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  • Waiting on the Lord

    Joel 1:14: “Consecrate a fast, / Call a sacred assembly; / Gather the elders / And all the inhabitants of the land / Into the house of the LORD your God, / And cry out to the LORD.”

    In Joel 1, we read of a time of national disaster in Israel. A terrible plague of locusts destroyed the land; and after they stripped bare every green, living thing, a nation-wide drought and famine hit. God spoke through His prophet Joel to the spiritual leaders of Israel, telling them to call His people together for prayer and fasting. Joel’s prophecy gave a divine explanation for these things and then predicted things coming in the future, beyond his own time. Parts of his prophecy were fulfilled in New Testament times but many have not yet happened, even in our day.

    Whenever our life is upset by unexpected trials and storms, we should heed Joel’s call to prayer and fasting, taking time away by ourselves from daily chores and responsibilities to seek the Lord. Who knows but that our heavenly Father desires to speak to us as we sit quietly before Him. We are of course to lay our petitions and requests before His feet, but we should also look to Him, expectantly believing that He still speaks to His children. G. Campbell Morgan said it well:

    Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.

    Waiting on the Lord is always profitable, especially when we don’t get a direct answer right away. As the Lord promised through the prophet Isaiah, “those who wait upon the Lord / Shall renew their strength; / They shall mount up with wings like eagles, / They shall run and not be weary, / They shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31). Whether the times are urgent or the crisis is breaking, the way to endure the storm and hear from our heavenly Father is by stopping to pray and quietly wait on Him. Three hundred years ago English pastor Jeremy Collier (1650–1726) said, “Patient waiting is often the highest way of doing God’s will.” Waiting for an answer to prayer is often part of the answer.

    “LORD, we wait quietly on You, expecting You to touch us again.”