While At The Waiting Area

A cock crows. Another answers back. It doesn't take long before another crow is heard. The crowing goes on and on, like music to my thoughts, to my prayers.

Waiting is a test. It is a test of patience, of endurance, of trust, of perseverance, of faith. By waiting and enduring, many have been victorious and have seen their promises fulfilled. The Bible is full of those men and women. By waiting, many have grown impatient, doubted and added trouble to their years. We've seen it with Sarah, the mother of all nations. She and Abraham thought they could help God fulfill His promise to them, instead of trusting Him and being still.

The morning prayer of our Muslim countrymen have now started as the roosters' chorus have gone quiet. The wails and the chant-like music carries through the whole area.

I opened my Bible to Acts. I don't know why. I usually follow a Bible reading plan together with some people and, currently, we are now in Isaiah. But Acts? I usually pass it by for my random readings and go for the epistles of Paul and the other apostles. But here I am on the first chapter of Acts. Here's what Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection when He told them to wait in  Jerusalem. He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7, 8 NIV)

As I read, I finally got God's message for me as I wait. And I'm sharing it to every one who are on the waiting line.

• It is not for (me)to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. 

God sees the future. He knows the 'when'. 

He promised to the disciples the Holy Spirit and God's kingdom, but only He knew when that will happen. The disciples had no idea at all. 

So with Abraham and Sarah. God promised them a son and that through him their children would be as many as the stars of the sky or the sand of the sea. They don't know, however, when he would come to them. Only God knew when the fulfillment of that promise would come. 

We now have the Holy Spirit. God had blessed Abraham and Sarah with many children. When God promises, it means it is going to happen, because before we step into the future, God is already there.

In my case, I am absolutely certain the Father knows. Does it matter if I don't? This is the whole point of the trust journey. Just like a child who is holding her mother's hand, not knowing how to get to her grandma's house, but knowing that her mom knows. And so she hold on to momma's hand and at times ask, "Are we there yet?" She doesn't even know when they are going to get there. She has no idea of time. But her mom does. I don't know a thing about the future or what today will lead into. Only the Father knows. I am blind but knowing that my Father in heaven is all-seeing makes all the difference. I am led and guided by One who is able. And knowing my inability, I start to trust the One who knows and is able.

• We will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us.

In every wait, we are waiting for the Holy Spirit to come on us to empower us for the task/responsibility/gift that we are waiting for and which we need. When  we realize our limitations, know God's able-ness and trust Him, then we acknowledge that we need help and finally come to Him for help. We pray. We pray for the Holy Spirit. We pray for the strength to endure and the guidance to do what God wants us to do while waiting. We pray that we will take part in His work. We pray for laborers, starting with us.

I believe that while we wait, God in His wonderful way works in us, molding us in His image and renewing His strength in us. We learn to love as He loves, patiently endure as He did, and take part in His great sacrifice. In the waiting, characters are shaped and made, tempers trained, human tendencies slowly replaced by godly impulse. God works in the waiting area as we willingly submit ourselves to Him, just as the Potter works the clay that are under His hands (Isaiah 64:8), making our hearts ready to receive His call to labor for Him.

• We will be His witnesses. 

It's funny how we often think that to witness for Christ is to have the proper qualifications, ability and skills to do so. Isn't being in the waiting area with Him good enough? How about being worked on by the Holy Spirit, receiving Him, bearing fruits of endurance, patience, and love? Whatever God is doing in our lives, through the Holy Spirit, is a powerful testimony of God's amazing grace and a glory to Him. The Holy Spirit enables us to witness, first hand, God's wonderful ways to His people, and proclaim it with others (2 Corinthians 4:7).

In my waiting, I didn't know that I am already a witness of His goodness and His mighty power. When I realize that, any despondency disappears knowing that I am here at the waiting area for a purpose, for character formation by the Holy Spirit's fashioning. Oh, how marvelous and humbling  it is to realize that God in His wisdom has included me to have a part in His great work without any of my doing and even despite my human weaknesses, my cracks. It is wonderful to see the fulfillment of His promise, “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy" (Acts 2:17,18).

This is all true with every waiting line we are on and the grand waiting that we are doing for Jesus' soon return. As we wait on Him in any and every chapter of our lives and in our life as a whole, the Holy Spirit works in us and we testify to the great work that He is doing in our lives.

Going further, in the succeeding chapters of Acts, we see the disciples harvesting much after their wait. In God's work, He does the work in us while we wait and at the same time, He makes the wheat grow, ready for our harvesting, then calls us for harvest. He said, "The harvest is great..." (Luke 10:2). It is ready for our harvesting. We have nothing to boast. As God makes plants grow, by sending rain and sun and making them grow without our knowledge, so does He work on people's hearts as we wait on Him and get ready to take part in His grand work. The Lord of the harvest faithfully works in people's hearts and in ours.

So next time you think waiting is simply waiting, think again. It's in the waiting area that we either give in (surrender) to God or we give up (quit) on God. It is here that our spirit's are broken so that  He can put the pieces back together again more beautifully. Yes, it is here that the Holy Spirit does His work in us as we trust Him, finally ask for His power knowing we don't know and willingly submit to Him. And before we know it, we are a-harvestin'!

The sun is now bright and warm, heralding a day that is crystalline. All kinds of sounds of activity now permeate the morning. It's time to get moving... while waiting, being still at the waiting area of Heaven. 

Work on me, dear Lord, I pray. Here I am, I wait.




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On Fishing, Fire and Breakfast

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