Summary: Part Four from a series of messages titled “The Waiting Room”: discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
The Waiting Room
“Is This Really Waiting?”
We began a series titled the Waiting Room with the purpose of discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Well the title of today’s message is:
“Is this really waiting?”
I had this thought several weeks ago as I was driving home: Is it really waiting if I’m doing something while I wait?
- What about my current circumstance? Could I be called here?
Once again, these questions are rooted in who or what we consider to be “The Authority”.
When Christian Herter was governor of Massachusetts, he was running hard for a second term in office. One day, after a busy morning chasing votes (and no lunch) he arrived at a church barbecue. It was late afternoon and Herter was famished. As Herter moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line.
"Excuse me," Governor Herter said, "do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?" "Sorry," the woman told him. "I'm supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person." "But I'm starved," the governor said. "Sorry," the woman said again. "Only one to a customer." Governor Herter was a modest and unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw a little weight around. "Do you know who I am?" he said. "I am the governor of this state." "Do you know who I am?" the woman said. "I'm the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along, mister."
Bits & Pieces, May 28, 1992, pp. 5-6. (sermonillustrations.com)
Who is really in charge here? - Ever said this to your Creator? Maybe not in so many words, but in action...
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
For the person who has truly placed full authority in God hands, this verse should bring hope! It means that in everything (not just good, and not just bad) there is purpose.
In fact, as hard as this is to say, there might be even greater purpose in those moments of waiting. Repeat: EVEN GREATER PURPOSE IN WAITING!
So I’ll ask you to think about it again: If there is purpose there, is this really waiting?
I want to show you two promises we realize when we give God full authority:
1. There is No Chance
If we believe that God is the ultimate Authority, we have to believe that there is no such thing as chance, happenstance, coincidence or cosmic accident.
It’s impossible to say that God is in complete control, but sometimes he let’s things slip through the cracks. It’s a complete contradiction!
Job 37:5-6 (NLT)
God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power. 6 “He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down.
Think about that for a second. God directs each individual snowflake and raindrop to fall and land to the exact location they fall. Something that can seem so small and insignificant, God orchestrates to the tiniest detail! This should be awe inspiring!
A. From Chance to Providence
We need to change our perspective on life.
Today I’d like to examine the word Providence.
In Latin, “Pro” means “before” --- “Vid” (like video) means “to see” --- Providence means “to see before”
the wisdom, care, and guidance believed to be provided by God
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
So the change of thinking goes from happy accident to planned purpose. I am exactly where I am on purpose!
- Even if it’s not something “I” planned or anticipated
- If it’s the consequence of sin
- If it’s what I chose, but not the result I expected
God’s Providence is always at work in my life!
Proverbs 16:9, 33 (NLT)
9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
33 We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.
I love how verse 33 likens our natural beliefs to gambling. What is gambling? It is a risk, something that we feel is left to chance!
But this proverb tells us that even in what we might consider “chance” God is still in control.
To see Providence at work takes time!
The interesting thing about Providence is the fact that it is rarely something we recognize immediately. And the irony is that something meant as foresight is found in hindsight.