Morning Moments

with Sandra Bivens Smith


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When God Says “Wait”

I wait for you more eagerly than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn. Yes, I wait more eagerly than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn.  Psalms 130:6  


I don’t know what its like to be a soldier on guard duty but I do know what it’s like to be eager for the dawn; you probably do too. You know, the hours between midnight and 5:00 AM when you can’t sleep?  You watch the clock.  The seconds seem to tic by one by one as you lie there waiting for the alarm to ring so you can get out of that bed.

I think one of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to wait on God.  Let’s face it, most of us live our lives in fast forward. When we call out to God we want Him to answer us – NOW.  Like the soldier on watch or our sleepless nights, we are eager for the dawn to come.

Have you ever had to wait on God ?

Have you ever…

  • Gone through a crisis with a friend?
  • Sat by the bed of a sick child?
  • Had more bills than money?
  • Prayed for a loved one to come to Christ?
I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. (Psalms 69:3)

Have you felt like the dawn was never going to come? The darkness lingered so long that your mind and body wanted to give up and you didn’t know how you could make one more day? And still, God said “wait”.

But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. (Job 30:26)

These are the times when the only thing left to do is cry out to God – “I surrender this to You”.  “Please, LORD, take this from me”.  “LORD, I can’t do this”.

“  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Then suddenly, miraculously, even unexpectedly, the dawn breaks. The new day comes. The light shines through the darkness.

Even if…

  • Your friend is still in crisis
  • Your child is still sick
  • There is still not enough money
  • Your loved one is still lost

…you can have hope because you’ve put your trust in the One who is able.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Waiting is hard. I won’t pretend it’s easy to wait on God, we all know that it’s not.  Sometimes the wait seems to go on so long that we begin to wonder if God has forgotten us.  He hasn’t.  God’s love, grace and mercy never fail.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  (Isaiah 30:18)

Testing is hard. When God says wait, when your faith is being tested, remember…

  • God is ever-present (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  • God is for you (Romans 8:31)
  • God is love (1 John 4:16)
  • God never fails (Lamentations 3:22)
  • In Him is yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Trusting is hard.  When we’re down in a valley, and all we can see are mountains that we can’t climb, all we want is out. God sees beyond the mountain. He sees eternity – past, present, and future.  God knows what he’s doing.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but 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 40:28-31)

If you are in a season of waiting, I pray these words will strengthen and encourage you.

Glad you stopped by,

Sandra


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Parting Thoughts

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  

            “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

            “Woman, behold, your son!”  “Behold, your mother!”

 Read the final words of Jesus.  Think about all He had suffered, just before He spoke them.  In the garden, sweating blood as He anticipated the agony of what lay ahead.  The betrayal of His closest friends.  Merciless beatings, severe enough in and of themselves, to have caused His death.  Scorn from those, who just days earlier, had honored and praised Him as their king.  The humiliation of being mocked, spit upon, and stripped naked.  The torture of being nailed to a cross and finally, bearing the full sin of all mankind upon His sinless body.

Read Jesus’ words again.  Do you see it?  At His height of suffering, Jesus prays for the ones who drove the nails into His feet and hands.  In the midst of His agony, He offers eternal assurance to a repentant man.  He ignores His horrific pain, to insure His Mother will be cared for.

 It is only after He has seen to the needs of others that He turns His attention to His own suffering.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

            “I thirst.”

Even then, as Christ desperately cries out to His Father, I can’t help but wonder if He wasn’t thinking about us.  Are there any of us who have not, at some time in our lives, called out to God “why have you abandoned me”?  Haven’t all of us been through a dry season and longed for a cool stream to refresh our parched spirits.

Jesus’ pleas were heard.  And so are ours as He declared, once and for all…

“It is finished”

Nothing more to be done.  Nothing else needed  All the requirements fulfilled.

Final words, final assurance.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” 

To anyone who has ever stood by the bed of a loved one as they took their final breath, these are words of comfort.  They promise us that He who knit us in our Mother’s womb is there, waiting to receive our spirit.  These words confirm that Jesus has defeated death.  We can have confidence that His spirit, having returned to the Father, will live eternally and so will ours.  In this final statement, we have God’s ultimate promise and our ultimate hope.

At no other time in recorded scripture do we see Jesus’ humanity so evidently revealed.  In the final hours at Calvary, we see Jesus, fully God, fully man.  The One who knew no sin, became the embodiment of sin.

Seven statements from the cross. Parting thoughts.   Thoughts of you and me.

In Jesus’ last words, we have the entire gospel message.  The message of forgiveness, eternal life, love for one another, His righteousness imparted to us.  It is a message important enough for Jesus to die for; shouldn’t it be important enough for us to live for?  Knowing He did all this for us, how can we do less for Him?

Blessings,

~Sandra


Father, never let us forget what the Easter season is really about.  Keep us mindful of the horrors of the cross and the sufferings we have been spared because Jesus suffered for us.  Always remind us that even in His final hours, we were never far from Jesus’ thoughts.  Above all, place deep within our minds the truth of the victory that was won for us that day at Calvary; and deep within our hearts a desire to share the message with those who remain lost.  Amen.


Christ died so we can live.  His sacrifice at Calvary is for everyone who will come and follow Him.  Have you made that commitment?  Have you knelt at the foot of the cross and surrendered your heart to the One Who died for your sins?  If you haven’t, there will never be a better time than now.

All you need to do is pray:

Confess to Jesus that you are a sinner who needs salvation

Believe in your heart that He is only One who can save you

 Ask Jesus to forgive your sins

Surrender your life and your will to Him

Ask Him give you a new heart, and a new spirit

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9