Waiting on the Lord

Patience may be a virtue but it isn’t one of my strong suits. I’m more likely to tackle a problem head-on than I am to pray about it first. While the world would commend me for my work ethic and drive, the Word reminds me that I am not to be of the world (James 4:4). I should be slower to act and quicker to wait on the Lord.
Amy and I started the process of adopting when we attended our first interest meeting with The Call at the end of 2018. Since that meeting, we waited for the training to begin. We waited for our home to pass inspection with the Division of Family and Child Services (DCFS). We waited for all the paperwork to be finalized. We waited for our first adoption event. We waited for God to lead us to the right child. We waited for DCFS to receive the documents they needed so that he could move into our home. And we waited. And we waited. Almost five months we waited for this to happen. Waiting often is a passive thing. When you know what’s coming though, it takes on a very difficult and a very active form. I’ve never waited on the Lord so actively or so long in my entire life. We’re still waiting on the Lord.
I’d encourage you to read Joshua 9. This part of the Israelite’s history is often forgotten. It’s tucked between two very famous passages of scripture: the fall of Jericho before it, and the sun standing still after it. As a brief recap on the Israelite’s journey so far, the Isrealites finally made it into the promised land after 40 years of wandering. They crossed the Jordan (God stopped the Jordan and they crossed on dry land…just like a previous story). The entire nation dedicated themselves to the Lord. They celebrated Passover, ate the fruit of the land for the first time, and the saw the manna cease. Joshua met the “commander of the army of the Lord” face to face, which is the pre-incarnate Jesus, and worshiped him! God delivered Jericho unto Israel in a mighty display of His power. Achan disobeyed God and brought judgement upon the entire nation. The Israelites repented and re-dedicated themselves to the Lord (and Joshua read the entire law to every man, woman, and child of Israel). And that brings us to chapter 9 of Joshua where the Gibeonites sought to save their own lives by deceiving Israel.
The Israelites saw God do miracle after miracle. They repented of their sins and sought God with a renewed fervor. They met with the Gibeonites and were kind and gracious and decided to spare them because they lived outside of the promised land (or so they thought). They were faced with a problem, so they problem-solved. They even came to a peaceful solution. If this was today, every news station would be commending Israel for their peace talks and diplomacy. The world would commend them for a job well done. But the Israelites were to be holy, a people set apart to God and set apart from the world. One little statement changed everything. Joshua 9:14-15 says:
14 So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. 15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them.”
There’s a very important part of verse 14. They “did not ask counsel from the Lord.” Israel had a problem arise and they chose to problem solve instead of pray and wait on the Lord to answer. Even though the solution seemed amicable, Israel sinned because they took matters into their own hands.
Amy and I have waited on the Lord for many months to bring the right child into our lives, and we will have to wait many more. We are unable to adopt the young man that our hearts were set on. We know God led us to him. We were able to share the Gospel with him and see spiritual fruit grow. We will have to wait on the Lord to see if the seed we planted will remain or if it will be scorched or trampled on. We will have to wait on the Lord for answers, and possibly never receive them, as to why he called us to pursue this adoption only to have our hearts shattered when we found out we were unable to continue. We will have to wait on the Lord for guidance, for healing, and for wisdom. Waiting on the Lord is so very hard. It is so very difficult and heartbreaking at times. The encouragement we receive is rooted in who God is. He is a way maker, a miracle worker, a promise-keeper, and the Light in the darkness. He is faithful and He will lead as long as we’re willing to follow. In the words of my new favorite song:
“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working.
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working.
You never stop.
You never stop working.”
We will wait on the Lord. He will reveal what we need in His perfect timing.
Church family, wait on the Lord. He is working in our lives and He will do a mighty work if we trust Him and obey.