Monday, September 9, 2013

Waiting for a delivery

I ordered some flag buntings online a few weeks ago to decorate our front porch next Fourth of July.  They were on sale with "just $5 shipping."   While I was filling out the order form, I realized I needed two packages, oh well, one for each side of the front door.  It was then I discovered each package was $5 shipping.  My enthusiasm began to wane as the cost kept adding up.  And that old deceitful voice inside me urged me on, "Oh, it will be so worth it."

The package arrived, and it was not.  In an effort to fake-antique the material, it appeared that the items had been left soaking a bit too long in dark roasted coffee, stained into a muddy lack of color. They were also smaller than what showed in the picture.  I felt duped.  I ended up returning them.  Again, shipping was on me, seven dollars more.  So, for $17, I ended up with nothing but buyer's remorse.

I think sometimes we view God's deliverance like my package --order, wait a few days, and expect it just to be dropped on our front doorstep, free and easy.  More often than not, in the process, we appear not to be waiting on the LORD, but some kind of cosmic Fed Ex truck with just what we ordered.  The object becomes exactly that -- an object -- and nothing to do with God or a deepening of our relationship with Him. The Bible calls for us to wait upon the LORD and to seek His deliverance.

God's deliverance is rarely a plucking out of a miry bog or the wilderness, but a strength and wisdom to move through our situation.  "LORD, show me how to navigate this dilemma."  It is not that we need to earn His deliverance by working for it, but trust Him in it and start moving through.  He works His purposes even in this, His hand upon us powerfully.  His deliverance usually comes in ways we never expect.

For what am I praying?  For what am I waiting?

God does not intend for us to be hanging out on the front porch, scanning the street for a familiar truck to bring it to us.  That is not God's kind of waiting.  For any of us who have ever worked in a restaurant or other service venue, we see "waiting" in a different light.  Think about the meaning of the word "waiting" as "waiting tables" or "waiting on customers."  And so, as we wait on God for His purposes and perfect timing, consider how to serve Him in it.

When we are in the waiting room, God doesn't give us a recliner to waste away the hours.  He always gives us something to do to prepare us for the delivery, or to work our way toward it.

It is not if it works out, but how God works it.

He will bring me forth to the light;
I shall behold His deliverance.

                        Micah 7.9

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