Friday, August 21, 2009

R.S.V.P.

“They sat down…to wait for his reply.” Ezekiel 20:1

My husband is not a man of many words. It takes him a good deal of time to formulate an answer and respond in any conversation. I remember meal time when our son was young. I would ask my husband a question, then quickly turn to our son and ask him to remain silent until Daddy answered. I knew from experience that any interruption would delay receiving a reply.

Waiting for a response. Sometimes an invitation is extended and we long with eager anticipation for the R.S.V.P. We wait to see what the weather forecast will hold, hoping the day at the beach will proceed as planned. We wait anxiously before a blank sheet of paper, knowing the exam will begin in a few minutes. The Dr’s office said they would call with results and we wait with hope and hesitation until the phone call comes. We send an e-mail or letter containing words that were difficult to write and we wait and pray the recipient received our caring confrontation in the loving way it was intended. There are countless examples of waiting. But…what about waiting for God to speak?

Recently I was sharing with a friend how I was seeking God’s guidance for the Fall. After withdrawing from so many areas of ministry and service back in March, for the purpose of being available to help my Mom when my Dad was hospitalized, I’m asking the Lord what He wants me involved in now as I have felt directionless over the past six months. My friend, a believer, couldn’t understand my waiting on God to reveal His plan. I explained I didn’t want to just be ‘doing’ anything. I wanted to be in the center of God’s will for me. Again I felt her response to me almost condemning. She was busy. Her life was full. She was making plans and pursuing a new path. All was good. But, that’s just the thing. I don’t want to settle for ‘good‘. I don’t want to just be busy doing something, regardless of how ‘good’ it appears. I want to embrace God’s assignment for me. I don’t want my time committed to ‘good’ when ‘best’ comes along.

Having felt ‘shelved’ over the past few months, a schedule has now been put in place to assist my parents as their continued care will be long term. Slowly life is being breathed back into empty lungs. I’m asking the Lord to reveal His plan for me, and like the leaders of Israel, I’m sitting down and waiting for His reply.

The physical act of sitting down implies the expected answer will not be delivered in haste. I’m not standing here, expecting an immediate, quick reply. An answer will come, but it will most likely take time. I’m not moving until He speaks to me.

We live in a world today of instant response. Phone, e-mails, fax, texting, microwaves, drive-thru lines, courier companies that promise same day delivery, digital imaging, frozen prepared dinners, express check-out lines, Go-buses, even “Fast-Passes” at amusement parks…places that advertise rest and relaxation. We’re spinning and running faster and faster and the art of cultivating patience is completely lost.

Sitting down. Waiting on God’s reply. Does five minutes in silence before Him seem like an eternity?

Oh Lord, I want to enjoy the sitting…not so much for the reply…but because I’m sitting in Your presence…with You. Help me wait. When others criticize my waiting and don’t understand, give me courage to keep waiting. Your reply will come…and then I will stand and follow.

Lord, here I am.

Sitting down.

Prepared and purposed to wait.

Oh the pleasure of looking into Your face as You sit with me and enjoy my waiting on You. You will R.S.V.P. at the perfect time.



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7 comments:

Sande said...

Just read this from David Wilkerson:

"My advice is, “Quit looking for ministry. Spend your time seeking God instead. He knows where to find you. He’ll summon you when he sees you are ready. Forget what others are doing. Strive to be a success at God’s throne. If you’re ministering to the Lord and praying for others, you are already a success in his eyes!"

Seems to be a theme hey?

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Sitting down and waiting...ahhh...it really has a much more peaceful and refreshing posture than standing up and tapping our toes with our hands on our hips!

Praying our hearts will always be postured as sitting before Him...demonstrating our trust in Him by waiting.

Lynn Cowell said...

Joy,
You are a wise woman! Good is the enemy of great I have heard. I was doing some preparation this week for Encouragement Cafe - a talk show with Luann Prater that I am doing on the 29th. It is all about being busy. I read an article in Real Simple on unitasking. Sounds crazy, right? Multitasking is what we have all come to know as the way to get things done. The writer encouraged the reader to go one month with only unitasking. I tried it for one day. It was hard! But, it was also, peaceful.
Hoping in faith for direction, peace and rest to you, my friend!
Lynn

~Grace and Peace said...

Joy,
I commend you for waiting for God's best instead of just settling for "good." That takes a lot of faith. May God bless and enrich you for it.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Joy, you have shown us such wisdom here today! To ask and wait before God. I need to do more of that! I'm wary of so many of my friends who are, as you spoke about, always BUSY but not necessarily doing the best things, albeit they are doing "spiritual" things!

Thank you for stretching my mind!

Marilyn...in Mississippi

Lori said...

Joy, You, my friend are so very wise. God has placed the hope-a confident expectation of something great on your heart. In His time he will unveil it to you. Looking beyond circumstances ---to God's Word, and remembering what He has done for you and others you've known in the past.

He knows what He is doing. We experience different seasons during our lifetime. What might be right for one, is not always right for another. But, what is right for all of us is to listen and OBEY, to what He is telling us; not someone else.

Thank you for your inspiring post!
Lori - AZ

On Purpose said...

You are a beautiful woman of God my friend...and just reading this post makes me thrilled to know you...to know that you don't just walk towards your God...but rather you run arms wide open towards Him ready to embrace Him and His perfect will. I will join in praying for His response to you...knowing He will deliver it in such an intimate and personal way. I love you!