Have you ever noticed how waiting for something that may or may not happen seems to make time slow down? The waiting and anticipating tends to drag on us as we watch for something to begin or end before we feel free to move on with life.
It would be bad enough if time slowed down for every thing, but its always only for you. The world keeps moving at it’s frantic pace, leaving us behind in our bubble of time distortion if we’re not careful. Family need our attention, work has to be completed and problems require tending. If we let the waiting and anticipating district us things begin to deteriorate making matters worse. We begin to worry, loose sleep and become edgy.
I’ve found this happening to me more than once over the years. I remember one of those times many years ago in particularly. The wait, the worry and the anticipating was keeping me awake. I tossed and turned for hours before I finally just got up. I tried everything from warm milk to counting sheep. Nothing would work, not even listing to one of my sermons (that’s usually a sure thing). In all my effort I woke my daughter. Walking out of her room she said, “Daddy; what’s wrong with you? I’m trying to sleep.” I said, “Sweetheart, so am I, but I just can’t seem to.” Yawning as she climbed into my lap, she said, “When I’m too worried and scared you’ve always told me to pray and focus on whats right in front of me. Maybe you should do the same.”
Paul writes in Romans 14:7-8, “none of us lives unto himself; and none die unto himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die unto the Lord; so then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” Many of us try to live unto ourselves, without trusting God to guide our lives. That always leaves us feeling alone, lost, overwhelmed and scared. We need God in our lives just to survive the storms we face from day to day; and the demons that haunt us by night. Prayer is such a powerful tool in life. It helps us rely upon God. When we feel alone, prayer connects us to God. When we feel overrun and afraid, prayer assures us that God is sovereign and is our protector. When we hurt, prayer comforts us and reminds us that God is with us. God hears our prayers. The psalmist writes in Psalms 17:6, “I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God, bend down and listen as I pray.” He hears and answers our cries in our prayers. As we pray, we feel his presence and power enabling us to move ahead with confidence, calming our spirits to trust that “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,…(Romans 8:28).”
I am reminded of a story by Colonel Abraham Davenport (1715-1789). He was serving in the Connecticut legislature during ‘New England’s Dark day” on May 19, 1780. The was an abnormal darkening of the day sky over the New England states and parts of Canada. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon until midnight, when it finally dispersed and the stars could be seen. In that day of deep religiosity, many feared the end of the world and the second coming. Some members of the Connecticut legislature were even moving for adjournment to be with their families as Christ returned. Colonel Davenport rose to his feet saying:
“This well may be The Day of Judgment which the world awaits; But be it so or not, I only know my present duty, and my Lord’s command to occupy till He come. So at the post where He hath set me in His providence, I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face, no faithless servant frightened from my task, but ready when the Lord of the harvest calls; and therefore, with all reverence, I would say, let God do His work, we will see to ours. Bring in the candles. I choose to be found doing my duty.”
Life is filled with smooth and rough roads, clouds, storms and dark days. Sometimes we forget that we are not left alone to fend for ourselves. It is then that life seems to overwhelm us day and night and we often forget the task at hand. God is always with us, and always willing to hear our cries. For us to experience that presence giving peace and courage for tasks at hand we must stay active with God in prayer. As we stay with in prayer, focused on what’s immediately in front of us with God…problems are solved, needs are met, work completed, answers given and people’s lives changed. Prayer has been, is still and always will be the lock to our nights and the key to our days. So we pray and keep working.