Thursday, March 18, 2010
Hurry up and wait.
Our culture is training us to be impatient. Instant information via the world wide web, text messages, faxes, fast food, etc., have conditioned us to expect immediate results. Waiting for something is a huge inconvenience and so when God doesn't answer us immediately or when His answer is to (heaven forbid) "wait", we don't know what to do with ourselves.
It is interesting to wonder what was going on in Queen Esther's mind when she finally had her husband, King Xerxes and his stooge, Haman, sitting with her at the banquet she had prepared for them. This was it. She was going to reveal her Jewish heritage and plead for the king to reverse his decree of genocide against her people. The king has asked her, "what do you require?" and Esther answers, "come back tomorrow for another feast." What? Come back tomorrow? End it now Esther! Why in the world would you wait until tomorrow?
Scripture doesn't tell us why Esther did not make her request at the first banquet. Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 does however tell us that, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...a time to be silent and a time to speak." It was not yet time for Esther to speak, it was time for Esther to wait.
Behind the curtain, God was orchestrating a scene that only He could have written. Had Esther unveiled her true identity to the king at the first banquet, though she may have succeeded at having Haman removed from the picture, perhaps the king would have been so bitter towards her (having no reason, at that time, to doubt Haman) that he would not have made any effort to help the Jewish people. Somehow Esther knew to wait.
I don't like waiting. When I ask God for direction, I expect Him to respond like the GPS system in my car (minus the female voice with the British accent). But some times (most of the time in my case) God has us wait, maybe because He is currently working on the other people involved or because He wants to teach us patience, either way, we are forced to wait.
Tim and I have recenlty found ourselves in a few situations where we have had to wait on God for answers and direction. This morning during Bible Study, the following verse from Isaiah was highlighted and so encouraging for me. If you are in a situation where you are having to wait on God, take encouragement in this verse from Isaiah 40:31, "...but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength." Waiting on your answer, or your circumstance to change, or that one person to do what you want, will cause you to stress and worry and become exhausted. Waiting on the Lord will give you strength while you wait.