There is this thing called the wait. We pray. We wait. And it is during this time that we often feel anxious, frustrated, discouraged, and without hope. We forget of God’s provision. We wonder if He will answer our call. Living a praying life requires a 180° turn from our natural, human inclination. It means doing things God’s way, which may or may not make any sense. It may mean going against popular opinion. It may mean taking a stand against our flesh by letting go, yielding, and admitting we need help. And for most of us…no, let me rephrase that…for all of us, admitting we need help is hard.
I have a five-year old named Comerson. Many of you have heard me talk about him before. And I have noticed a particular trait in him: IMPATIENCE. If you tell him we are going to go do something, he has no concept of why he has to wait. He doesn’t comprehend time like my older children. If I tell him he is going to have a playdate with his buddy tomorrow, he thinks tomorrow is right now. Pronto. On the double. He will pester me to get ready. To get in the car. And drive him down the street so that he can play. In all honesty, I would have been much better off by keeping my mouth shut than to tell him about any of our future plans. Why? Because he cannot comprehend that today is not tomorrow. He doesn’t understand the concept of time.
I think we can all relate. We have our mind set on what we want and how we want it to come to fruition. We have a dream. A plan. An idea. We don’t understand why we cannot have it immediately. We don’t see the goodness of time.
In his opening remarks to his very first sermon, better known as the Beatitudes, Jesus addresses how we are to approach God. Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The word “poor” means ptōxós (from ptōssō, “to crouch or cower like a beggar”) – properly, bent over; (figuratively) deeply destitute, completely lacking resources (earthly wealth) – i.e. helpless as a beggar. I wonder how often we view prayer in this way. I wonder how often we feel utterly destitute and helpless without God. I wonder what hinders us from being “poor in spirit.”
Until we recognize the blessedness of being wholly dependent on God, we won’t live with the abundance that is available to us. Our helplessness is a blessing. Being dependent on God is for our good.
Why is waiting so good for us? What is God accomplishing with us during this time? What idols are being revealed?