Bookstudy was a couple of weeks ago, but I was able to reread chapter 9 in Broken Down House by Paul David Tripp again yesterday. The chapter is entitled “Learn to Wait.” This chapter focuses on the question how are we called to wait and explores why it is so hard to do. It is filled with excellent questions and applications for our hearts as we wait for God’s plans to unfold in our lives. Tripp defines waiting as,”living through those moments when you do not understand what God is doing and you have no power to change your circumstances for the better.” (114) He reminds us that the definition itself tells us why waiting is hard,”because it takes you beyond the bounds of your own wisdom, understanding, and ability.” The challenging point is that waiting will always reveal our true character. It will reveal our lack of faith, our level of faith, our place that we have put our hope. “Your heart is always exposed by the way that you wait.” Then he applies it by showing ways we might have done this.
- If your hope is in your power, you will find it extremely difficult to live through situations where you have been revealed to be powerless.
- If your hope is in your wisdom, you will find it extrememly difficult to deal with circumstances that simply make no sense to you.
- If your hope has been in a certain person or situation, you will find it very hard to deal with it should that person or situation radically change.
Wow! I am challenged by those. I am so thankful for a God who loves us enough to go after our hearts and get rid of our idols. He wants our full love and devotion and waiting roots out these idols. Tripp writes,”In calling us to wait, God is rescuing us from our own plan, our own wisdom, our own power, our own control.” (117)
He finishes with ways to wait productively. His first encouragement is to remind us that we have not been singled out- we are part of a long story that includes lots of people who have had to wait. (Abraham waited for a promised son, Israel waited 420 years for deliverance and then another 40 before they could enter the promised land, God’s church waited on the Messiah and now we wait for his return) His second encouragement was to wait actively- to remind ourselves of who God is and what He has done already on our behalf. The third encouragement is to celebrate how little control you have. “The world is being carried on the capable shoulders of the King of kings” (120) The fourth encouragement is to celebrate God’s commitment to His work of grace. Celebrate that God will never leave us, nor forsake us and that He is not satisfied until all that is broken is fixed. The final encouragement is to let the waiting strengthen our faith. This time of waiting will let you know God better as you look to Him and to His word, it will let you know yourself better as our hearts are revealed, and it will let us know others better as we struggle with these things in community.
There will be so many times in our lives when we are wondering what is going on- what God is doing- how long until…I am praying that God uses these moments to let me see myself better and to teach me more about Himself. What a gracious God we serve.