Waiters

So yesterday I spoke at the Discover Rally. I am thankful to my lifetime buddy, John Dobbs, for inviting and giving me the opportunity.

I doubt if anybody needed to hear the message more than me.

The majority of the sermon came directly out of a chapter called Forlorn and Forgotten, written for my book-in-progress. It is about Hagar and Ishmael, but mostly Hagar. She is a highly sympathetic character and deserving of our attention to her story.

As far as the book chapter goes and the edited version for a sermon, I needed to write those things as a part of my journey, a part of my recovery, and a part of my new walk of faith. And as much as I needed to write them, I needed even more to say those words out loud with others as a witness.

The reality is quite simple: I needed to believe them then… I need to believe them today.

And I do.

Honestly?
Some days it is harder than others to do so.
Some days the pain is closer to the surface.
Some days the frustration is much to high for comfort and ease of belief.

But on most other days, life is good.
Really good.
On those days, pain is buried pretty deep and finds it so much harder to reach the surface.
On those days, I find ready laughter, abundant joy, and much to live and hope for.

And I do.

Truthfully?
Those are the kind of days when I need to believe even more.
Those are the kind of days my focus on God needs to be much clearer.
Those are the days I need to be most aware that my blessings come from God…

Why?

Because those are the days I am most tempted to rely on my own strength and ability.
Those are the days I am tempted the most to fall prey to the world’s ideas of rugged individualism versus the idea of patiently waiting on the Lord.

No, I am not normally patient.
The idea of sitting still and waiting is foreign to me.
I don’t like to wait.

A long time ago Queen sang,

Adventure seeker on an empty street
Just an alley creeper light on his feet
A young fighter screaming with no time for doubt
With the pain and anger can’t see a way out
It ain’t much I’m asking, I heard him say
Gotta find me a future move out of my way
I want it all I want it all I want it all and I want it now
I want it all I want it all I want it all and I want it now

That could be my anthem song because I do want it all.
And yes, I am tired of waiting. I want it now.

Please?

In the meantime, I am trying to learn how to believe and live the waiting of Lamentations.

I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:17-26 NIV)

Waiting is easier in the company of other waiters.

Anybody else need to learn how to wait?

Impatiently yours,

Les Ferguson, Jr.

5 thoughts on “Waiters

  1. I’m a waiter right there with you. I just asked God some hard questions last night and waiting for the answers is tough. Waiting for the peace is even more difficult. I’m not a good waiter. Like you, I’m trying. Wishing you a good day today, Les. A really, really good day!

  2. Les –

    I just read this quote and it was good for me to have read it & – I pray – take it into my own heart, where there are hurts & wounds in my OWN life, so that I may not falter and completely lose my way. James talks about the testing of our faith and perseverance and the blessing that it truly is (James 1:2-5 – “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”), if only we can hold on tight, even if by just a single strand of thread.

    Here’s the quote – for ALL of us, and especially YOU, my dear friend, Les:

    “There are wounds of the spirit which never close and are intended in God’s mercy to bring us nearer to Him, and to prevent us leaving Him by their very perpetuity. Such wounds then may almost be taken as a pledge, or at least as a ground for a humble trust, that God will give us the great gift of perseverance to the end. This is how I comfort myself in my own great bereavements.”

    John Henry Newman

    Shalom. Dee

  3. I can relate to so much of what you write here (today and most other days) Les.

    I had a transcendent moment a few days ago that seemed to help me. Background: I have had back pain since Tuesday morning. The doc thinks my ankle pain is the result of stress fracture. Writing this from a wheelchair and have to wait a week to get an MRI.

    So I am on my way to a root canal yesterday morning carrying a lot of physical pain and I hear the Holy Spirit whisper this to me.

    “This is nothing Bob. After all you have overcome do you think that any of this will defeat you?”

    I began to laugh out loud – for a long time.

    Les, I see something great in you. I echo the Holy Spirit’s message for you too. You have overcome so much. You will continue to overcome because you are an overcomer in the greatest sense of overcoming!

    I applaud your soulful, transparent and vulnerable journey. It inspires and impresses me every time I come to your blog. Well done my friend!

    Bob

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