Pastor John Anderson
"Wait on theLord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." - Psalm 27:14
The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Mr. brooks?" he asked.
"The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!" Haven't we felt the same way many times?
Right now as we wait patiently on the Lord and trust His purposes, how is your spirit? Is your demeanor angry? Are you constantly frustrated? Are the actions of others irritating you too easily? Have you turned into a source of negativity? Are you saying things or posting things that are just infantile and immature? Are you speaking destructive things that tear down other people?
These are trying moments in our hearts, minds and emotions. We must learn to let patience have her perfect work.(James 1:4) Recognize that God is using this to develop some Christian character in our lives and to chip away our selfishness, pettiness, and frankly, spoiled rotten worldview. When we trust the Lord and recognize that He wants to use our lives but He will not use us as long as we are in the way, we will begin to patiently embrace the purposes of God.
Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. I am sure that William Carey, as he labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, felt frustrated. Adoniram Judson tirelessly toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. I am convinced there were moments of anger. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began. I am sure there were some complaining moments of doubt. We now look at these examples of patience and perseverance and applaud, but this is our moment!
Could it be that Almighty God is using Covid-19 to shake our lives and churches up? Could He be using this trying time to cause us to stop our pettiness and childishness? Could it be that He is revealing that the American version of Christianity is a far cry from Acts Christianity? Maybe our God is wanting to revive His true Church, reveal false conversions, and send a true move of His Holy Spirit into our lives through this crisis? I pray it to be so but I must cooperate and wait patiently as He performs the painful surgery of removing self so His Spirt can fill me and use me for His glory.
Thomas a Kempis described that kind of patience in these words: "He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his superior, his equal, or his inferior...But from whomever, or how much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from the hand of God, and counts it gain!"
"Wait I say on the Lord."