Psalm 5:3″Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”NLT
Yes, No, Maybe
From a child’s point of view, there is nothing worse than hearing the word maybe. They don’t know whether to get excited because they might or be disappointed because they won’t. As they get a little older, they come to realize that maybe, when said by mom, usually means never, no way, ain’t gonna happen! I think this becomes the basis for our belief that when our Abba says “maybe” or “wait and see”, it somehow means that it is His way of letting us down easy from an impending NO.
In our lives, we often pray for answers to what we consider immediate needs. Do I need to keep this job? Should we have another child? Should I date this person? Do I need that Venti Starbucks Caramel Machiatto? (I admit. Some of my questions are not life changing) Today our society demands instant satisfaction. Fast food, minute clinics, lightning speed internet (I used to use the time a picture was downloading on dial up to vacuum the entire house), fast passes at amusement parks, same day dry cleaning. We often expect God to answer us in that same fast lightning speed way. We want Him to let us pass all the waiting and move straight to the head of the line that ends in instant gratification.
I had a sign in my store that read “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”. How true this is when we come before God with our problems. Our lack of planning does not mean that we should demand instant action on His part. In Psalm 5:3 King David is praying. He cries out “listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring any requests to you and wait expectantly.” NLT If one of God’s greatest prophets and kings had to wait for His answers, do you think it would be any differently for us?
Too often we are taught that if we come before God in prayer, He will always give us a yes or no answer. I have found over the course of my often misguided life, that this is just not so. More often than not, He will tell me to wait. Ponder. Read. Pray more. Listen. Present options. Discuss my thoughts with like minded people. Oh how I hate that answer sometimes. But the worst mistakes I made in my life were because I went ahead with my own plans when He had loudly told me to wait. .J.C. Ryle said “There is nothing which shows our ignorance as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God and intended to do us good in the end.” Ouch! But so true.
In Ecclesiastes 7:8 we are told that “… Patience is better than pride.” For it is our pride that often demands that we be first, that we have it right now, that we deserve what we are asking for. It is our pride that makes us act in ways that show a true lack of understanding of just how our Abba does things. If you really read David’s prayer, you will notice in the end that he says “wait expectantly”. Wait but with the expectation that you will receive an answer, being mindful that His answer might not be the one you have set your heart on. Wait but with the expectation that He knows what is best for you. You must have no doubt in your mind that He will answer you. You must have no doubt in your heart that He hears your prayers. You must be willing to patiently wait for your answer and then accept it when it comes.
Dearest Father God, please accept the humble prayers of your children. Remind us daily through Your word that we are always free to ask for anything but we must be willing to accept whatever You would give us. Your love for us is overwhelming. We are forever grateful for the forgiveness You offer us through the blood of Your Son, our Brother, Jesus Christ. Please help us to know when to wait. Let us find patience in waiting. We are thankful for the power of prayer and all that is does in our lives. Let our ears be open to Your whispers. In the Name of Your Beloved Son, Christ Jesus, Amen