Patty and I (Ray) believe that the content of this weekly blog (Today’s Enlightenment) should be inspired by God. This doesn’t mean hearing a voice from somewhere out there, dictating to us the words we are to write. It means that through various sources God will give us guidance and direction as to subject matter, ideas and themes to write about, in our own words. So what are these sources? They are the same God-given sources you can always use in discerning God’s will for you. These are sources which most of us have access to every day in the ordinary routines of life.
These sources include:
- other people you respect and trust
- current or historic circumstances you have observed or personally experienced
- what you see and hear in the news media
- your God-given intellect, common sense, reasoning power, and conscience
- the Bible
- the Holy Spirit within you
If you give serious attention to all these sources, you will be able to discern God’s inspiration.
There is a saying which says “God is an on-time God”. And usually, God is in fact on time in providing the inspiration we need to publish this weekly blog according to our schedule. However, it seems that sometimes God isn’t always “on time”. That’s my situation this week. Monday and Tuesday went by. No inspiration. So I spent much of the past two days worrying about and wondering “what am I supposed to do about this? God is late.” Then late Tuesday night, I discerned a one word answer. WAIT. Right away I realized that God was inspiring me to write about the relationship between hope and waiting. So I decided to see what the Bible said about the word “wait” and its derivatives (waiting, waited, etc.). I turned to my Bible Concordance. This is a huge book which lists every word found in the Bible, and shows the verses in which each word appears. I found that there are about 150 Bible verses containing the word “wait”. I was familiar with some of these verses. Some of the others I looked up.
When I considered a good number of these verses together, I found the basic message about the relationship between hope and waiting to be that if you hope to act according to God’s inspiring word, you have to wait for God to speak or act through the sources He provides (Those I have listed above). I believe this is well summed up in Galatians 5:5 “…our hope is that God will put us right with Him, and this is what we wait for, by the power of God’s Spirit working through our faith”. To put this into my own words, (1) spend whatever time God decides you need to hear and understand His guidance and direction, (2) accept and use all the resources He gives you to pursue what He is guiding and directing you toward, (3) adapt your schedule to God’s schedule, and (4) do what God has inspired you to do.
This was not an entirely new insight for me. And many of you, maybe most of you, are well aware of this process. However, there is one part that is often overlooked. The part I have been overlooking for the past two days. The part which says “adapt your schedule to God’s schedule”. The part that has to do with waiting. The truth is, those of us who live in theUnited States of America live in a society which has been telling us for about the past 60 years that we have a right to instant gratification. The message has been and continues to be that the purpose of life is to get what we want, where and how we want it, and when we want it. For many years I have been observing TV commercials which tell us we should and can “have it your way”. During this year I have often heard a TV commercial in which a chorus of voices sings the words “I want it all”. These words are repeated three times, each time louder and louder, and then they sing even louder “AND I WANT IT NOW”. Then the announcer goes on to explain that you can have it all now – no waiting.
There are two realities concerning waiting, especially for Americans. The first is “we hate to wait”. We can’t wait for the weather to get warmer or cooler. We can’t stand waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store. We find it unbearable waiting in the doctor’s office. We just don’t like waiting. Whatever it is we’re hoping for, we shouldn’t have to wait for. We want it now. We have a right to have it all – right now. Even when it comes to my writing this blog.
The second of the two realities concerning waiting is “Most of the time, if it’s worth waiting for, like it or not, we have to wait”. We all have our hopes (things we desire) and if these hopes are in accordance with God’s will and way, they will eventually be fulfilled. But almost always there will be some waiting. How long must we wait? Sometimes a few minutes or hours. More likely a few days, months, or years. Some of our hopes will not be fulfilled even during our lifetime on earth. But if we have faith, and if what we are hoping for is in line with God’s will, there is always reason to hope. Especially since there is so much historical and current evidence that the God -inspired hopes of individuals, societies, and nations have been and are being fulfilled.
I have to confess that over the past few days I have expressed my annoyance at having to wait for God’s inspiration by accusing God of being late. The irony of it all is that in my complaining about waiting for God, I have been reminded that God is never late. That according to His schedule He is always an on-time God. That I will have to adapt to His schedule, rather than the other way around. Why? Because He is the One who created me, sustains my life in this world, and has assured me that there is a place for me to live with Him for eternity, where there will no longer be a need for time or schedules. To put it simply, He is my ultimate boss. I need to adapt to God’s schedule because He knows what is best, not just for me, but for the universe.
Patty and I are always hoping that God will inspire us so that we will be able to publish a a blog every week that will help someone begin or continue to have hope where there seems to be no hope. Good news in the midst of bad news. We believe that our hope will always be fulfilled as long as we adapt to God’s schedule. As I finish this blog, it’s Thursday morning. The thought just crossed my mind – the fact that I have written, and you are reading this now, is God’s way of reminding you and me that no matter what we think, God is never late. God is always an on-time God. We can all always count on God to be there for us at the right time – God’s time.
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.