Impatience; May 1, 2023

Psalm 106:13 But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his counsel.

This particular issue has snared people throughout history, and it certainly does today. Forgetting all that God has done in the past, we think, “I’ve got to do something.” This particular phrase appears almost countless times in the Old Testament and is captured beautifully by the Japanese translation, but I have yet to run into an English Bible that does it justice. The Japanese says, “wait in hope,” that is, expectantly. Waiting for the sake of waiting is certainly tedious, but those who know God should be able to wait expectantly, like a child waits for Christmas. In the famous play, Waiting for Godot, Godot never shows up. That’s not the way it is with God! Many Jews today feel that way about the Messiah, not accepting that He showed up over 2000 years ago, and even now is waiting for them to acknow­ledge Him. This particular verse says they failed to wait expectantly for God’s “counsel,” that is, His instructions. Wise people down through the centuries have known that until God tells you something different, you need to keep doing the last thing He told you. We tend to want to know everything ahead of time, but God generally doesn’t tell us stuff until we need to know it. The flip side of that is that today we have the Bible, so if we genuinely want to hear from God we should be reading it. After all, He’s not going to tell us anything that contradicts the Bible. Those who say otherwise are revealing that they are false teachers, serving the liar (John 8:44) instead of the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) We indeed need to wait at times until God makes Himself clear, but we should spend that time getting more of His Word into our hearts.

I have had my times of impatience, but I don’t seem to struggle with it as much as some do. I have certainly experienced God’s guidance, provision, and blessing countless times in countless ways, so I have no excuse for impatience! The biggest thing I’m still waiting for is what my parents waited for as well, and that’s God’s massive move of revival in Japan. My father once prostrated himself on the floor, crying out to God, “Lord, if I’m what’s standing in the way of revival in Japan, then take me out of the way!” As a young single missionary he had visited the Shantung Revival in China, and he knew what revival looked like. I’ve been ministering for 42 years in Omura at this point, and I too have yet to see the revival I desire. I know without question that I can’t make it happen, so I seek to keep myself available for however God might want to use me. He has been giving intimations recently that His time might be near, and that’s exciting, but again, it’s in His hands, so I’m to wait expectantly for Him, and not go off on any tangents.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the past few days with Hank and Doug here. They have been an encouragement to us and to others, and have worked to tear down the works of the enemy. (1 John 3:8) I ask Your protection and blessing on them as they go to Tokyo today and then back to the US this week. I pray that what You did through them in these days would be cemented and multiplied, contributing to Your rule and reign being established right here as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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