If you are like me, when you ask a question you want a quick answer. If you see a need, you want to meet it immediately. If you have a dream, you’d like to see it fulfilled now. But how often in ministry (or your personal list) have you asked God for something and He just doesn’t seem to answer quickly?
I really prefer doing ministry with all the details in place. When I served on the church staff at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, I wanted to map out the entire year (at least!) and have no holes in the schedule or blanks not filled in as we began ministry for that season. We had a newsletter to get out for goodness sake!
But what God did is show me that, as Terry Hershey said in Young Adult Ministry “programs look for quick answers, but ministry sees grace in uncertainly.” As I studied Experiencing God, I came to understand that it wasn’t my job as a women’s ministry leader to know all the answers…that was God’s job. My job was to be in such a close walk with God that I would know He was at work, and when He asked me to join Him in that work, I would hear Him quickly and would respond in faith…even if I didn’t know “how” He wanted it all done. I came to trust Him for what I didn’t know.
One of our summer interns at LifeWay in our women’s area sent this poem today from Russell Kelfer. I hope it blesses you as it did both her and me!
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."
"Wait? You say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I’m needing a ‘yes’ a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
"I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!"
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I’m waiting… for what?"
He seemed, then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give you, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want- But, you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint;
You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d Know that I give and save… (for a start),
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for Thee.’
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you!
So, be silent, My Child and in time you will see that the greatest of gifts is to get to know ME
And through oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, ‘Wait’".
How does God help you “wait” for Him in your ministry and in your personal life?