Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"We'll address your specific needs as soon as possible. You are caller #9 in queue." It's a bit ridiculous trying to schedule a doctor's appointment.

The next message is the same, a few minutes later. I'm still #9. I guess once clients reach a person in the doctor's office––after the maze of touch-tone options and waiting––it's important to stay on the line as long as possible.

These pauses remind me how time-conscious we are. The looping message, spieled by alternating female and male voices, tries to keep us engaged with: "Thank you for your patience. We'll be with you momentarily, and thanks for holding." After ten minutes, I'm #5 in line. It takes 20 minutes to reach the receptionist. (No wonder the recorded message advises calling "911" if it's an emergency.)

God's pauses may seem similar. We hear no answer beyond a familiar buzz of Bible promises and stories of heroes of the faith who hung in there. Most eventually got an answer though few expected the outcomes that God gave.

The vital difference is God' engagement with us. He doesn't queue us up and deal with us one after another. The synchronicity of God's power, his loving interest, human free will––ours and others, circumstances, and our prayers ensures that we are neither abandoned nor forgotten. Not even for a minute.

If you're in the middle of a pause or a period of silence, remember that in all things, God works together for good.

It's irritating to hear Romans 8:28 treated like a vending machine for personal happiness. Scripture doesn't promise that everything works together for MY good, no matter what pop paraphrase versions claim.

God's purpose is to build his Kingdom and bring his "good" salvation to all. That's not always comfortable nor convenient for us along the way. A more consistent translation––especially beside readings of the prophets and Hebrews 11!––is, "... in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good..." (NIV alternate)

This morning, my pause pays off. I'm given an appointment with the only one with an opening, the same person who gave me unimpressive medical advice nine years ago. I bet he'll tear a sheet off the prescription pad and send me on my way after a five-minute breeze-by (at the end of a 3/4 hour waiting room visit) ... like last time.

On the other hand, maybe I'll get lucky and he'll say, "You're on the mend. It's a 1-1/2 week flu that goes away on its own, so you're almost done. Rest up today and have a good time on your trip." Well, I'm definitely more cheerful thinking about that. I think I'm feeling better already.

3pm update: I saw a nice she, not a he, and the graph about the attrition of flu symptoms on her wall shows I am on the mend. Might have made it another 9 years ...

Read more:
*Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. Psalm 50:15

*I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, 
     and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
      more than watchmen wait for the morning, 
     more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
      for with the Lord is unfailing love 
     and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel 
     from all their sins. Psalm 130:5-8 NIV

*I lift up my eyes to the hills
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you
   the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 
the sun will not harm you by day, 
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore. Psalm 121   NIV

*The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Moravian Prayer: Jesus, our Friend, you are so much more willing to help than we are to ask. As any friend affects those he or she touches, through our prayers, cause us more fully to resemble you and to care about the people you care about. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I soooooo needed this post today! Thank you for your faithfulness. And just now, at 10:54 a m, I am praying for you!