Behind our house is a narrow line of trees and brush. A small creek runs through it, which is filled with slate and muck when the rain is scarce. Beyond the trees lies a small working farm with rows of wheat or soy- we are not yet sure exactly due to the somewhat blocked view. Conjoined to the farmland is a section of homes that were fairly out of sight until the leaves began to fall off of the trees.
Travis plans to cut through some of the brush before the leaves grow again so that we can see the creek and the farm throughout the year. We may use some of the slate to build a border along our forthcoming garden, or maybe incorporate it somehow when we landscape our front yard. Hidden treasures lie beyond what obscures our vision.
Sometimes all we see is the brush and muck. The negativity, letdowns, disappointments, misunderstandings. Sometimes it seems as if the darkness wins. It is easy to become anxious and depressed wondering if God will come through, or if He is waiting on us to figure it all out.
A lot of stock is placed in a new year. We come up with resolutions, a “word” to define how we want to take on the year, or a personal slogan to do something or change something. Seldom do we ever resolve to wait in the new year. Very few of us (myself included) set out to sit it out. It feels like giving up, or not caring. Waiting on God seems all to passive. Shouldn’t we do something?
Truth is not that God is waiting on us, but we are waiting on God. And the only way to do this well is to look beyond the perishable to the imperishable. Because like thyme or rosemary in the scorching heat, the darkness will eventually wither and fade. “Fret not” David, the Psalmist says, “because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” The brush of wickedness before us will not undo us. As Andrew Peterson sings “all this darkness is a small and passing thing” in “Dark Before the Dawn”.
What are we to do then when the darkness is before us?
3Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.[b]
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
The Work in the Waiting
->Trust in the Lord
->Dwell in the land
->Delight in the Lord
->Commit your way to the Lord
->Be still before the Lord
->Fret not over evil
There is light beyond the darkness. Though we may not always see it, it is there like a hidden treasure. Like a stream of water behind the marsh. All we have to do is push away the bramble, thistles, muck, and dried up leaves, and say, “You are not wanted. You are dead. I am going to the living water.” This is the work in the waiting.
If I had a word for 2017, and I have thought this through some, it would be the word “wait.” Kind of anti-climatic, isn’t it? But I feel this is best. I know this is best. I am hesitant to presumptuously set out to do anything without trusting and waiting. Dwelling in the land God has placed me, with the family He has given me, and being faithful in what I know to do is far better than abandoning these things to do “some other thing.” It is hard, though. Because sometimes it feels like I should be doing something else, or something more. But this is the brush and muck obscuring my view- like industriousness, vanity, and the pride of life. The light is there. The light is here, not beyond my sight but right here in my home, in my very soul. All I have to do is wait.
What is obscuring your view in 2017? Let the light in. Go to the living water of Christ and be still before Him. Let His Word dwell in you richly, and watch the darkness fade. Will the way be easy? Probably not. But as God fills you with more of Himself, the way is clearer as you look beyond perishable things to unfading glory. For this, and for God alone we wait.