Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Hurry up and wait!

Meditation for the week of March 1, 2009

Numbers 9: 18-20
At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped.  Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey.  So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the LORD they would journey.

Life is a journey.  We need to know where we are going, and we need to know where we are.   Then we can use a map to find the road in between.  We start out in Egypt in bondage to the ruler of this world who is Satan.  We want to travel to the promised land which is heaven.  Christ is the only way between Egypt and the promised land.  When we trust Him for salvation, we not only have our destinies secure but we have guidance for the path of life.  The Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and to guide us safely home using the Word of God.  The psalmist says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”  Many people think that they can find their way without the help of a map.  I have tried that in real life, hoping that I was going in the right general direction, but I find it is a lot easier when I have a map to guide me.  The Bible is  the Christian’s road map.  We need to make sure that we are moving in accordance with its principles.

One of the difficulties of life is that sometimes the Lord says, “WAIT.”  For those of us accustomed to “making things happen” as opposed to “watching things happen” or “wondering what happened,”  waiting is difficult.  Sometimes when we are traveling, we have to wait for a train—a long long train.  If you don’t wait, you can get hurt.   Sometimes, we need to wait because the weather is bad.  Our Iowa winters can be brutal if you get in your car unprepared and try to travel when you should be waiting. 

Waiting is frustrating.  I have never waited on a doctor or a dentist but what I wondered why their time was more important than mine.  Most people don’t want to wait for an appointment, or for a promotion, or to get rich.  We want those things now.  But good things can happen to those who wait.  Sometimes we find the Lord is preparing us so He can use us later in life.  That preparation is called experience. 

Sometimes we don’t know why we are waiting and we find out that we have been spared great sorrow because we waited.  Some people have missed planes and have had their lives spared when the plane crashed.  There were people who were late getting to the World Trade Center the morning that remains imprinted in our minds, 9/11/2001.  They were spared because of it. 

Sometimes we are like the person who is the understudy in a play.  The Lord has us on the sidelines so that we will be ready if and when he needs us. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to know when to move and when to camp?   When to  get busy traveling and when to just sit back and rest and milk the goats and gather the manna and meditate on the goodness of God while waiting for the command to get packed and to get moving?  Most of us have a tendency to look at “waiting time” as “wasted time”.  But that is not necessarily so especially if we are enjoying the presence of the Lord while we are waiting. 

Even if the wait seems like it has been “a long time,” be assured that the command to break camp and move out will come.  We will know it has come because our movements will be guided by the principles of the Word of God and we will have peace about our decision to move.  Circumstances may be against us and they may be for us.  They do not always give us good guidance.   But good counselors who have gone that way before will be able to help in discerning the mind of the Holy Spirit.   At some point we will look back at the “waiting time” and realize that it wasn’t “wasted time” but instead if was “training time.”   If we move before we should we will just be spinning our wheels and getting frustrated.  If we won’t move when we should, the Lord may reprove us for our disobedience.   When the cloud or Holy Spirit moves, so should we, but we should not move a moment before.

Bruce Collins

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