I hate to wait. My family will tell you this. While I'm not so bad as to go sit in the car and honk the horn, I have been known to fume around the house until we're all out the door and safely strapped into the travel unit. With this as my backdrop, this morning, I'm reading Isaiah 26 and all sorts of thoughts about waiting on God are stirring within me.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
Back when we lived in Cincinnati, our kids were a part of this sadistic car pool to school. It wasn't the people that were sadistic; it was the ungodly time we had to leave in the morning to get the kids to school. I remember driving home from dropping them off one morning with Chris Tomlin pounding in the cd player: "You are the Lord, The famous one, famous one, Great is Your name in all the earth..."
I distinctly remember thinking "I totally believe this...but where is it? Where is the renown of the Lord on display?" I grew frustrated as this song triggered the tension we all live in - faith for more, but with less evidence than we'd like. ...we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
This morning's time in Isaiah's got me to wondering: How strange is it to wait for someone to whom time is not a constraint? If God is everywhere, all the time, where is He here and now? And for heaven's sake, why doesn't He step up and say something. In the pondering of this, I landed on a few things...
Are we waiting for Him, or are we waiting for us?
In other words, how will I be different in the day of His renown? Could it be that I'm not who I'm supposed to be by the time He fully reveals Himself to the people of the earth? Isaiah's passage continues with a few disconcerting words - particularly if you already have a strong idea of what an outpouring of God looks like.
My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgements come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
Could it be that we all think we're waiting on a great revival when His delay centers around the fact that when He returns, He's coming to judge righteousness? Maybe our preconceptions are half-right...that a great revival is on it's way, but it comes in the midst of the judgements of God. How brazen of us to think that when God reveals His renown, we'll be sitting in box seats with popcorn and a slurpee.
The whole idea of judgement makes us highly uncomfortable. Even angry. Even as some of you read this, your blood pressure is rising. If you were sitting here right now, bug eyed across the table, I'd tell you that you cannot believe in Warm and Fuzzy Jesus without embracing the Judge Jesus. What sort of bastion of Goodness would forever hold His wrath from those who determine to do evil? If God is engaged in the world, He must be fully God engaged.
Think again about His silence. Given that He's the most intentional being in the universe, surely there is a reason behind it. If He truly is silent, perahps we're not ready to hear what He has to say...or that we would be offended by it. Perhaps His silence is His statement. Perhaps He's really screaming and we are deaf to His voice...or perhaps He already has spoken and we're waiting on another word.
Oh Lord, we have heard of your deeds. I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our timemake them known; in wrath, remember mercy.