September 20, 2016
Football is played in cold weather and a violent sport. I played it, but didn’t like it. I was a quarterback, luckily, and would hand the ball to our running back who would move toward the designated “hole” in the line to advance the ball. But at first, no hole exists. Huge, angry defender block his path, trying to tackle and hurt him. So, his first reaction and natural instinct of self-preservation was to run somewhere else to use his speed advantage and find a better path where no one could tackle him.
The coach would tell our running backs, “Trust your linemen. They’re blocking the huge angry guys but it takes a second or two. By the time you get to the line, the hole will be there.” You have to run hard, waiting for the hole to open—not just trusting, but knowing your teammates will accomplish their job so you can run through the hole at top speed. If you wait and stand still to see if the linemen really do their job, and then start running, it will be too late and the hole will close back up. You’ll miss your opportunity for success and be crushed.
Waiting on God has similar principles. Waiting on God means taking action. Take the ball He gives you. Then start running toward the hole He is opening while directing your attention to Him in hopeful anticipation of what He will do next. It means trusting Him with every part of your being instead of trying to figure out everything on your own. We are often afraid of or distracted by our discomfort, pain, and need for a quick fix. We want to be in control, and have a “need it now mentality.” These distractions cause us to hesitate and they interfere with our ability to go full speed as we actively wait and trust God to do His thing. Satan, the world system, and our flesh are always trying to distract us with interference. Our spiritual radar gets jammed and has trouble tuning in to His communication and action in our life. We miss the narrow door, the hole God has for us. Life tackles and sometimes crushes us.
Remember the Israelites. They took their ball of freedom and ran toward the Red Sea. The Egyptians chased them from behind. Satan and their flesh told them they were doomed. The line looked blocked. But Moses had faith God would open the hole, and part the Red Sea so the Israelites could run through. Like most holes, it was a finite window of opportunity. You need to be on God’s timeline to hit the hole when it is open in order to be blessed by it. Trust His promises are true and that He will fulfill them.
Tithing is a very concrete application. Do you tithe as you are called to and then trust God to provide? Or do you wait for God to provide before tithing? The second way usually results in missing a big opportunity God has planned for you. It’s just like the running back who waits too long because he lacks trust in his lineman.
Today, be patient when something different or stressful occurs, or when what you should do is unclear. Remember, God speaks to us through our circumstances. So pay attention and actively listen to Him. Take action and read what He is saying to you based on who He is. Then respond rather than react based on your limited skills, insight, and ability to read the future. Look for the light He will shine on your Stepping Stones. Move toward these opportunities knowing He will do His part. Sitting and waiting will cause you to miss blessings that He will have to put back on the shelf. Whether you trust He will open the path to safety and take advantage of His path, or trust your own instincts and miss the opening — it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I confess that one of my many shortcomings is my lack of patience. I read in Your Word that You promise many blessings to those who wait on You, for those whose hope is in You. I pray for Your help. Increase my patience and let You shine Your light on the pathway You’ve designed for my life. I know that waiting on You is active and I need to move toward You. Enable me to glorify You by living in deep dependence on You. As I wait, help me to enjoy You. It is only in Your presence that I will find the fullness of joy. I pray this in the name of my savior, hope, and joy, Jesus Christ. And all God’s children say AMEN!
“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:25-26
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11