Friday, November 08, 2013

Daily Encouragement (11/08/13) "Obedient Waiting"

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Eden Resort fall display 10/31/13
A fall decorative display in front of a Lancaster Hotel

Note to email readers: Today's message is delivered much later than normal due to circumstances we had not planned.

"Obedient Waiting"

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"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him"  (Isaiah 64:4).

Today I shared for a few minutes with a young man who is waiting for something in life he has desired for some time. I encouraged him to remain obedient and faithful to the Lord as he endures the indeterminate wait period.

In one way or another it seems we are all waiting for something in life. The wait periods of life are often hard. Realistically so much of what frustrates us in regard to waiting is trivial such as waiting for a traffic light to change or waiting in a long line at the store.

But at other times it's waiting for a medical test result or news from a loved one we are anxious to hear from. It may be waiting for a specified change of direction in our life, perhaps in our work or ministry. Certainly for all of us it is waiting for the blessed hope. (Titus 2:13)

Obedient waiting is one of the most important tests we have in life. Prior to going up to Mount Sinai, Moses gave a very specific command to the children of Israel. "He said to the elders, 'Wait here for us until we come back to you'" (Exodus 24:14). 

But the wait was long and the people grew impatient and took matters into their own hands. "When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, 'Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him'" (Exodus 32:1). Soon they're worshipping and carousing around a golden calf with Aaron as their leader! They failed the "wait test" and grave consequences followed.

The Bible has many examples of waiting tests such as Abraham for the promised son, Jacob for Rachel, Saul for Samuel and many others.  Many of them failed the obedient waiting test which resulted in long-term, sometimes life-long consequences.

We also have many obedience waiting tests in our lives. Even as you read this you're likely considering a situation you're praying about and waiting to see how God brings about His will in the matter.  We prayed with a family who have major decisions regarding medical treatment for a loved one and are prayerfully waiting on God for His guidance. A friend who is at a crossroads in regard to a career choice and is waiting for God's direction. He earnestly said to me, "Please pray that my wife and I will know the right thing to do."

And even our family is in the midst of waiting as Ester awaits a needed operation to insert a new atrial lead from the pacemaker to her heart (a problem since September when she received a new pacemaker and one atrial lead became defective which contributed to Ester's atrial flutter "episode" Oct 18th and her four days in the hospital).*

Trusting, praying and obeying during the wait can be very challenging, since we're tempted to take things into our own hands rather than fully trusting God to work things out according to His will and His timing. In the wait process we may even hit rock bottom. But Tony Evans says that "When we hit rock bottom we discover that Jesus is the Rock at the bottom."

Here's a great truth to hide deep in your heart today: God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Our daily verse is a real treasure buried in a portion of the Bible not as familiar to many.  "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him." Today allow this truth to fill your life with peace as you trust in God, who always acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. God grant us grace to obediently wait.

Be encouraged today as together we obediently wait on Him,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, many times Scripture that speaks of waiting on You is followed by the directive of being courageous.  Indeed it does take courage for me to trust You and not take matters into my own hands since that comes so naturally to my way of thinking and doing things.  But as a loving, protecting and omnipotent Father You tenderly care for me as I commit my concerns to You.  My unbelief and impatience leads to fearsome worry and unwise behavior. Getting ahead of Your divine plan and perfect timing only leads to more frustration and difficulty.   Help me to remember that waiting coupled with prayer brings about growing courage and dependence on You rather than myself.  Amen.

*Update on Ester and our own waiting: We thought our wait was over for Ester's surgery to replace her atrial lead. She was scheduled to have surgery on Monday morning (Nov. 11), so we had about 6 hours of pre-op tests yesterday along with many forms to be filled out by the medical staff regarding Ester's extensive heart surgeries (since all six major heart surgeries took place at other hospitals.) Ester was ready and somewhat relieved to finally get a date.

Just a few hours ago I (Brooksyne) got a phone call from her surgeon with not such good news. The cat scan performed yesterday revealed that Ester's aorta is right up behind her sternum increasing the risk to her open heart surgery (due in great part to the five times she's already had open heart surgeries in addition to the scar tissue on her aorta.) The second piece of bad news is that the cat scan revealed she has a small pulmonary embolus (blood clot) in the lower segment of her lung. Her surgery is now delayed (for obvious reasons) and she will be getting daily injections of lovenox (blood thinner) over the next couple weeks. She'll go to the hospital for the first two doses but I will be trained to inject the others. Obviously Ester is not too thrilled with me, her mom, playing nurse nor am I too thrilled with being nurse. Administering Ester's meds daily is one thing, but injecting medication is a huge learning curve. We ask for your prayers during our continued wait as God prepares Ester's body for the needed repair or better yet, we always welcome divine healing from the Great Physician.

Sobering and somewhat tenderly amusing: Yesterday the surgeon sat across from Ester in his office and, after explaining what he planned to do including opening the chest cavity and some other gory medical jargon, he read over the risks involved with surgery. The list is quite extensive and rather disturbing as you hear aloud what could go wrong. He got to the last possible risk being that of "death" and then asked Ester, who is now of age, if she wanted to sign the consent form. She looked down at the paper and broke down. The surgeon graciously got up, grabbed the tissue box and gave it to Ester. After a quick cry she signed the form. (Ester couldn't possibly know how many times Stephen and I have choked up over the 30 to 40 times we've been subjected to hearing of the risks associated with her multiple heart catheterizations, heart surgeries, and cardio conversions.)

After she got over the shock of "what could happen during surgery" she said to me, "I'm going to start working on my will." And she proceeded to give me her will out loud. As expected, Stephen and I inherit Mollie, her rowdy but loveable dog. All her stuffed animals will go to her favorite little cousins she's so fond of. And her DVD's would go to her best friend. I wish Stephen and I could have decided on our will that quickly.

Amish wagons

We passed these colorful wagons for sale near New Holland, PA at an Amish woodcraft shop.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"While I'm Waiting"  Video  John Waller  Note: This is a favorite song of Ester's since we were introduced to it in the movie, Fireproof. She's been playing it a lot since her "waiting" ordeal began and recommended it to us for our readers.

"Wait On The Lord"  Video  The Martins

"Wait On The Lord"  Video  Donnie McClurkin & Karen Clark Sheard

"We Will Wait"
  Video  Ron Kenoley

"Grace Alone
Video  Maranatha Singers

"Your Grace Is Sufficient"  Video  Shane and Shane

"When God Has Another Plan"  Video  The Greenes

"Fount of Every Blessing"  Video  Piano Instrumental by Steve Sensenig. Steve is the son of our friends, Charles and Hazel Sensenig. He is sharing a concert at a local church this Saturday evening and the Sensenigs have invited us to attend. We will be taking our Amish friends.  See here for more info about Steve's music or if you are local and may want info about the concert.

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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