Waiting is hard. We wait in grocery lines, in traffic, in the doctor’s office. We twiddle our thumbs, stifle our yawns, and fret inwardly in frustration. On another level, we wait for a letter that doesn’t come, for a prodigal child to return, or for a spouse to change. We wait for a child we can hold in our arms. We wait for our heart’s desire.
In Psalm 40, David says, “I waited patiently for theLord.” The original language here suggests that David “waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer. Yet as he looks back at this time of delay, he praises God. As a result, David says, God “put a new song . . . a hymn of praise” in his heart (40:3 niv).
“What a chapter can be written of God’s delays!” said F. B. Meyer. “It is the mystery of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.” Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues—submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in well-doing—virtues that take the longest to learn.
What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues—and to praise Him.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. —Pollard
If we lose “the heavenly vision” God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to “the heavenly vision” is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory. This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life— sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.
“Though it tarries, wait for it . . .” (Habakkuk 2:3). We cannot bring the vision to fulfillment through our own efforts, but must live under its inspiration until it fulfills itself. We try to be so practical that we forget the vision. At the very beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it. We rushed off to do our practical work, and once the vision was fulfilled we could no longer even see it. Waiting for a vision that “tarries” is the true test of our faithfulness to God. It is at the risk of our own soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical busy-work, only to miss the fulfillment of the vision.
Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside? That will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of the vision you have seen. Let God send you out through His storm, and don’t go until He does. If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod. However, if you allow God to plant you, you will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).
It is essential that we live and “walk in the light” of God’s vision for us (1 John 1:7).
|Inspirational stories about elderly|
Many years ago I worked as a taxi cab driver.
One time I had to pick up a passanger in the middle of the night. When I arrived at the address, the building was dark, except a light in a ground floor window. Many drivers would wait just honk, wait for a couple of minutes and drive away in such circumstances. But I thought of passengers that might need my assistance. Therefore I always went to the door and knocked. So I did the same this time too. I heard a weak voice of an elderly woman: „Just a minute“. The door opened and I saw a small lady in her 80‘s, wearing a dress and a pillbox hat. She had a small suitcase in her hands.
So I took the lady‘s suitcase and helped her to walk to the cab. „Thank you for your kindness“ – she said. „It‘s nothing,“ – I said. „ I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated“. „You are a very decent person“ .
When we got into the cab, she told the address and asked: „Could you drive through downtown?“ . I told her, that it was not the shortest way. „I know, but there is no rush, as I am on my way to a hospice. I have no family left“. I noticed tears in her eyes.
I quietly switched of the meter and asked, what route would she like me to take. While we drove through the city, the old lady showed me the places, that were important to her. The building, where she worked as an elevator operator. The house, where she and her husband lived just after the marriage. The warehouse, where was a ballroom many years ago, so she went dancing there, when she was a young girl.
After two hours of driving she silently said: „I‘m tired, let‘s go now“.
As soon as we arrived at the address she gave me, two orderlied came out to the cab. They seemed to be waiting for her. I took the lady‘s suitcase, while she was seated in a wheelchair. “Tell me, how much do I owe you?” she asked. I said, that she ows me nothing. „But you have to make a living“. „There are other passengers“, – I replied and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. „Thank you for giving me those moments of joy“ , – she said.
When I was walking to the cab, I heard a door shut. I thought to myself that it sounded like closing of person‘s life.
That day I did not pick up any more passengers, I just drove without any purpose, lost in thoughts about the old lady. What if she had gotten an angry or indifferent driver, who was impatient to end his shift? I seems to me that this drive was the most important thing I‘ve done in my life.
We always look for a great moments, but sometimes great moments catch us unaware, beautifully wrapped in what might be considered as nothing particular.
From: American Bible Society
Acts 9:26-43 (Good News Translation)
God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus
Acts 9:26-43: Saul tries to join the followers in Jerusalem, but they are afraid of him because they don’t believe he has changed. In time he becomes part of their community and preaches throughout Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to Lydda and Joppa, heals a paralyzed man, and restores a woman to life.
Today’s Scripture: Acts 9:31b
Through the help of the Holy Spirit [the church] was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.
26 Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27 Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. 31 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord. 32 Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35 All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer.”) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them.42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.
How do the followers in Jerusalem respond to Saul? Why are they afraid of him? Who speaks to the apostles on Saul’s behalf? When Peter is in Lydda and Joppa, what causes people to believe in the Lord? What enables Peter to heal (verse 34)?
At some point in life we’ve all felt the frustration and fear of being up against situations that we can’t deal with and, worse yet, there seems to be no one to help. If you were to ask me to tell you about the times I have felt the twinges of hopelessness, my early recollections would be from my first year in high school.
From kindergarten through eighth grade I attended a small Christian school. My dad was a well-known pastor in the area, which meant that I was the big man on campus. Everyone knew who I was, and I had it made—until the day I graduated from that school and enrolled in the nearby public high school. Nobody knew me or my dad at the new school, and nobody cared. So, needless to say, I wasn’t a big shot anymore. What’s worse, I became the victim of Ronnie, who decided to prove his emerging manhood on me. Whenever I passed him in the hall, he would shove and taunt me. I was traumatized. Every day at school I was filled with anxiety and fear because of Ronnie. I needed somebody to help me. I pleaded with friends who knew Ronnie to ask him to stop, but they never did. I was all alone in my problem, and I needed a champion.
In Jesus’ day, the Jewish people were up against the oppressive regime of Rome. Every day they lived with the shame of being a despised minority under the tyrannical thumb of Caesar, who demanded hefty taxes and unflinching allegiance. The once-proud Israel was now a puppet servant state of a brutal and pagan empire. They desperately needed someone to champion their cause. Could it be that Jesus was the long-awaited deliverer? Hence, this on-the-spot quiz! Peter came up with the right answer when he declared Jesus as “the Christ”—the “Messiah” who would deliver them from the oppression they had endured for so long. Against the backdrop of Caesar-worship and rampant paganism in Caesarea Philippi, the disciples pinned their hopes on Jesus.
What Peter didn’t know was that Jesus would be their champion on a far more significant level than a political one: the oppression of Rome. Jesus came to overthrow the source of our problems, not the symptoms. Rome was merely the tool of Satan to defeat God’s people and tarnish God’s glory. Defeating Rome would have been a great accomplishment, but the enemy of our souls would have found another way to wage war against the people of God. So Jesus went head-to-head against Satan, engaged in battle on an old rugged cross, and after a three-day struggle with death rose victoriously from the grave to assure the final victory over the enemy of our souls.
Jesus is the ultimate champion! And when we cast our lot with Him, He assures us that the victory is already won on our behalf. The next time you find yourself in a full nelson up against the wall of despair, claim Jesus as your champion. As Paul declares, you may be “struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9). Since He won the battle at Calvary, you are now entitled to share in the spoils of His victory. Thanks to Jesus, the word defeat is not in our vocabulary!