I've been doing a lot of waiting lately. It's not my favorite thing to do. But I know God is having me wait for His timing and plans, so I wait.
God's perfect timing and perfect plan can't be rushed or assumed. I know that from learning it the hard way. About eight years ago, I was convinced that we needed to move. I did not like living in Arizona and we were so far from family. Surely God couldn't intend for us to stay here. We jumped ahead with our own plans, only for them to come to a screeching halt. One week before the logs were to be delivered for a home we had planned to build in Colorado, my husband lost his job - for a year. We sucked through all the money we had saved to build and were scraping by at the end of that year. There was no way we could afford to move anywhere after that. Not such a good idea to jump ahead of God. That's a lesson not easily forgotten.
My daughter recently told me that she's No. 160 on a waiting list for a library book she's been wanting to read. Really? I would just go and buy the book. Maybe it's self-control in combination with waiting patiently that I need. God sure gives me lots of opportunities to practice.
We can move ahead in our own strength and perhaps get to the same result, but in the end it might not be as easy as waiting for the right timing. I heard a great analogy about this idea. You can begin building a fence in the middle of winter, hacking away at the ice and snow day after day to drive those posts into the ground. Eventually, the fence might be completed by June. Or you can wait until June when conditions are right, when the ground is thawed and soft, and that exact same fence can be completed in one day.
There is an interesting connection between waiting and meekness. I have often heard "meek" as described in Mathew 5:5 to mean "gentle" or "humble." "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." But I recently read a book that broke down the meaning of the original Greek word "praüs" that we have translated in English as "meek" in that verse, and something clicked. "Praüs" can be used to describe an animal that is very strong and mighty, but has been trained to accept control by its master. Even though the animal is powerful, it doesn't move until the master says when to move.
There's a great picture of this kind of meekness in Job 39:23-35. A horse is prepared and has been trained to be battle-ready, but waits for the cue from its master before making a move. "The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, ‘Aha!' He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry."
Self-controlled and waiting. Submitted to the Master no matter what is happening all around. Surrendered to His plan. Training and preparing for whatever lies ahead. Ready for the trumpet. "Praüs"
Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.