Author: Steve Wyzga
It’s been a powerful, wonderful, troubling week.
Last Thursday through Saturday, fifty dads and boys were in the woods of West Virginia, where amidst rifles and slingshots, swimming and archery, there were times of worship, preaching, and prayer. Fathers and sons heard God’s voice, saw sickness driven back, protection granted, joy experienced. There were feats of service, difficult conversations, and patient listening ears.
I returned from W Va to a church block party in full motion with guests (mostly Hispanic) outnumbering church members 2:1, all enjoying water, sun and fun on church grounds. Connections were made, kindnesses shared, generosity was on display, again made possible by great feats of service.
Sunday 30-40 mostly young people gathered at our home celebrating the baptism of one lady, with more prayer, encouragement, prophetic words and even some deliverance. By Sunday evening I was exhausted.
All of this happened against the background of Afghanistan’s national chaos, floods in Tennessee, and another devastating earthquake in Haiti. Both the glories of ministry in the spirit, and the insurmountable troubles of this world brought me face to face with my very human limitations. I am frail, limited, mortal.
I am heartened by men like Elijah, who within two chapters of the Bible (I Kings 18-19) can almost appear bipolar, going from taunting the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel one day, to wanting to take his life under a broom tree the next. The reality is: we are all very mortal. Whether a mom with four energetic small children, or a young adult fighting the demons of their past, we realize quickly that we are at best weak flesh.
As I meditated on this, searching the word and praying in the spirit, I came upon great hope: God alone…
“…does not grow faint or weary.” - Isaiah 40:28
And in the midst of the many commands peppered throughout scripture of giving, going, serving, and loving, there is one repeated one:
There are at least twenty direct exhortations in Psalms to wait for the Lord, such as:
For God alone my soul waits... - Psalm 62:1
Waiting is a component of faith, and is integrally tied in with the sabbath commands and commands to rest:
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. - Romans 8:25
Interestingly, one half of the epistles have commands to wait, all of them a waiting for Jesus’ return:
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ… - Titus 2:13
indicating all will not be whole until then.
So my labor needs to be governed. This is captured by Peter:
…waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God… - II Peter 3:12
In prayer we do both. Prayer is faith-engaged activity, hastening the coming of the day, and it is exercised because we are aware that we are limited, finite, mortal… looking to, hoping in, waiting for, one who is not.
If you are worn out by ministry or trouble, events in nations or at home, may I encourage you to carve out space and time to take refuge in prayer. For those who do, there is a promise:
they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31