Short & Sweet: Wait a Minute

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Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

I must admit it.

I never thought it would happen to me, but it has. I have become one of those impatient people who, in a moment of delay, pulls out her phone to check in, check out or check up on the latest current social media events. Waiting is a lost skill — a discipline of a bygone era. As I recently heard Pete Wilson state in What Keeps You Up At Night, nothing in our society today trains us to wait. Microwaves, instant credit, overnight deliveries, one-click shopping hone our waiting muscles. I need to learn to wait a minute.

I remember the days of lay-away shopping.

My mother would take my sisters and me school clothes shopping in August (back then the first day of school was in September, not early August). We’d pick out a few new outfits and place them on lay away. Then each week my mom would make a payment. Finally in September, after weeks of waiting, we’d bring home our new clothes.

Green stamps and bubble gum wrappers.

S&H Green Stamps premiums, Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapper toys, and cereal proof of purchase box top prizes also required the discipline of waiting. For months we’d gather and save stamps, wrappers and proofs of purchase in order to earn prizes. Most of the fun of earning one of these gizmos was the anticipation of what it would be like when IT finally arrived. Perseverance, delayed gratification, earning something by the sweat of the brow. Lessons well learned.

The benefits of waiting.

The Bible teaches about the benefits of waiting. The verse above lists one benefit — strength. Who doesn’t want or need a stronger heart?

Other benefits of waiting

  1. It strengthens our faith. John 11:15
  2. It helps us gain courage. Psalm 27:14
  3. It brings blessings. Isaiah 30:18
  4. It helps us receive direction and guidance. Proverbs 3:5-6

I also believe waiting helps to establish an attitude of thankfulness and humility in our heart. It helps us to live in the moment instead of wishing our lives away. To live simple. To rejoice when we have. To rejoice when we have not. Learning to wait a minute.

Action Points:

  1. What are you trying to push through that you need to wait on God for?
  2. Are you a habitual rusher? Do your kids constantly ask are we in a hurry again? When was the last time you actually savored something? …a kiss … a piece of chocolate … a good movie … a cozy time with a toddler and a book?
  3. Take a half hour and linger with God in silence today. You won’t believe how He will refresh your soul and strengthen your heart.

Life is sweet when you wait a minute.


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Holy Week Devotions-Easter Sunday: Anger to Patience

bigstock-Crucifixion-And-Resurrection--1271667“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31 (ESV)

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1Timothy 1:16

He is risen! Happy Easter!

Today we are looking at the final stanza of True Lenten Discipline:

FAST from anger; FEAST on patience.

(Here is the full poem of True Lenten Discipline. Here are the devotions for MondayTuesdayWednesday,  ThursdayFriday, and Saturday. Here is the link to the True Lenten Discipline Podcast.)

God’s word calls us to let all anger be put away from us. From this word let we can infer that we choose what, where, when, how long and if we will be angry. Just as love is a decision, anger is a decision. I have even caught myself thinking, “If he does that one more time, I’m going to become really angry!

The word let used in this verse is airo which means “to raise, to lift up, to raise upward, to elevate.” This definition then is a reminder to us that when we are overcome with anger, we can choose to lift up in prayer the situation, circumstance, or person that we are upset about. The problem with anger is that it demands vengeance. But God has declared in Romans 12:19 that, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We need to let our anger go. The longer we nourish it, the more tempted we will be to make others “pay” for how they have hurt us.

By definition the Greek word for anger means, “natural disposition, character, temperament, punishment, anger used as punishment.” In order to satisfy God’s righteous anger concerning our sin, He poured out His wrath upon Jesus through His death on the cross. Jesus took our punishment so God can now give us His grace and patience. Considering how we have been spared from just punishment, what right do we have to choose to continue to be angry with others? Ask God to remove your anger and help you to choose patience instead.

God in His infinite wisdom, has provided us with two different types of patience; one for difficult situations (hypomeno), one for difficult people (makrothymeo). As our verse above shows us, Jesus is our example of infinite patience. If He could have such patience with us, how can we have not extend that same patience to others?

Application: When traced back to its origin, the Greek root word for anger means mountain.Do you have a mountain of anger in your life, something that you can’t seem to let go? Mountains are seemingly huge impenetrable obstacles that are always before us. But God has given us a way to deal with the mountain of anger—by speaking His Word (Matthew 21:21). If an issue has you trapped in chains of anger, find a Scripture that applies to your situation and by faith pray that Scripture into your situation. Keep praying scripture into your situation and by an act of obedience show patience instead.

Because of Easter, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we too can choose to lay aside our anger and choose instead to be patient with others.

Prayer: God, we pray for the willingness to let go of our anger and extend instead the gift of patience. We thank you for your patience with us and your love as demonstrated through Jesus.

Easter morning. The wrath of God was satisfied!


Expect the Mosquitoes

Recently I attended a prayer retreat with the prayer team at my church. For the first hour we met to discuss a book we had been reading, and then we split up to spend the rest of the time in solitude with God. We were free to go into the chapel, into private rooms, or we could also wander the grounds outside. I headed out into the sunshine, deciding between a trail through the woods, the flower gardens, a prayer labyrinth or the stations of the cross.

My feet led me down a trail into the woods, a cool, peaceful refuge from the heat of the summer day. I settled on a bench and quieted myself, tuning into my surroundings and the Lord. Birds called back and forth to each other and a light breeze ruffled my hair. A ray of sunshine penetrated the trees and landed on me, warming my skin. “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful place,” I prayed. “Help me to hear you clearly today.”

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Then I felt it. The irritating bite of a mosquito. I slapped it away and refocused my thoughts on God. Zing. Another bite. And then another. I snapped my eyes open to see mosquitos swarming around me. Flies soon joined the mosquitoes. Under the bench I saw beetles and a centipede. Uggh! So much for focusing clearly on God. Sheepishly I remembered that before I left that morning, I had slathered on peach lotion. Good grief! The sun was warming my skin, broadcasting the peach scent on the morning breeze to every nearby insect.

I was going to have to move along and find a spot free from pesky insects. I gathered my things when the thought hit me: “Isn’t this what our lives as Christ-followers are to be like?”

The Scent of Jesus

The more we become like Jesus, the more we will emanate the scent and lusciousness of Jesus to everyone, just like a ripe piece of fruit advertises its scent to all who walk by—people and mosquitoes alike. We may sometimes feel that we attract the wrong kind of attention—people antagonistic to our faith may frequently cross our paths. If you’re a person who always seems to be attracting antagonistic or needy people, maybe it’s because you’re doing something right, and they’re being drawn in by the Jesus they sense in you. As God gives you the opportunity, you can then point them to Jesus.

That’s what happened to Jesus. Everywhere He went, people flocked to him. And He loved them all—the tax collectors, the adulterers, the lepers, the little children. All the people groups that society said were outcasts or unimportant, Jesus took the time to love and bring life to.

God impressed upon me that day how important it is for us as Christ-followers to have patience, grace and love with everyone we meet. He allowed me to see that at many different stages in my life, I myself have been a “mosquito” to a believer—and may even be right now!

I think through this little analogy God was telling me we need to expect the mosquitoes in life, and that if we don’t have any, then maybe that’s the real problem, because that means we don’t smell any different from anyone else in the world.

What do you think?

Pray on!






Forest image courtesy of the following:

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Unconditional by Mary Kane

Rejoice! And again, I say rejoice! Wouldn’t it be great if you could be joyful all the time? With God all things are possible–even unconditional joy! To do the study, “Unconditional,” just click on the link!