Wednesday, February 26, 2020

22. On Waiting Well

On Waiting Well: Moving from Endurance to Enjoyment When You're Waiting on God. Bradley Baurain. 2020. [July 2020] Moody. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Christian living; Christian nonfiction; theology]

First sentence: Do you enjoy waiting as much as I do? I love to find a long line and a slow cashier for checking out at the grocery store. Doing so gives me an opportunity to contemplate my need for turkey jerky and to read the covers of fascinating magazines. I love to be put on hold when making a phone call—such great music! I love arriving for an eye appointment and being shown to a room, tastefully decorated with high-definition illustrations of cataract surgery, that has been specially designed for me to wait in. None of this is true, of course, which means you almost certainly do enjoy waiting as much as I do, that is to say, not at all. We find waiting in daily life to be boring, tiresome, and unfortunately inevitable.

If you have a pulse...then chances are you could benefit from reading Bradley Baurain's book on WAITING. The book tackles several different aspects of waiting--what he likes to call the "small w" and and "the big W." Examples of the "small w" would be actual waiting we do in our daily lives--waiting in traffic, waiting for an elevator, waiting in a check-out line, waiting for an appointment, waiting to get grades back, waiting for (medical) test results, waiting to get over a cold, waiting for a package to arrive, etc. Examples of "the big W" are typically more significant and often have a spiritual element to them. We may be annoyed by the first, but it's the second that gives us a greater opportunity to have faith, trust God, believe His promises, and lean hard on grace.

He also makes a distinction--or tries at any rate--between waiting on the Lord and waiting for the Lord. (I honestly tried to process this distinction. But I struggled. I believe both are seen in Scripture, used in Scripture in various translations.)

I loved it when he shared three MYTHS about waiting and follows up with three TRUTHS about waiting. (Chapters three and four!)

I also loved chapter six, "What Are We Waiting For?" he shares SEVEN answers that help clarify the "big W." Rescue. Promises. Salvation. Justice. Grace. Forgiveness. Christ's Return. He gives each one it's turn--and in doing so gives a good, solid foundation for HOPE.

Overall, I thought this was a book worth reading.

"By any name—attitude, orientation, choice, habit, discipline, virtue, or practice—learning to wait on the Lord is an essential, transformative, and rewarding dimension of spiritual formation. This perspective is countercultural and unexpected: waiting is positive. It is not merely a “dry season” or something we need to escape. Rightly conceived, spiritual waiting is a crucial, ongoing dimension of following Christ and loving God. It’s a vital part of our Christian pilgrimage."
"Waiting is a privilege, a pleasure, a step toward a deeper understanding of God and a richer experience of His boundless love for us."
"God cannot do His work without His and our waiting His time: let waiting be our work, as it is His. And if His waiting be nothing but goodness and graciousness, let ours be nothing but a rejoicing in that goodness, and a confident expectancy of that grace. And let every thought of waiting become to us simply the expression of unmingled and unutterable blessedness, because it brings us to a God who waits that He may make Himself known to us perfectly as the Gracious One."
"A fuller understanding of waiting can over time transform both our beliefs and our practices—and thus our experiences and our feelings about those experiences. It might also work in the other direction, that is, if we take a stand on what the Word says and act as though waiting on the Lord is important and fundamentally pleasurable, waiting will begin to feel pleasurable and thereby transform our beliefs. Whether the flow is from biblical beliefs to our actions, or from biblical actions to our beliefs, this is all likely to be a slow change."
"We cannot wait on the Lord and at the same time disobey His commandments, nor can we wait on the Lord and at the same time pridefully seek our own glory."
"As we’ve seen in the first two chapters, the Christian life is very much one of waiting for the Lord and waiting on the Lord. If we’re not doing one or both of these, we’re almost certainly not seeking God’s glory, and we’re probably also not thinking, speaking, or acting in faith. This is biblically true. But what is also often experientially true is that waiting can feel difficult and painful. Learning how to wait—which might be pursued as an attitude, orientation, choice, habit, discipline, virtue, or practice—as part of our spiritual maturing is sadly not a high priority for many of us in the church today."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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