Waiting on the World to Change
The other day I was listening to a Podcast of a sermon by Dr. Fred Craddock, who is identified by his excellent ability to use narrative preaching. In his messages, Craddock talks to the members of his audience as if he were having a one-on-one meeting with them. He is not only an extremely gifted theologian, but another amazing talent is how he assists the believer in crossing over to submerge themselves in the depths of the story.
Craddock says, “He believes he’s been called, either way he’s here.” I believe he had every reason to know God had laid his hand on him based on the split second notoriety that engulfed him when people first heard him preach.
In both his recent podcast sermon on the advent, and a November 27, 2012 interview with Day1.org, he relates how the hospital waiting area is one of the loneliest rooms there is.
Unequivocally people sit there and wait. If you have ever had to wait in the hospital waiting area you know the time there seems like an eternity. It doesn’t matter what the reason you are there for; whether you are waiting on the birth of a baby, or for a loved one who is in surgery, time seems to stand still.
While there are a multitude of things to avail oneself of in the waiting area, some of the most common are for people to pace the floor, read a book or watch television. Some have even been known to spend the time in a deep fervent prayer to the Lord, petitioning him for mercy.
In an attempt to ease the concern, some may decide to post the status of what isoccurring on Facebook or other social media, while others simply cry. Often times people find themselves making a constant walk to the nurses’ station in an attempt to check for updates, while situated close by them are any number of vending machines, housing snacks with zero nutrients, lined up in a rigid formation as if they were military personnel standing in formation. The vending machines reach out to them, beckoning them to offer their coin offerings. Once the money is deposited with a clanging sound signaling acceptance of the offering, they dispense their reward which temporarily satisfies the appetites of those who have abandoned any thought of exiting the area and refusing to leave the waiting room.
With all of the technological advancements and gadgets that are so commonly available for us to use today, you would think that somehow, somewhere, somebody would have invented something to help us lessen the long, arduous wait. Nevertheless, in spite of the drudgery and anxiety we are experiencing, our lives consist of vast amounts of time waiting.
We wait on the police to gather more leads in the case after our child turns upmissing. We wait for an expectant mother to deliver her baby, and then after its arrival, we wait for the baby to walk and talk. When there is something wrong with our parents, who we dutifully take care of, we nervously wait for a prognosis. When our scheduled appointment with the doctor is six months away, and our anxiety calls out for us to have it right at the present moment, what do we do? We simply wait.
In the meantime, not knowing if the medicine is really treating our cancer we wait to see the results of the treatment. Whenever we are driving in traffic and in a hurry, it seems like that is the one time we end up catching every red light, and we are forced to wait. We wait for someone to come along and ask for our hand in marriage. After losing a loved one we wait for grief to pass.
In spite of all the technology available today, we still have to wait!! Many of the things we wait on cause us to become highly stressful and irritated. Gee, we say “that bus is never on time.” What does God say about waiting?
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, and while that is something we should be asking, have we ever asked him to teach us how to wait? This may not ever be your prayer request but yes, Jesus teaches us how to wait as well as how to pray. Our time spent in waiting becomes more endurable once we understand that waiting allows us to mount up like eagles and renews our strength.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
Is Jesus waiting as well? Is he waiting for Christian brothers and sisters to love each other no matter the color of their skin or economic level? Is Jesus waiting for love to show up and for His children to be of one accord? When Jesus returns will he find your heart manifesting itself with Love for Jesus and your neighbor, or will he instead find it salivating with hatred and observe you spewing ill-meaning poisonous words about others? What will you be caught doing? What will Jesus see and hear when He walks into your church? Will He walk in and say heaven looks like this, or will He walk in and overturn your chairs and tables in disgust? This is why Imoan