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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

My Journey: Learning to Wait, Discovering Wholeness

By Jerry D. Scott
Jan. 16, 2011

In the summer of 2008, as Dad neared the end of his life, I spent a large part of the hours I visited with him just sitting — waiting for him to need a sip of water or to be lifted to a new position, or just to hold his hand until he settled himself into sleep once again. The fact is, I don’t do “wait” well. Most of the time, I am doing several things at the same time. That simply was not possible while waiting for Dad to need me.

As I prayed and waited, I realized that, despite being in a situation that was terribly stressful, I was more peaceful than I am many days while working in my church office. Yes, there were moments of emotion, times when quiet tears fell, but there was no sense of the rush, hurry or pressure that are so often a part of my life.

I believe the Lord used that experience to reveal something to me about being a better disciple of Jesus Christ. How much of the urgency, tension and stress levels that I endure as a busy pastor are self-inflicted? How much has my failure to wait on the Lord resulted in my attempting to do many things that either need not be done or that could be done with less wear and tear on me and everyone around me?

Taking the time to wait for God to lead is not the same as wasting time. It is focused attention on God, which is the heart of worship!

Sounds like a story from the Gospels, doesn’t it? It’s familiar, but read it again. Don’t skim through the next few lines.

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she

stepped in, interrupting them. ‘Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.’ The Master said, ‘Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it — it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her’” (Luke 10:38-42, The Message).

One of the benefits of being a Christian is the promise that the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NIV). The promise is not just about an absence of conflict, as we would commonly understand the word “peace.” It is about living a life of wholeness, unlike the scattered, fragmented lives of distraction we so often lead, that comes to the disciple who has learned to wait patiently for the Lord.

How do we come to wait on Him, to choose the one thing that is “essential,” as Mary did? The key is found in the most basic scriptural directive for disciples: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).

Let me illustrate from my experience in caring for Dad what love will do for the waiting disciple. Sitting in Dad’s living room, watching him sleep, listening for his soft, whispery voice, waiting for the opportunity to turn him or get him a drink of water is not burdensome for one reason: I love him! I don’t huff and sigh. I don’t force a smile on my face. When I choose to love, I find joy!

Are you stressed out, fragmented and under the gun today? Do you really love your Lord? Then take this instruction for disciples to heart. As you read it, fill in your name.

“One thing only is essential, and ________ has chosen it — it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from him/her.”

Tell the Lord you’re standing by, waiting for the opportunity to serve Him and others joyfully, for love’s sake. You’ll find that having such a centered focus pulls you back together and changes the way you live this day. It’s His promise!

JERRY D. SCOTT is senior pastor at Washington (N.J.) Assembly of God.

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