Waiting

Art:

I PAINTED THIS Watercolor fourteen years ago as part of a lesson (as best I remember) from Gordon MacKenzie’s The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook, 1999.  It was a great help with Watercolor.  its subtitle is, “A Treasure of tricks and techniques discovered through years of painting and experimentation”.  It was.

I chose this painting to represent our Thought—‘Waiting’.  Marj and I enjoy Fall as our favorite season. I must admit that as we grow older, Spring is a very close second! We enjoy the colors and smells of Fall in the upper Midwest where we have lived all our lives. Officially, Fall arrived just a few days ago. 

Thought:

Waiting For What?

“PLEASE…WILL YOU just wait a minute!” How many times do words like that flow from the lips of parents across the country daily.  Don’t try to answer.  Just think. How many times have you or I voiced them to our children?  They’re having a hard time ‘Waiting’ and we are having a hard time ‘Waiting’ on their hard time ‘Waiting’!  We’re both bursting with impatience.  Be honest, do you sometimes have a hard time ‘Waiting’?   Welcome to humanity!   So, why is that?  What’s so hard about waiting?  It generally boils down to what we’re ‘Waiting’ for, doesn’t it?  We can probably narrow our answer to two categories: we are either ‘Waiting’ for something we anticipate will be a good result or a not-so-good result.

The Good Result

TO JOG YOUR memory, here are some things generally agreed to be well worth ‘Waiting’ for:  Your  wedding day… arrival of the baby… Christmas celebrations…a child home for the holidays… vacations…graduation…closing on a new home…tax refund… retirement… Fall or Spring.  Add to your list.  If “Hope is patience with the lamp lit”, as Tertullian once said, we call that process ‘Waiting’.

The Not-So-Good

THE NOT-SO-GOOD anticipations from having to ‘Wait’ often revolve around anticipated loss.   Rejection is huge: Rejection by someone close to you…rejection of your application for the position you wanted…rejection of your submission for publication…waiting on the bill for an uninsured loss…medical result to determine if its terminal…we would rather not think about these… so we won’t.

“Why Doesn’t God Do Something?

WHEN WE SEE PEOPLE suffering in the world around us for lack of food… shelter… justice… health care… and in so many other ways, we are prompted to shout… “What is God ‘Waiting’ for?  “Why doesn’t he do something?”

Marj and I join with three other couples in a Small Group Bible Study that meets every other week. We are currently in a study of the Life of Jesus from the four Gospels.  It’s our turn to facilitate this week. One passage for the week is Mathew 13:24-35 known as ‘The Parable of the Weeds. This parable (as are several others in this context) is about ‘Waiting’.  Jesus’ followers didn’t want to wait.  They wanted to immediately pull out the weeds that had been sown along with the good seed by the evil one.  Jesus’ parable lesson was to ‘Wait’ until harvest for good reasons. One of my favorite New Testament scholars is N. T. Wright.  I loved his closing paragraph at the end of his thought on this passage…

N. T. Wright

“WE WHO LIVE after Calvary and Easter know that God did indeed act suddenly and dramatically at that moment.  When today we long for God to act, to put the world to rights, we must remind ourselves that he has already done so, and that what we are now awaiting is the full outworking of those events  We wait with patience, not like people in a dark room wondering if anyone will ever come with a lighted candle, but like people in early morning who know that the sun has arisen and now waiting for the full brightness of midday.”[1]

Worth the ‘Wait’!

I LOVE IT!  Calvary and Easter remind us that Jesus came into the world to bring the light of God’s kingdom–sunrise [John 8:12; 9:5]. Jesus also said that his followers continue to be God’s light in the world [John 5:14]. We live in the morning before his ‘noon’ return [Acts 1:9, 10]! We are part of his loving plan for all creation.  It’s all worth the ‘Wait’! [Romans 8:28]

[Jesus said,] “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”                                                                                                                    John 8:12


[Now]“You are the light of the world.”

John 5:14

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.

Romans 8:28


[1] Matthew for Everyone Part 1, by N.T. Wright, p. 170

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