Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Proverbs 20:22 -- On Waiting on the Lord

"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee."
Proverbs 20:22

It is interesting to me in this verse how being saved is the answer to the desire to recompense evil. Maybe it is saying that we should care a lot more about our own souls and our own sins than about the consequences that should be paid to someone else.

Unfair things happen to us in life. Sometimes they are so amazingly wrong or hurt us so much that we yearn for retribution. Even when they are smaller, we feel cheated, or belittled, or dismissed as worthless. And we often feel a perfectly natural desire to see what we perceive as justice done to the person or people responsible. ... and maybe that is part of the problem. It is a "natural" desire, not a spiritual desire.

God asks us for some pretty hard things sometimes... different ones are harder in different ways for each of us. Some of us struggle with tithing, or chastity, or the word of wisdom. Maybe universally though, we want to be valued and loved. And so when God asks us to let go of things that make us feel a void in those areas, it is pretty hard. It feels very close to our hearts and our self-worth. And with all of the things that challenge us, sometimes the most important thing is to wait. Wait before responding. Wait before acting... wait before walking into the situation again, or deciding to lose faith.

Waiting on the Lord doesn't have an expiration date. This life is a test, and we can't give God deadlines. We can't say, well, I need to be married by a certain age or I'm going to give up on your plan. Or, save my family member from this disease or I won't believe that you love me. Or, make the person who hurt me pay for it before he dies, or I will never believe in your justice. Wait means wait. ... and yes, wait forever if that is what it takes. Wait on the Lord means let it go... God will handle that part.

God will return to all of us according to what we've done in this life... Today, while we're waiting on the Lord, let's go out and help other people feel valued and loved.

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