Our topic this week was, God acts on behalf of those who wait for him, based on Isaiah 64:4. We started out, of course, talking about how none of us like to wait for anything, if we can help it. Then we sidetracked into a short discussion of the difference between waiting for, and waiting on, or serving God. But we clarified that this was referring to waiting for God to act after looking at the verse and context.
Of course that led to some discussion of how sometimes it can be a long wait. 400 years before the Israelites got out of Egypt and headed for the promised land. That’s a lot of generations. Still, get out they did and the point of the lesson was that waiting for God is a whole lot better than much of our waiting. God, after all, always keeps His promises.
But again the context was that of the Babylonian captivity, in this case, simply predicted, but there were also promises to save the faithful few. We shifted from judgement into discipline, complete with a description from our resident counselor, of how we respond to either pain or a reward, not unlike dogs. It’s a colorful class, and we are usually not shy about putting our perspectives on the table. The point was that discipline is intended to help the one receiving it to function better in the future.
Another point was that waiting a long time for something can make it all the sweeter, when it is finally achieved. Conversely, there was a story about a young couple who seemed to have gotten an awful lot of good things quickly, and they were unable to maintain that and went bankrupt shortly after. They got in over their heads because they were not willing to wait for what they wanted. I think most of us can relate to that, hopefully not by personal experience!
Sometimes, in waiting for something, the desire itself is clarified. On the one hand, one could tire of waiting and decide that they did not want X all that badly. On the other hand, one may find the desire becoming clearer. You could discover what features you really need in a spouse, or a house or a vehicle, a job, or whatever.
Now I unfortunately had to leave before the end, but the book was talking about how the experience of waiting can often be discouraging. The book suggested Eph. 3:20-21 to counteract that. That was followed by a comment that waiting does not necessarily mean inactivity. It merely means you continue with your present course of action until God makes it plain that a change is needed. That in itself is encouraging to me. If what you hope for hasn’t appeared, it does not necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong or in the wrong place. It merely means God has not decided the time is right to move.