Saturday, January 26, 2008

The WAIT poem

I'm skipping ahead a bit in my monthly devotionals based on Hannah's Hope because God has really put it on my heart that someone needs to read this tonight. I pray it will be an encouragement:

The following is copyrighted material taken from Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage & Adoption Loss, chapter 15:

As Russell Kelfer so well expressed in one of my all-time favorite poems, "Wait" below, I often wished I could see enough of God's plan at least to know if the battle was even worth such grief. If only God would tell me, "Yes, someday you will have a baby," or even "No, my plans for you do not include a child," then I would have either been able to rest in the peace of knowing or grieve my losses and move on.
Living in the ongoing unknown made worship a true sacrifice. Blind faith was sometimes fearful, painful faith, especially whenever I tried to exercise it in my own strength. Fortunately, each time I made even the meekest attempt to reach out to the Lord, my Father was there to hold my hand and guide me along the way.

(Taken from "Follow Me!" by Russell Kelfer, copyright 1995.
Published by Discipleship Tape Ministries, Inc., and Into His Likeness Publications.
Used by permission.)

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied.
I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me 'wait'?
I'm needing a 'yes,' or a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no,' to which I can resign.

"And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this in my cry:
I'm weary of asking: I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God; "So I'm waiting, for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, darken the sun,
Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.

"All you see I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust, just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence was all you could see.

"You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth and the beat of my heart.

"The glow of My comfort late in the night'
The faith that I give when you walk without sight;
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for that loved one o'ernight could come true,
But the loss! if you lost what I'm doing in you.

"So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of still...wait."

For Further Thought:
(From "Fear of the Unknown" by Ginger Garrett, Moments for Couples Who Long for Children, Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2003, pages 39-40)
Our suffering can increase through the agony of not knowing when it will end and why God has allowed it. We want answers to questions that God does not seem eager to explain.... We imagine that if only God would tell us the day and time that our wait will end, we could relax and pace ourselves during our waiting.
But the idea that this suffering could stretch on indefinitely haunts us and makes the present much more difficult. We can stand short bursts of pain, such as in the dentist's chair or when we get a flu shot, because we kno the pain will end quickly and because we feel confident the suffering will produce a greater good. We don't seem to need or ask for God's strength in those moments...
Lack of control, however, with no sense of when the suffering will end or why God allows it, nudges us to an all-knowing, all-powerful Lord. God can best demonstrate who He is when we are paying careful attention. Perhaps that is one reason why He does not reveal to us His exact times and dates and reasons. We want Him to reveal the future - He wants to reveal His character.

1 comment:

allyouwhohope said...

Thanks for directing me to your post. I think I was one of those who needed to read that tonight!

I often think, "God, have mercy on me and just give me a hint about how it will all turn out! Please!" But the poem gives such a wonderful explanation of why we shouldn't know. It's just so hard to live your life not knowing that answer, whether it will happen or not. If I knew now that it will never happen then I could mourn and move on (as much as that's possible). But instead we're left constantly waiting and hoping and for some, there will be no pregnancy at the end of that long wait. That would seem horribly cruel if it weren't for our faith. So I will now try to focus on the words of that poem when I struggle with this.