Saturday, March 8, 2014

tarry for the promise

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but wait in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Luke 24:49

I like to go out to this park at sunset and just feel the night air. It used to be a forest, a field bridging neighborhoods and friendships, a path littered with old weed-bags and lighters, and for this former atheist, a tree to look through and question; on this night, I went out to pray. 
The moon and sun, despite being so vastly different in size and distance from each other, appear equal in circumference when viewed through our irises. That they eclipse amazes me.  The universe was created for our eyes. We were created for His. And that we might be found gazing back. 

Some old tree-houses can still be found, and deer-packs still jolt across what is now a Frisbee-golf course. There's a group of guys who fly mechanical airplanes off the hillside that I like to stop and talk to. 
"You can put this on the back-burner if you want to, but I don't think you are going to be involved with what your involved in (secular newspapers)," said a stranger-made-friend.
"I think you have an artist's eye, and that even you don't know what you're capable of. I feel like you are going to do something different." 
This man was prophesying and he didn't even know it! How it should be, I think. We prayed. Maybe, that night, he believed in his heart that Jesus is Lord.
Hours later, he sent me a text message:
"Just remember one thing: be bigger than who you are. That will be his truth."
It will only happen one way. Not by my might or power, but by His strength. How? We must wait upon the Lord. We must heed the call to tarry. Merriam-Webster's definition"


intransitive verb (tair-ree)
: to delay or be tardy in acting or doing
: to linger in expectation
: to abide or stay in or at a place
I really like that last one, "to abide," as it reminds me to think of tarrying as a lifestyle of continual leaning. To be dependent. 

Mary of Bethany sat at the Lord's feet. She matured as she learned from him. She cast her burdens on him. She grew in strength, peace and joy, so she could then love others without worrying about externals.

"...Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:40-42
It's really about knowing Him! That we would spend our most valuable thing - time - for him and with him. This is being present, intimate: sharing in the unfolding of his grace. 
It marvels me, that our creator-God actually desires for his kids to participate and share in the process of seeing His kingdom come, his will be done! But it was always about this - relationship and partnership; laboring and rejoicing together; being one.
As I practice waiting, I'm increasingly surprised how much restoration comes as I abandon my agenda, my strict comings and goings and normal routine, my perspectives of what appears right. 

"Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31
He's shown me that the work happens in the waiting. Being watchful is not passive. The teaching and refining, the pruning, the cultivating, all produces endurance.

"And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise." Heb 6:11-12
He's also shown me that we still labor as we reap a harvest! "The revelation is an invitation," as fiery preacher Corey Russell says. The revelation that comes as I wait and still myself, and ask for him to open the eyes of my heart, is an on-ramp to the grace of God for laboring in the Spirit. As we wait, our labors become life, an overflow of the cup and our communion with God. 

From Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline

Scripture tells us that following the marvelous resurrection of
Dorcas, Peter “tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner”
(Acts 9:43, KJV). It was while tarrying in Joppa that the Holy Spirit
got through to Peter (with visual aids no less) about his cultural and
ethnic prejudices. What would have happened if, instead of tarrying,
Peter had immediately struck out on a speaking tour to tell of the
resurrection of Dorcas? Is it possible that he would have failed to
come to that shattering insight from the Holy Spirit, “Truly I perceive
that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears
him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34)? No
one knows. But I do know this: God desires various “tarrying” places
for all of us where he can teach us in special ways.
Beyond just a few spots to tarry, may we embrace a lifestyle of waiting upon the Lord. Where are you led to tarry? 

No comments: