The undoing that left nothing undone…
Amusing isn’t it? Sounds amusing and at first glance, a little more like contradictory.
There is however profound truth in these words I heard from my Pastor on May 23, 2010.
The day being Pentecost Sunday, I promised I was going to make up for the two weeks I had been busy working myself out with other less important things. Long time isn’t it? Yeah! Two weeks was awfully long to absent myself from the gathering of the saints. As I put my fingers to the keys on my PC, I just realized within this two-week period, I have (x) on my Christian Medical Fellowship Calendar I had pasted on my personal notice board. I had been punctual for four weeks each time making sure I ticked (√) each time I made it for the General meeting.
I had a very short sleep and my body ached all over. All the 206 bones in my body could testify they were weary and my back ached like I had fallen off a rampaging horse! My head felt like I was recovering from meningitis! Aching and very tense!
I planned to go for first Mass but I had to quickly change my mind in the morning when I woke up only to check my wall clock. 9:30am already! Almost late for second Mass! I hobbled off to the bathroom to take a shower and get ready for service. I could feel the aching muscles and bones and joints and my God… aching everything and drowsy eyes. Luckily, I had a shirt ironed some days ago and my pair of trousers was as good as ironed. I pulled on my socks, chose the lightest of my shoes lest I carry the extra burden of dragging along heavy feet!
The service didn’t start on time and that meant I only missed a brief part of Mass today. It got to Homily time (time to share God’s word). I listened attentively and I am forever grateful I made it for Church that day.
“Today is Pentecost Sunday, Hallelujah!!!!” The Minster was somewhat different today. Something different from the usual solemn, melancholic atmosphere I had become used to as a Catholic. The Priest today was more vibrant and Charismatic. I have to mention here that the congregation was also different! They themselves are usually the ones to create the solemn atmosphere. But today, they were in frenzy if I should put it that way. Of course, I spotted a few disgruntled and discontented faces mostly men and women who had been faithful Catholics for Three scores or more or should I say, the entirety of their lifetime! Men of faith and of good will.
I however enjoyed what I was witnessing. Being youthful and a charismatic catholic myself. An unforgettable experience and one that merited the honor of going down the catalogue of my famous adventures (this one not really an adventure, an awesome experience). As I sat down today (24th May, 2010), it dawned on me I could share this experience with you (my reader) if you would kindly permit me to so and I pray you do. I believe it will bless you just as it blessed me. I believe it will encourage you just as it encouraged me. And I believe your waiting to read the real story is over now!
Enough of my adventure then!
This is what I gathered from the message on that faithful day.
The Apostles after Jesus had been crucified met in the upper room where they chose to wait together on the Lord. Their Master had commanded them to wait for the promise of The Father He had so often told them about. So in obedience to their master, they waited patiently. Fifty (5o) days and nights they waited. Never doubting the promise and never relenting in the faith. Afraid and timid, yet hopeful and trusting. The master had promised them He was not going to leave them like orphans. They believed in it and they waited. They had waited for days and weeks! And yet they waited, still praying and counting the days, they waited. Theirs was not the mandate to discern when the promise was going to be fulfilled. Theirs was to trust in the words of the master and just WAIT!
So on the day of the Pentecost, the apostles are still waiting and the rest of the story follows;
(1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
(2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
(3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
(4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost and that was all that it required! Just waiting on the Lord and praying and waiting and hoping and a little more waiting!
The Spirit of The Lord came upon them and strengthened them to fulfill the purpose for which they had been called. Their mission could only be fulfilled with courage, the ability to speak in strange tongues, to heal diseases and cast out demons, to spread the good news in foreign lands and other marvelous deeds. Some were whipped for the gospel, chased out of cities, imprisoned, suffering want and hunger and persecuted in every way. Some were even stoned to death whiles they rejoiced! Some fried in oil pots and some crucified!
But how come hitherto such cowardly and timid men now turned fearless and bold and courageous? How come the ones that denied their master in the face of slave girls now unashamedly and fearlessly now proclaiming the Killed man resurrected? Such blasphemy and contempt against the law and the dictates of the high priests and custodians of the law!
The answer is not far reaching at all! They had learned to WAIT! They had learned to wait on the Lord and FULLY trust on His promises. They undid (that I,s did nothing to enforce what had been promised them). They did nothing save holding on to the promise and having faith in the giver of the promise. They prayed and trusted and knew that there was no other way but TO TRUST AND OBEY. That was the undoing!
Indeed, the undoing that left nothing undone!
When we wait on God, He strengthens us.
“But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
I once read an illustration from an article about waiting on God. It went like this:
“Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us, we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us; we can allow God's power to lift us above them. God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that brings sickness, tragedy, failure, and disappointment into our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.”
Such an inspiration from the eagle! May we learn and find truth in this and soar with wings like the eagles. Amen!
Waiting on God also avails us to His blessings. To wait on God is to sit back and say “Father, I cast all my cares upon You, for I know You care for me.” 1Pet 5:7.
It is to relax and know that God is in Control. It is to realize that “when the oceans rise and thunders roar, you will soar with wings above the storm.” It is to know that God is king above the storm and it is only under the pinion of His wings that we can take cover from the storm.
Not by our strength or our might. Our wings will indeed break in the strength of the storm if we relied on them. We are to remain still and know that He is God and King of the floods.
“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).
God is willing and more than able to leave nothing undone in our lives. He calls us to a life of blessedness and peace and victory! He only calls us to be still and know that He is God.
In whatever sphere of our life that we feel we need the extra-push, whenever we feel we need help, whenever we feel we have waited for too long, let us not forget help is on the way if we will only trust and obey.
Teach me, Lord, to wait down on my knees
Till in your own good time you answer my pleas.
Teach me not to rely on what others do
But to wait in prayer for the answer from you.