Waiting On The Lord
Testimony of Don Merideth
It was a cool day January 13, 1997, and I was on my way to work. I was disappointed and hurt. Thoughts were flowing through tears concerning earthly things versus the Kingdom of God. I had been serving the Lord at a denominational church. I knew He had sent me there just to be a witness of Him. Since my Damascus road experience on September 13, 1982, my first allegiance, all my thoughts, my heart and desires had been for the Lord Jesus Christ. It seemed that most of that congregation (I would not call it a fellowship) was sold out to the institution and all its programs and not Jesus. I had been speaking, teaching and sharing from my heart with very little result, seemingly powerless to change anything. I had come to realize my nothingness and my failures.
It was here that I began to question myself: was I really dependent on the Lord, or was I seated on the throne of my own life wanting to be the man of the hour? I was frustrated and in despair, ready to say to the Lord, why have you called me to such disappointment? I began to deeply desire somehow to arrive at a place of peace and rest, able to walk in the earth attached to Jesus, regaining my confidence in Him rather than in all the personal successes and applause I had come to desire.
I was about half a mile into Kentucky when I looked out my truck window and about forty yards above me was the most beautiful bald eagle that I had ever seen. The Lord said, “Come up here, rise above, soar with me!
My first thoughts were, “Lord, I want to, but I don’t know how.”
Today is January 19, 2004, seven years later. As I look back I realize the Lord has given me grace to learn what it means to be like the eagle He showed me that cool January morning. I am learning to wait on the Lord in order to rise above and live in a higher place. This has happened as He has drawn me aside and begun to show me that all understanding, dependence and true knowledge becomes manifest in the knowing of the Lord. Relationship! It flows from a heart that has been with Him.
The first passage the Lord led me to was Isaiah 40:31, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength (The Good Bible translates: “will exchange their strength”). They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
Waiting is not standing by hoping and praying that the Lord will act. It is not passive in any way. The Hebrew word for wait is “qawah,” which means “to plat, to braid, to twine together”. It means to wait, while holding on strongly until over time one becomes wound together with the object of his waiting.
This has been and continues to be a journey of frustration and brokenness for me. Sometimes I want to give up. It is very difficult to learn to wait. All this comes from a conception that has been pounded into us as children of God: “DO! DO! DO!”, rather than “BE! BE! BE!” Paul said in I Corinthians 8:2 “If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” As we sit at His feet He shares with us His love that transforms our life, and we become “one” in Him. These wonderful revelations of His great love made me keep pursuing Him. I learned to go to Him with what I consider the least important concerns and to share my innermost thoughts as I would with a dear friend or a good father.
I could discuss many testimonies along this journey, but I just want to share some of the thoughts that gave me hope and fulfillment. I found how difficult is it to truly wait upon God. It is so difficult and totally against our way of thinking to yield into helplessness and wait for Him to reveal Himself. Humility lets go of its own will and is content simply to wait with a quiet heart and to know nothing except as God gives his light.
Waiting results in a higher value (a higher plan, an invitation to “Come up here!”) and a new power as we exchange our life for His through our prayer, our worship, our faith, and our surrender, because it links us in unalterable dependence on God Himself.
As I began to surrender, I focused too much on the death of self. I even caught myself trying to crucify myself in my own strength. I only wanted to teach, preach and share for Him. I was willing to sacrifice my time, my great gift, my availability and my ability. Wasn’t I God’s man? Anointed! Gifted! This attitude only led to frustration and emptiness, almost to the point of losing hope. Beloved, we are so geared to success and recognition that we want to make something happen (we say, of course, all for Him and in His name!). Thank goodness the Lord sees and shows us the motives and intentions of our heart, and we see our nothingness. It is a twofold working of the Lord. He shows me Jesus and I get to see my nothingness. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” This twofold working of God keeps us in balance.
In one instance as I felt sorry for myself when what I really needed was Him, He spoke again from Isaiah 40:31. I saw in the margin of my Bible an alternate meaning for “wait”. The margin revealed “hope in”. I looked up the word and it revealed a higher meaning: hope directed to the manifestation and completion of that which is hoped for; to cause one to pursue or to become new; to take the plan of the old.
The next scripture was Romans 15:13. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The Greek meaning for hope is “to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation.” Abounding means “having hope that is excessive, overflowing and beyond measure.” Abounding added an even higher meaning by revealing God’s heart that what He starts He will finish. In His time! Praise His wonderful Name!
In our quick pace and the environment of this world, we want everything now. We forget we are sojourners and pilgrims on a journey being molded and transformed, all by God’s pleasure.
At this point, a question came to my mind that governs what I do now: What have I done recently in a last-resort attempt to renew my strength apart from waiting on Him? My prayer is that this question will mold me, that the Word might become flesh in me that I can confidently say like Jesus, “I say or do nothing but what my Father says and what my Father does.”
Waiting always produces the character of the One on Whom we wait. Our waiting on God depends completely on our faith that “He is”. Those who wait on God are braided together with Him. My life is lost, hidden, inside His life!
Brennan Manning said, “Solitude is the furnace of transformation, and stoking the inner fire is the wisdom of silence….Words about Jesus that don’t come from within are useless, while words born of silence convey intimate, affective, and loving knowledge of the Lord Jesus….Without the sharing of personal experience, prophetic (Rev. 19:10 “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”) preaching is impossible….The Word of God must become incarnate in the life of the preacher.”
Waiting brings singleness of heart. We become unshakeable, steadfast and immovable because it convinces us and persuades us, and creates in us determination to settle for nothing less than intimacy with our Lord. The result: Love Rests Secure!
This process continues to teach me much about the condition of my heart. As change embraces the Church in these days, it is His people who are in transition. God is calling aside His servants, speaking a new word to them that is bringing His corporate body fully into His will and purpose. Consider these words: For from of old they have not heard nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God beside Thee, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Thou dost meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers Thee in Thy ways. Behold, Thou was angry, for we sinned, we continued in them a long time; and shall we be saved?”(Isaiah 64:4-5)
Don Merideth is a corporate industrial manager. He has been a leader in various capacities in the Body of Christ for nearly 20 years. He lives in Missouri, USA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.