add,but waiting.
Waiting does not come naturally to us today. We are spoiled with drive through banking,fast food, headline news…waiting is not encouraged, instead, bent on instant gratification, we are guaranteed that we can “have it our way”, encouraged to “just do it”, and assured that we can have whatever we want when we want it, why wait? The future is ours, if we would but grasp it for ourselves.
As parents, we know that giving a child everything they want when they want it is not best for them, it makes for spoiled, ungrateful children who think they can stomp their foot and get their way. We have all seen children like this, and we all know how unbecoming it is in a child. As Christians living in this world, I believe our Heavenly Father has a better plan for us as well. We catch glimpses of it through His Holy Word. Isaiah 40:11 says“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Noah waited. He waited for the promised rain, even in the midst of ridicule from everyone around him, he faithfully obeyed God and waited for God to fulfill His word. Then, when the rains came, and the earth was flooded, he waited again, safe inside the ark, for the waters to subside.
Moses’ mother waited for Pharoah’s daughter to find Moses in the bulrushes. The children of Israel waited to be delivered from Pharoah. They waited for their Messiah. In all these cases, when God’s timing was perfect, He fulfilled His plan, and through it, strengthened his people, and gave them opportunity to glorify God.
Why does God make us wait? Now, I have to admit, I’m one of those spoiled children, who would like to voice my demands and have them materialize now, I do not like to wait, and I have a difficult time doing so. I find myself questioning God sometimes “why?” Why did Elizabeth have to wait to her old age to have John the Baptist? Can you imagine the heartache year after year, of the barren woman waiting for her child,watching relatives and friends birthing and nursing their babies,aching for her own? I imagine she had given up by the time she reached her retirement years…can you imagine her surprise when she learned in her elderly years that she was to have her hopes fulfilled? And for such a purpose as her son was being born for…to prepare the way of the Messiah himself?
Many times in Scripture, God used waiting times in the lives of His people for the sake of preparing them for His work. Moses, Elijah, David…John the Baptist, even Jesus himself had waiting periods before being released for great ministry. Moses was used to deliver Israel from the hands of Pharaoh, Elijah was a great prophet of the Lord, speaking His word to an ungodly generation, bringing revival and turning their hearts back to the Lord. John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord, and Jesus, well, we all know that he did many miracles, fed multitudes on meager offerings, healed lepers, made the deaf to hear and the blind to see, made the lame walk, forgave sinners, and ultimately overcame death itself. But before He did all that, He waited. There were times his disciples didn’t under-stand Him, and his answer was“it’s not time yet”, or loosely translated, “wait”.
I believe God makes us wait for another reason. He is doing a work inside us that cannot be done instantly. It takes time for a seed to grow, and in the same way, it takes time for God’s Word and work to grow in us. He sees the end product of what He is preparing us to become, He is transforming us, conforming us to the image of His Son. For this to take place, our own self needs to be dealt with, and our own fleshly desires removed so he can plant His desires in our heart and grow us into His image of who He sees us becoming in Christ.
May we never forget to wait on the Lord. Watch for what He is accomplishing in the lives of those around us, and in our own hearts. Draw near to Him, and seek His face. Learn of Him and ask him through your waiting times “Lord, what is it you would have me learn through this time?” and listen for His answer, watch for His hand in situations in your life, and glorify Him.