Monday, April 4, 2016

The Waiting Game

“ Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what he promised…” Acts 1:4

Before Jesus ascended to heaven he instructed his disciples to wait for a season in Jerusalem. It must have been so difficult to wait when their hearts were bursting with incredible news and experiences. But there was a good reason. They needed more spiritual power not just ride high on emotions. If God instructs us or it appears that we must wait for something there has to be a good reason, too. Not waiting could become a disaster.  Mom and Dad waited twenty years in Yemen to get permission to live in Somalia. They made the most of the Waiting Game. They were not wasted years.

I find it hard to wait. Arriving at Amira’s apartment building I called her on the cell to come open the door. She stumbled to the door looking like she had just woken up, which she had. She motioned for me to sit in the living room and wait while she got dressed and took care of her little brothers. Obviously she had forgotten our appointment. So, I sat alone in the living room for quite a lengthy time. I took advantage of the waiting time and prayed for the Spirit to come and fill the place with His Presence and ready the opportunity to speak and reveal whatever. Finally Amira came. Instead of resenting the waiting time I felt the Spirit fill the room. Immediately a significant conversation developed that revealed deep seated fears – to the point she said, “I hate myself and want to kill myself.” Wow! I wondered if that conversation would have even come out if I hadn’t been made to wait and pray urgently for the Spirit to come and speak.

A visit had been arranged to meet with Jamila on Wednesday at 3 p.m. As I drove closer to her place I spotted Jamila walking down the road away from her apartment. Hmm….she must have forgotten. I called her name and she told me to go wait on the outside steps – she’d be back soon. So…I waited and waited. It was a hot day and the dust and garbage were swirling around from the wind. I began to think she had forgotten me waiting but finally she appeared. Again I decided to use the waiting time to pray for the Spirit to “do something” during our visit. Somehow when I use my waiting times for prayer resentment vanishes. When we finally settled down in the living room she immediately began to share a deep seated fear. She was having terrifying nightmares. It turned into an excellent opportunity to share how Jesus has power over everything and how we can call on Him and just say, “Jesus, help me!”

I don’t like the Waiting Game. The devil plays with my weakness of being impatient. I want my appointments to be on time and for people to remember them.  I have a schedule for the day. There are groceries to be bought, laundry to be washed, supper to be cooked, emails need to be answered and phone messages to be cared for. But it seems that I can not control the Wind of the Holy Spirit. He blows in according to His time. Often that requires me to wait and take my hands off the controls. I think I could safely say that God comes in more power when I least expect Him to or when I have to wait. Now I enter the Waiting Game with the intention to win victory over resenting what seems like wasted time by turning it into praying. Waiting and praying have produced powerful results. Welcome to Muslim ministry!

Dear heavenly Father, You are showing me that waiting and wasted are not synonymous.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.