One of the hardest words in the English language is also one of the best words: wait.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
Great verse, makes a wonderful refrigerator magnet, almost nobody I know lives by it… including the author (insert sigh of desperation here).
But, the benefits of waiting are reflected in the receiving.
When we wait we get what is almost always better for us. In waiting we allow God to do His work. When we wait we are ready to receive the bigger, better, righter (yes, I know it’s not a word) thing that God wants us to have.
When we don’t wait, we move too quickly, too impulsively, too selfishly, and we tend to get the cheap imitation of the thing we really need or want. We too often get less than what God wants for us. We get what we can get a hold of, not what He wants to give.
For example, how many marriages have dissolved because two young lovers just wouldn’t wait? They forced a marriage that was never meant to be.
How about finances? How many of us have ever bought into the “greatest deal ever” only to live in total regret within a few years, months, weeks or even days?
It’s a pattern that’s all too clear. It’s just weird that we don’t learn from it. It’s like a dog who keeps going back to the same human for a good scratching, but every time he goes there he just gets kicked. Yet, he keeps going back.
We’ve got to learn to wait. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of getting kicked!
While the issue of waiting can apply to almost any area of our lives, there is one area that has been screaming out at me lately: promotion.
Of course you’ve heard the expression, “She really put him in his place.” When you think about it, that’s an extremely accurate description of what humans do. We love to put each other in places.
In a broken relationship, or because of the false sense of superiority in another, words are spoken and nonverbal’s displayed that tell someone they’re just a notch or two below where they thought they were when they got up that morning.
On the other hand, we’re also good at promoting people when the reality is that they need a whoopin’ more than anything else. Professional athletes, rock stars, politicians and Charlie Sheen (wow, has he gone crazy or what?) are often examples of when individuals let their skills get ahead of their character.
There is no doubt they are talented, gifted and full of potential, but when the people around them “put them in places” of honor and applause before their character can handle it, it’s almost always a disaster.
God is the only one who knows a man’s heart, and it’s important that we let Him be the one to “put us in our place.”
If someone looks down on you and tries to demean you publicly, privately, or through subtle innuendo, we must remember they only have the authority we give them. No one can put you in a place you’re not willing to sit. Never forget what God said about you in 1 Peter 2:
As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him–
It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, your heavenly Father says you are chosen and precious to Him. When someone else tries to put you in a different place… they are wrong… end of sentence.
Conversely, when someone tries to elevate you beyond your capacity, you are also in danger. It’s not that you don’t have the gifts and abilities, but God wants to make sure you have the personality, character and heart to stand up under the weight of the amazing strengths He’s given you.
Some of us are uber talented and have an incredible future ahead of us, but right now we are a NASCAR engine on a Ford Festiva chassis. Oh, you’ll run fast, but you only make one lap before you fall apart.
There is a reason the Bible continually looks to people called ‘elders’ for leadership. It takes some years to build the character and trust needed to match up with the incredible gifting God can place on a life.
The point is this, don’t let people put you in a place. Whether they’re wanting to drag you down, or puff you up. It’s not their job to find a place for you. That job belongs to the Lord.
It’s on Him we must wait. Whether we’re a little cocky, impulsive and headstrong, or we are fretful, timid and hesitant, our job is to wait on the Lord.
Do not accept the placement of other humans, whether they want to put you in a good or a bad spot. But, wait on Him and let God put you in your place.
He is the only one who knows what you have.
He is the only one who knows when you’re ready.
He is the only one with the right, to put you in your place.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”