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How Much Longer? - A Devotion

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Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!

How much longer must I wait? This is the piercing question that almost took me out last week. It has been a long two and a half years. It has been an even longer three months filled with rejection, inconsistencies and overwhelming circumstances. Good news one day seems to sour overnight. Looking back it is clear that the Lord has delivered our son four times from this horrible disease, but I know this is not the end of the race of faith. We are somewhere in the middle but there is no finish line in immediate sight. There are days in our humanity even those who have given their heart and life to Jesus Christ when the wait becomes too long and the journey too hard. Like a runner tripping and falling landing face down in the dirt as dust clouds our vision, knees become weak, strength is failing and our body refuses to get up. As our tears fall, it seems as though the wait is just too long. Tempted to turn back or give up, the Spirit of God encourages us from the reservoir of our heart. What’s in our heart will determine if there is enough to go on or whether we will be just another tragic end. There are days that I picture myself running up the side of a mountain jumping over rocks and running through the brush and thinking just one more step as I ascend to the top of this mountain hoping to rush down the other side. We are planning a wedding in the fall. It will be the celebration of love and life as our family grows. Our profound hope is that it will be a double blessing as we celebrate the completion of this test of endurance that we have been on. However, for now, we must continue to wait. Lord, how much longer?

Proverbs 8:34-35 (NLT)
Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

This week did bring me to the brink of giving up, ironically nothing really changed in our situation. We are still watching and waiting trying to find an open door for long term treatment of either a bone marrow transplant or immunotherapy for our son. He is waiting in his apartment doing just fine for the time being given the circumstances. He has doctor’s appointments next week as we consider a second opinion at another hospital. Nothing really has changed in the last few weeks. We appealed to the Financial Board of the hospital who will not consider his costly treatment without payment from insurance as it could be almost a half a million dollars. This is not something we have not heard more than a handful of times before. The change did not come outside but on the inside of me. I was tired of waiting. Rather than rejoicing that God is working behind the scenes on his behalf, I berated the Lord for not coming sooner. I cried out to Him, “How much longer must we wait?” among many other things that I am not proud of. We have been stretched physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially beyond anything I ever imagined that we could endure. Nothing on the outside had changed, but something on the inside of me was struggling. In that moment, impatience began to drain my confidence in the Lord until the question became, “Where are you, Lord?” The Word of God tells us that He works for those who wait giving the Lord time and room to do His Will. It also tells us that those who listen for Him and watch for Him daily anticipating His Arrival as they live life will find life AND His Favor.

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)
So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

The Lord is waiting on you to come to Him so He can shower you with His Love and Compassion. He is faithful even when we are not. He blesses those who wait for Him as it is characteristic of faith and confident hope which moves the Hand of God releasing His Blessings and Promises to those who wait and endure until He comes. We must wait on the Lord in order to be satisfied in the outcome and experience godly fulfillment. Compromise and substitutions will always leave us lacking. Saul could not wait any longer so he assumed the role of priest showing distrust in the Lord’s Timing and fearing defeat in battle offered sacrifices assuming a role that was not his. The Lord immediately took the kingdom from this king changing the outcome of his life forever. (I Samuel 13:8-14) There will be times when I must wait beyond my comfort zone for the Lord to come and bring His Promise. This is definitely one of those times. The Lord is also waiting for me to come to Him and claim everything that He has promised. Joshua asked the Children of Israel, “How much longer will you wait to take possession of the land the Lord has given you?” (Joshua 18:1-7) There are times we settle for a little of what God has for us rather than investing the time and energy to have all of it which includes patiently waiting while the Lord perfects that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) It is all about confidence that allows us to trust God knowing that He is working on our behalf enough to wait until He comes.

Hebrews 10:35-37 (NLT)
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.”

Waiting will always require confident trust in the Lord. Why wait if you do not believe that He will come? Patient endurance is not pretty but it works in keeping us in position allowing us to continue to do God’s Will. What is His Will? Trust the Lord. Do good. Live safely in the land and prosper. Delight in the Lord. Commit EVERYTHING you do to the Lord. Trust the Lord. (Psalm 37:3-6) Seems easy enough in the good times, but when the hard times come around it is not that easy. We must develop our faith so that we trust and believe beyond a shadow of any doubt that we will see the Goodness of God in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13-14) Those who build such faith will find righteousness that keeps them firmly in place until He comes anchored by confident hope. (Hebrews 6:19)

Psalm 62:5-7 (NLT)
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

We must learn to “let all that I am wait quietly before God”. I have shared many times that this process we have been in has done more my faith and hope than I ever thought possible. I would pass up the opportunity to have cancer invade our life, but would never give up the priceless faith that we have secured in the process. But with all that said, there are still times that I grow tired of waiting and weary of well doing in the midst of such opposition. I have learned during such times that I must continue to remind myself of God’s Word for our life. (Psalm 119:81-83) Not what I think He should do, but what the Lord has told us that He will do. I have a whole book of promises for my life. I have the Holy Spirit that tells me God’s Secrets. He helps me when I am weak and consider giving up. (Romans 8:23-26) Life in the spirit means waiting. (Galatians 5:5) It is up to me who I will listen to. (Psalm 38:14-15) But don’t worry, God has given us every spiritual gift that we need to be certain that our wait is not in vain. (I Corinthians 1:7-9) Before you complain too much about your wait time, consider Abraham who waited one hundred years for his promise to come. (Hebrews 6:15) Yet, he waited anyway and God called him righteous giving him the name of friend. All I am must wait on all that He is.

Lamentations 3:21-26 (NLT)
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.

Faith turned to confident hope enables us to wait on the Lord. He knew that we would struggle in this area. In Isaiah, it says that “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” (Isaiah 42:1-4) I believe that means that those who try to endure and wait patiently for Him to come have more grace that comes from His Mercy that is fresh each morning. Those who want it can have it simply by coming into His Presence to get it. Jesus understands what it feels like to wait, He is waiting too! (Hebrews 9:27-28) He is waiting for us to come to Him. He is waiting for us to claim our inheritance. He is waiting for our faith to grow into confident hope that will help us endure to the end so that we will be saved. This wait time is not God punishing you but perfecting you so you will be completely confident when you meet Him face-to-face. Jesus wants to bring salvation to all that He died for so He waits patient for all of His People to come to Him.

Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

So somewhere around Thursday of last week, I somehow found the energy to stand back up on my feet. I would attribute this to the Spirit finally winning the battle against my flesh. Frustration came off of me like the wet blanket it is. I dusted myself off and surveyed the damage to find that I had survived. I climbed back up to my watchtower where I am now standing again. I am waiting to see what the Lord says and how He will answer me once again. Nothing on the outside has changed, but only on the inside. The vision that God has for our life is always more than we could ever think or ask so we must understand that it describes the end and it will be fulfilled if we choose to wait no matter how long it takes confidently trusting the Lord. This does not mean that we will not come tumbling out of the tower sometimes. His Grace will catch us every single time and His Mercy give us the strength to climb back up again. I believe that this watchtower made for waiting is also the undeserved privilege where Christ has placed us. (Romans 5:2-4) Those who endure the tests and trials of life will find new joy in the wait as faith and confident trust completes us and perfects us until at last we lack nothing. (James 1:2-4) Spending time in the word will cultivate more faith that will produce a harvest even while we wait that will carry us to the end. (Colossians 1:10-12) Tired of waiting? Yeah, me too. Wondering how much longer? Yep, I am asking the same question. Thinking about giving up – don’t you dare! Jesus is coming. He will not be delayed! The Promise is real and received by those who wait patiently for the Lord.

Colossians 1:10-12 (NLT)
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

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