在『等候室』中找到希望

By:Robert D. Foster

沒有人喜歡等!當我們在藥房排隊結帳時,不耐煩指數就開始升高。當我們在機場接受安檢,或是當我們在診所候診時,看到別人不斷走進診間時,我們卻還在外面乾坐時,我們就感覺等待的時間好像都是靜止的。我們在等待的時候就變得很挫折,好像自己坐在世界上最大的停車場上,而高速公路卻環繞在我們的周圍。

今天的世界要求立即的滿足。「我現在就要!」現代的科技讓我們的生活越過越快:電子郵件、手機、簡訊,讓我們可以馬上從網路上得到資訊。電視也讓我們透過人造衛星可以馬上看到全球的衝突和災難。這給都給那些「一定要做些甚麼事」的人很大的壓力,因為這些人不能只待在那裏,他們一定要「做」些甚麼。幾年前的我就是其中的一份子。

但是我搬家之後,那能給我安全和寧靜的匆忙世界突然之間消失了!我太太碧芙受不了我們在科羅拉多州果園的高度(大概有7200英呎高),所以我們就搬到更適合的環境-南加州去,那裡也是我太太多年的住處。對我而言,搬到橘郡意味著新的居住環境以及截然不同的氣候,那裡也跟我生活了45年的生活環境完全不同。在新的地方敬拜、結交新朋友都讓我很滿足,但是最困難的事是決定「我在橘郡要做甚麼?」

我感到無所適從,因為和以前所熟悉和舒適的每一件事都隔絕了,但是神卻用那段時間來提醒我許多事。

這不是甚麼屬天的異象,我沒有夢到耶穌對我說話,但是神有一天卻在詩篇37篇7節告訴我:「Bob,你必須學習如何休息和等候。」即便對我這種已經信主多年的人,這些都還是重要的功課。

休息的態度關乎一個事實:我們『等候』因為相信應許,『休息』是神透過耶穌基督給我們救贖的基礎。我在骷髏地的事工之後休息,因為耶穌已經為我贖罪死在十字架上,祂在十字架上說:「成了!」我無法增減任何一分。掙扎還比休息簡單,這就是為何福音是如此難懂和難以接受!休息跟我的工作沒有關係,而是跟祂寶血遮蓋你我有關係。

等待的功課比休息還困難,特別對有決心、成就導向的工商人來說。因為我們必須耐心地等候,但是對耶穌基督的跟隨者來說,我們必須要等候神的應許成就。因為多年來,我發現神做工的時間總是恰到好處,祂的回應也是如此。

我們必須等候神來表明祂的心意。祂對我人生的每一個階段都有計畫和目標,包括停留在橘郡,但是我必須要等候祂來實現,如同詩篇37篇4節中所說的「又要以耶和華為樂,他就將你心裏所求的賜給你。」又如同有人說:「除非他經歷了最大的失望,否則最大的希望不會在人的心中甦醒。」

所以我要等候在這裡,繼續的學習,也繼續的相信:「你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他。」(詩37篇7節)

摘錄自「挑戰」,由Robert D. and Rick Foster撰寫和出版。在合理的範圍內許可免費刊登。若有任何問題和評論請寫信到29555 Goose Creek Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, U.S.A., or fax (303) 647-2315.

思想 / 討論題目
當你必須要等待時,你都如何反應? 你能夠有耐心地等候嗎?還是你勉強地忍耐著度過它?或者你發現自己非常挫折,而瀕臨暴怒的邊緣? 當你想一想自己周遭的環境和生活時,哪些特別的事件會給你壓力、讓你不願意等待、或讓你急著想回應的?請解釋你的答案。 你可以想到任何一件事情或經驗,要你等超過你原本所預期的,或是你現在就在某一個等待的過程中,等著事情結束!請描述一下被迫待在等候室中的心情。 如果你已經跟神建立了關係,並相信祂是你的天父,你認為什麼有時祂會堅持要我們等候祂回應我們的請求?而不是立即的滿足我們?為人父母、朋友、主管或是經理的人,比較一下你是否也發現自己有時需要為他人的益處,而要求他們等待呢?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇37篇9、34節;46篇10節;箴言20章22節;以賽亞書8章17節;40章31節;49章23節;使徒行傳1章4-8節;羅馬書8章24-25節

