Monday, January 25, 2010

...A Set Time

Today while reading my Bible, I saw a phrase that seemed to stand out. "...And the LORD appointed a set time." Exodus 9:5

In chapter 5 Moses asks God, "Why" and in the next chapters God repeats over and over that the reason is so that Pharaoh, the Egyptians, the Israelites, and Moses may, "...know that I am the LORD."

This got me to thinking. In the beginning of the Exodus story we have a people under great duress. God raises up an unlikely leader to end this oppression. One would think that their salvation would be accomplished quickly, after all, they had been in bondage for a very long time. Imagine how you would feel, instead of relief they got more oppression.

What they couldn't see was that "...the LORD had appointed a set time." Now I realize I'm using this verse a little out of context since it is referring to a specific judgement, but the truth is taught throughout the story. God had something bigger He was doing. Something bigger than simply saving a nation from a tyrannical king. He wanted to show Himself to His people, His enemies, and to all those who would follow.

Lately, the Lord has been closing doors and opening new ones for us. We set out to follow what we thought was a simple and clear plan. Now things are all askew. We find ourselves in a place where we need to wait for God's direction. Our prayers are being answered, but we will have to wait to see the full answer. We are not patient people by nature. God had us wait until later in life to marry and have a family, he had us wait to reach the field we are burdened for, and now we have to wait to see if all this was just a way to bring us to an unexpected destination.

"...the LORD had appointed a set time."

What are you facing? A spiritual battle? Lack of clear direction? An illness? A wayward child? Singleness? Lonelines? An unanswered prayer? Something else? The LORD is waiting to show Himself to you. The following poem was given to my English class in College. I don't know who the author is, but it sums up what I'm saying better than I can.

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait!"

"'Wait?', You say, 'wait'! my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"And, Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And, Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As the Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting... for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want -- but, you wouldn't know ME.
"You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;

You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

"You'd never experience that fulness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save...(for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, Who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!

"So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
THAT THE GREATEST OF GIFTS IS TO GET TO KNOW ME.
And though My answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."


God bless. Keep on a prayin'!

3 comments:

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HOPE said...

I love this post. I can so relate and also testify of it's truths. Amen.

A wonderful poem...says so much!

To wait on the LORD...is to be fully blessed in the end. He knows the way that we take...and indeed we do learn to fully KNOW the LORD...so much more personal..so much more precious.

Job 42:5 is a favorite verse I learned as I had to wait upon Him.

God bless..
HOPE

Keith and Julie Loveless said...

Thank you ladies. You have both been such an encouragement to me. Praise the Lord that I could be an encouragement to you as well. I don't think I've ever notice Job 42:5 before. It's a powerful reminder that knowing God is not the same as KNOWING God. God bless you both.