Graduation, and Waiting on the Lord
That's right, I graduated with my Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on December 18th. Finally, I have earned the privilege of exhausting the limits of the knowledge of God! HA!!!
It's been an incredible, yet exhausting, journey. And though my wife once confessed to regretting the decision to enter into it because of the unprecedented strain it put on our family at times, the last three years have also been a time of tremendous maturing as a family and in our respective roles within it. We just have to figure out how to have fun together again, and we'll be on our way to the American Dream. (OK, not quite, but you get the idea!)
At the graduation reception, one of the finest profs (IMO) at Trinity (of course, most all of them are outstanding) asked where and to what I was headed next—a predictable question that I answer almost daily. "Still waiting for the Lord to show me," I answered. "You know," he said, "you'd be surprised how common that response is. I hear it all the time. It was my experience, and the Lord had a special purpose for it. I know He does for you as well."
It's encouraging to know that your situation is not unique, that nothing's wrong with you, and to be reminded that God's timing is always right. The sermon preached by our "Assistant Senior Pastor" (I just think that's such a funny title) this morning provided a much-needed reminder that God's mode of answering our prayers is exactly right. He knows exactly what we need, and always provides it when we persist in asking. Sometimes He provides it instantly; other times, it takes a while. What admonished, and then encouraged, me was the insight that God has very specific purposes for these waiting periods. Perhaps we've been asking with wrong motives and He's waiting until we've had an attitude adjustment before He gives it to us. Perhaps there are other matters that need taken care of before we're ready to receive it. The Lord knows, and He's waiting for exactly the right moment to meet the need. In that sense, He uses our prayers as opportunities to meet multiple needs!
Is that just like God, or what? So far from the myth of the stingy, killjoy God, which Jesus verily refutes. Should I be surprised at this? Is it not written all over the pages of Scripture? Luke 11? Matthew 6? We are free to not worry, and that is no small blessing! In the midst of a recession like the present one, I ought to be worried about the fact that I have a wife, daughter, and newborn son to feed, clothe, and shelter, yet am unemployed. But I'm not. Oh, I'm concerned in that I'm taking responsibility to pursue opportunities for employment to the best of my ability. But in the midst of waiting for God to fling open the door to the path He wants us to take next, I have the joy of knowing and serving the God of the universe, who knows our needs and has already made provision in His supreme foreknowledge for them. That, and that alone, brings comfort today and hope for tomorrow.