What Are You Waiting For?

My church has been blessed with four baptisms lately, and a fifth one is on the way. Do you know what pastors call new babies in the congregation? JOB SECURITY. It brings us such joy to welcome these precious children into our family! We wait with the mothers as their bellies grow each week, and we celebrate their good news with each arrival.

Having been in that place twice myself, I know that pregnancy-waiting is a unique experience. It is filled with hope, anticipation, fear, pain, dread, and eventually release.

What are you waiting for right now? The final, official end of the pandemic? Getting out of a bad marriage? Finding a new job? The completion of an overwhelming project, college courses, or graduation? Are you waiting to move on with your life?

God is with us in the waiting.

Romans 8 (Common English Bible)

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

In this passage, Paul is writing to the church in Rome about their hope that Christ’s return is imminent. Paul reassures them that their waiting through the persecution and rejection they are experiencing will end in full deliverance. Even in the hardest moments, he encourages them to see their waiting as “joyful expectancy.” The Spirit of God is present within them.

Is God encouraging you to see your waiting as joyful expectancy? Do you believe that he is with you?

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

This is such a powerful reminder! When we are wordless in those moments of despair to the point that we don’t even know what to pray, the Holy Spirit prays through our sighs and moans. What a relief! Sometimes the best we can do is fall on our knees in a mute stupor and look to heaven for help…and that is enough.

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Be assured today that you are not alone in your waiting. God is very involved in your situation. He is present. Know that God is working things out for your good even when you can’t see his activity. He knows what you need even better than you do. So wait on him, and he will deliver you.

Our mothers were right. Good things come to those who wait.

Waiting for a Bite by Michelle Robertson

Percolating

Back before Keurigs, way before Starbucks, even before drip coffee makers with automatic shut-off switches, there was an ancient device known as a percolator. You might run across this historical artifact today in an antique store, the Pawn shop, or any local church’s kitchen.

It was a thing of beauty and simplicity. A basket that holds the coffee grounds sits atop a long, thin metal cylinder. This unit is inserted into a metal coffee pot. Water is poured into the pot, and the attached cord is plugged in. As the water heats, it bubbles and percolates up through the cylinder and over the basket, running through the coffee grounds and magically, you have coffee. You couldn’t pre-set it the night before, and you had to unplug it to turn it off, but hey, if it was good enough for the original Apollo astronauts, it was good enough.

I love the idea of percolating. Heating something up, bringing it to boil, channeling the bubbles, and then watching it produce something well-considered is a joy. Good things come when we percolate. Sermons, ideas, stories, arguments, speeches, hanging wallpaper with your spouse, new ventures, movies…all manner of things benefit from taking the time to percolate.

Percolating should precede any major decision we make. Thinking about divorce?Percolate. Contemplating a move? Percolate. Ready to pop the question? Percolate. About to send an angry email/post a snippy retort/yell at your teenager? PERCOLATE.

The reason percolating is so effective is that it gives you time to step away from your immediate and emotional response and allows the Holy Spirit to weigh in with other ways to go about doing the same thing.

Opening ourselves to God’s guidance always pays off. I learned the hard way not to immediately fire off an email when I was deeply aggravated. I learned that after a time when I fired off an email when I was deeply aggravated. I regret it to this day. How about you? Ever wish in hindsight that you had waited for the right words to come to you?

Matthew 10 (The Message)

17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news!

And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

That’s why percolating is such a helpful practice. In the slow warming up of an idea, in the increasing heat of a completed thought, and in the bubbles of the Holy Spirit rising up in your spirit, your finished product will be soooo much better. Like the best cup of brewed Sumatra with heavy cream, it will be a delight rather than a thin and possibly nasty version of what it should have been.

So take a beat. Stop and breathe. Suspend your need for instant gratification and sloooow youuuuur rolllll. Give God a chance to enter in, and let percolation have its way. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply them. You’ll never regret letting God percolate inside you.

Fresh brewed.