Floyd has had a good week. A pastor friend visited him this week. He and one of the carers had a special time with Floyd of recounting God's goodness through the years, and worshipping God together.
I was finally over the flu, and able to visit Floyd. He greeted me with a big smile. A friend who loves surfing visited him, and told Floyd lots of stories - including rescuing a man in the ocean. Floyd seemed to enjoy all the tales.
If you're like me, you probably don't like waiting. I feel like I'm losing time - like there's something that should be happening, something I should be doing, something I want to move on to......instead of waiting. Just hearing the word - waiting - I sometimes feel an emotional reaction to the word.
Waiting can be hard. It can seem long. It can seem like a waste. It can feel like we're spinning our wheels, but not going anywhere. I can be good at getting in a hurry. I like to get things done. I like to check things off my list. And I can get tired, and weary in the waiting!
The enemy will try to discourage us in the waiting process. He will whisper lies in our ear. He will tell us that God isn't listening - that He's not going to answer our prayers - that we're not worthy - that He doesn't care. The enemy has an endless supply of accusations against God.
But one of the lessons I've been learning on this journey is that something happens in the waiting. In fact, there are hidden treasures to be found in the waiting. The more difficult the situation, the more things we are lifting up to the Lord in prayer - the more treasure there is to be found.
Waiting and trusting go hand in hand. If we wait without trust - we probably wait in vain. There's no foundation for the waiting. We, in fact, are able to wait because of our trust in a God who is at work, and we wait to see His answers to our prayers. We can entrust our unanswered prayers into His safe keeping - knowing that His ways and His timing are perfect.
In the waiting time, God draws us close to His heart. He teaches us lessons. He grows our character. He purifies us. He shows us His ways. He brings revelation and understanding of the Word. He speaks His encouragement into our heart, and gives us strength and grace to endure. He never leaves us in the waiting. He continually holds our hand, and leads us into what He is doing in our lives as we wait. And He prepares us for the answers to the prayers.
There are a number of prayers I've lifted to the Lord that I'm waiting for. I've seen answers to many of them - but there are others that I feel like I've been waiting for forever. Some predate this current unexpected journey! And yet, I've seen the "hidden treasures" in the waiting. If God had answered all my prayers immediately, I would have missed out on these treasures.
I've been contemplating all this - pondering it......looking at some of the treasures I've found while waiting......and asking God what He's doing in my life while I wait. I daily speak out my trust in Him. I keep my hand in His while I wait. And I'm expectant to see what answers are ahead.
In this process - I came across a short video clip about the Chinese bamboo tree. I'm including it below. It's a tree that must be watered and fertilized in the ground for 5 years before it starts to grow - and then it reaches 90 feet tall in 5 weeks. Utterly amazing!
I think some of my prayers are in that process. I'm watering and fertilizing them - and waiting!
"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." Psalm 5:3
"The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!" Isaiah 30:18
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14
"If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:25
"As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me." Micah 7:7
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope." Psalm 130:5
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my potion; therefore I will wait for Him.' " Lamentations 3:22-24
"They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
The Word is jam-packed, filled with verses about waiting on Him. It's one of the ways He helps us grow.