Reading Reflection:

I read a blog post this week that stimulated some reflection. Now I’m thinking that I should do more Reading Reflections on blog posts, isn’t that why we write them? While I hope my reflections on the books I read inspire you to read some of them as well, it is both free and expedient to throw you a blog bone every now and then. So I plan on integrating more blog posts with the books I read. Today’s reflection is on a post written by Paul Tripp titled, God’s Will While You Wait. You can find it by clicking here. I felt like I was reading my bildungsroman as Tripp explained some of the work that God does in sanctifying us through the process of waiting. Haven’t we all been through a rough patch when we have to wait on the Lord? Well, that’s one of Tripp’s first pieces of advice:
Remind Yourself You Are Not Alone As you wait, tell yourself again and again that you have not been singled out. Remind yourself that you are part of a vast company of people who are being called to wait. Reflect on the biblical story. Abraham waited many years for his promised son. Israel waited 420 years for deliverance from Egypt, then another 40 years before they could enter the land God had promised them. God’s people waited generation after generation for the Messiah, and the church now waits for his return. The whole world groans as it waits for the final renewal of all things that God has promised. In ministry, it is vital to understand that waiting is not an interruption of God’s plan. It is his plan. And you can know this as well: the Lord who has called you to wait is with you in your wait. He hasn’t gone off to do something else, like the doctor you’re waiting to see. No, God is near, and he provides for you all that you need to be able to wait.
You might feel like the only one waiting for that job,  ministry, baby, or significant other, but God calls us to look outside of our own ideas of what we think we need or how it needs to be done. This is the theme throughout the article as Tripp concludes,
All of these outcomes are contingent on whether you choose God or self, fruitfulness or futility, his powerful grace or your own feeble will. Always remember that God is never separate from your wait. He is the Lord of waiting. He is the liberal giver of grace for the wait. Because your wait is not outside of his plan, but a vital and necessary part of it, he is with you in your wait. And remember God is not so much after the success of your ministry, he’s after you. So as you wait, tell yourself again and again: Waiting is not just about what I get at the end of the wait, but about who I become as I wait.
I found myself both comforted by these words and convicted of the way that I talk to those whom I know are going through a waiting process. I always ask, “How is the job hunt coming along,” or “Has your relationship improved with so and so?” Of course, the conversation ends with a word about how God knows what he’s doing and how things will work out for his glory, but I keep pointing to the end result as I’m supposedly being a compassionate friend. I should be asking about the waiting process because there is much to share and glorify God in there. Tripp talks about recognizing and celebrating what little control we have. In a close relationship, I could be asking what things God has revealed through this process that they may have had too strong a hold on. Tripp also reminds us to count our blessings, a big one being how waiting strengthens our faith. What a great question to have a friend reflect on: How has this waiting process strengthened your faith? Do you find that you long for God himself over the blessings he provides as you are forced to wait? How has waiting made you more active in your relationship with God? Man, oh man, would that be a much more profitable conversation than, “I’ll be sure to pray for you…” That’s good and all, but now I’ll have a lot more prayer material.