This devotion was written by Sheena.
In the waiting…
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.( Micah 7:7)
Acts feels like a romp through early Christian history, there is always something going on. Paul and Peter receiving visions and imprisonments. They tussled with how Gentile and Jewish people amalgamate in faith, there were stoning and beatings, being run out of cities and a shipwreck. You wonder how they have time to catch their breath. But Acts was written over 30 years of Christian history.
Paul was converted in 34 AD (four years after the ascension) and his first missionary journey was 48 AD. Paul spent ten years back home in Tarsus before he was called to his first missionary journey. What was he doing? Not being a Pharisee, that was out for Paul, but he was still a tentmaker.
God had suddenly and spectacularly converted Paul on the road to Damascus on his way to round up and imprison Christians, blinded him and then spiritually via the Holy Spirit and physically allowed him to see the light. But then he went home.
But he will not have acted like nothing had happened, there is nothing in Acts to tell us what he was up to, but I imagine Paul working, praying, re evaluating his beliefs and talking to his family and friends about Jesus. Just gently discussing his understanding of Jesus, no big synagogue speeches. Just getting alongside people.
And I wonder while he was in his workshop making tents, whether he chatted to the latest customer… ‘Are you planning on going anywhere nice? How are the kids?’ ‘How am I? I’m really good, it might sounds crazy, but something happened that changed my life, if you’ve got 10 minutes I’ll tell you about it.’
Paul had ten years of quiet living, chewing things over with himself and others before he began his apostle journey.
And we know plenty other people waited for God – David, Moses, Joseph and others.
God has His own timetable and it often doesn’t match ours. Are you waiting for something? To complete studying? A different job? A new house? A new relationship? Children? It can be so frustrating to wait prayerfully for something we feel is right but it’s just not here yet.
God is moving in the background, putting the pieces in place and it might not be in the way we imagined but God is good and powerful and we have to trust that.
It can be tempting to try and get what we want without Him but ‘What good is it for a man to gain the who world yet forfeit his soul?‘ (Mark 8:36)
I am impatient and easily frustrated when I want something which is out with my control. I need to remind myself that I was made by God, He has a plan for me that is better than anything I have planned. Paul says it in Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
What we want may not be what we get but ‘My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.‘ Philippians 4:19 God gives us what we need.
We wait because we are meant to wait. It is God’s plan. We wait watchfully for signs and prayerfully for what He is trying to say in the waiting. But we are not still, we can learn from this and we should not be idle. God put us in the position we are right now for his glory. So although we have an eye on the horizon for what we wait for we need to attend to the here and now.
Thank you that you know our needs and our desires better than anyone and that you care about them. Lord please give me what is best for me and is for your glory. Father hold my hand and be with me while I wait expectantly. I pray that you teach me and use me while I wait.