FINDING HELP IN THE “WAITING ROOM”
By Robert D. Foster

No one likes having to wait. Our irritation level rises as we stand in the drugstore checkout line, endure the mandatory security "disrobing" at the airport, and watch the clock as we remain seated while others come and go in the doctor”s or dentist’s office – the land where time seems to stand still. We become frustrated sitting still in the world’s largest parking lots – the highways surrounding our large cities.

Today’s culture demands immediate gratification. "I want it now!" Modern technology helps us to get going faster and faster: E-mail, mobile phones, text messaging, getting all the information we require instantly over the Internet. TV has given us the ability, via satellite, to watch global conflicts and disasters firsthand. The most time-pressured individuals of all are those who cannot stand just to be – they always must be doing something. Not just to BE – to DO! That accurately described me a number of years ago.

Then my secure and serene world came unglued. My wife, Bev, could no longer cope with the altitude of our guest ranch in Colorado, which stood at 7,200 feet. So we moved to the more suitable environs of Southern California, which had been her home for many years. For me this meant new living quarters, a very different climate, leaving behind my lifestyle of 45 years, finding a satisfactory new place to worship, making new friends and, most difficult of all, determining what to do in Orange County.

I felt cast adrift, separated from everything that was comfortable and familiar. But God was using that time to get my attention.

There was no heavenly vision, no dream of Jesus talking to me, but God did speak one early morning from Psalm 37:7. It seemed He was saying, "Bob, you need to learn how to REST and how to WAIT." These were important lessons, even for a man like me already advanced in years.

The attitude of resting is concerned with facts; the activity of waiting has to do with promises. Resting is the fundamental principle of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. I rest in the finished work of Calvary, Christ”s atoning death for my sins. "It is finished," He said. I cannot add anything to it. This is why the Gospel is so hard to understand and so hard to accept. It is easier to struggle than to rest. It has nothing to do with my works, but everything to do with His blood shed for me – and for you!

The activity of waiting is just as difficult, perhaps even more so. This is because we must wait patiently, extremely hard for determined, high-achieving business and professional people. Those of us who are followers of Christ must wait for the performance of His promises. God, I have discovered over the years, does nothing too soon or too late. He responds right on time.

We must wait for God to reveal His will. He has had a plan and purpose for every stage of my life”s journey, including Orange County, California. But I had to wait for His fulfillment of my heart’s desires, as is promised in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As someone has said, “High hopes are never awakened in the human heart to be finally disappointed."

So here I am, still learning, but also believing: "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7).

Taken and adapted from The Challenge, written and published by Robert D. and Rick Foster. Permission to reproduce with proper credit is freely given and encouraged. For questions or comments, write: 29555 Goose Creek Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, U.S.A., or fax (303) 647-2315.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

How do you respond when you have to wait – can you do it patiently, do you grudgingly grit your teeth and suffer through it, or do you find yourself frustrated, on the verge of boiling over in anger at any moment? Do you think the current environment for our lives, which promotes speed of response and instant gratification, has intensified our reluctance to wait, especially for things that are important to us? Explain your answer. Think of a recent experience when you had to wait longer than you had anticipated. Or perhaps you are now going through a period of waiting, eager to see it come to an end. What has been the effect of being forced to remain in this “waiting room”? If you have a relationship with God and believe He is your heavenly Father, why do you think He sometimes insists that we wait for His answers to our needs and requests, rather than responding to them immediately? How would you compare this with how you respond – as a parent, friend, supervisor or manager: Are there times when you also find it necessary for those relying on you to wait?If you would like to consider other Bible passages that relate to this topic, look up the following:
Psalm 37:9,34, 46:10; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 8:17, 40:31, 49:23; Acts 1:4-8; Romans 8:24-25

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