Till the Light Reaches You (A Better Way to Wait part 2)

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Stars long dead

Speaking of waiting, while we know the sun’s still around, the starlight we enjoy at night comes from stars long dead and burned out (in some cases and I’m not an astronomer). Now, in allaying any ambiguity as I am about to launch out on metaphor regarding angels and whatnot, any fallen angel is indeed long dead. Some light, you gotta watch out for.

“Then he said unto me, Fear not Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” (Daniel 10:12)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Proof-texting admittedly, but if you lace these three pieces of scripture together, you’re able to form a simple-yet-powerful aggregate regarding the answer to our prayer–whatever it may be. The angel tells Daniel that he was sent the moment Daniel prayed. I’m guessing, if I may be so forward, that if you’re up on modern-day Christian-y parlance, you might think I’m merely running through a “name it and claim it” understanding of appropriating things from God that we want and need. Firstly, I’m going to say that God meets all our needs (see Philippians 4:19). There’s always that fine line between wanting more, contentment, and not needing anything. And so, wresting the argument out of materialist territory, let’s look at it in light of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

A constellation of constituent parts

“Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain. That thou givest them they gather: Thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.” (Psalm 104:2, 28)

It can be hard to jump into this and jettison any notions we have around these doctrines. We’re waiting for God in the broadest sense (“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20) and also for the particulars. In scaling down our grasping for more, we’d do well to consider just how much we have. I talk to my friend who is heading off to Nicaragua to teach English over the Summer and I’m reminded of that statistic I read way back when saying if you have a job and a roof over your head (nothing else), you are richer than some exorbitant percentile. “And having food and raiment let us therewith be content.” (1 Timothy 6:8) Says Paul. So why ask of God? Certainly, there are always things we’d like to receive. Look at it though in light of what Daniel went through. He was living in Babylon, surrounded by an inverted pantheon (if that makes sense) and so the angel had a rougher go of it. I imagine a resplendent being wandering through a bustling ancient city, parchment in hand, looking for “Daniel”. He arrives and says “thy God”. Evidently there was more than one around. And all kidding aside, I doubt that’s what it looks like. It is serious what angels go through to appropriate the light we need to both see what God would have for us and also prepare us to receive and also protect the gift–whatever it may be.

Here’s the thing. The light is on the way the moment you pray. Jesus says as much. And whether we have yet to see it because it’s not night yet or it just hasn’t reached us, keep praying, “chasten[ing] thyself before thy God.” and waiting. To chasten thyself, in this case means any- and everything from fasting to austerity to contentment. They say as one is starving to death, after a long while, the most wonderful peace envelops. Obviously, it doesn’t have to reach that point but you get the idea. Our God is more than enough, it’s just that, sometimes, the spiritual atmosphere has to change in order for you to receive the light you need. That is the point I am getting at.

In closing and odd as it might sound, look up “quasar” (extra-galactic…?). If you need something like that for your life, know that God is good for it. It’s more-than-likely something that is covered under “Thy will be done” and also, what you want (or need) for you life and call. Blessings.

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A Better Way to Wait

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, emphasis mine)

God has a way of situating you just where He wants while He slowly turns your whole world around you. You were on the outside looking in and then on the periphery. But now you’re finding yourself (literally) in the center of His will for your life. Do you really want to be there? It’s probably because you prayed something along those lines way back when, when you were bored, and now whaddaya know? “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill.” (Psalm 3:4) Dear Lord. You heard that?

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

Ad hoc

“But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

At just the right time, God started His program for re-entry into this atmosphere. No sooner, no later. I don’t think I spend the time meditating upon God’s perfect timing as I should. He has never let me down and never not come through with the answer I needed. This being said, as we are ever growing into greater and greater Christlikeness, there will always be that struggle, that trial that tests our faith and our patience in whatever capacity. There are times, as that verse from Esther notes, that God allows you to see the inevitable outcome from your vantage point. Really, any vantage point that encompasses something so great as that which affects all God’s people is coming from the same vantage point as He. So don’t fret. God formed you, He placed you where you are and had his angels and anyone else inclined to participate play their part to get His ball rolling.

In situ

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have surnamed thee, though thou has not known me.” (Isaiah 45:3-4)

Think about it: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a) That’s what God is doing right now. Romans (8:28) says God “works all things together for good to them that love [Him]”. As if He had anything better to do! Anytime God issues a statement after a victory, it’s always with the tense of “for my sake.” It’s personal with Him–and you can be a part of it. In situ essentially means “in the same place where it has always been”. God started a world-wide cleanup project with Jesus. All things considered, everything’s taken care of and God will get to you if He hasn’t already. It takes great faith to see something like this as true and even greater faith to see it come to fruition–to where it’s actually living in your life and community. I’d wager that we’re all in the middle of some aspect of this angle on God’s plan. The key, in this and every case, is getting to know God as well as we can where we are. To where we can anticipate what He’ll do because we have a mind like His. Thing is, He takes delight in surprising His children. He called Cyrus and even though it plainly says “though thou hast not known me”, it doesn’t mean that we, being “children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6, this verse is in the negative) know “Our Father who art in Heaven” as well as we should.

I was talking with a friend recently and after sharing some pretty vexing and perplexing and convoluted and seemingly impassable situations with him, received one of the most encouraging and refreshing words of counsel I’d heard in a while. He told me to “enjoy it”. To enjoy this downtime. Because the only way out is through–Him.

“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:2-4)

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1 Peter 1:6)