Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Waiting on God

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Tues., Oct. 9, 2012)
I Thessalonians 1:1-2:8 ( NKJV)

...they tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us ...  I Thessalonians 1:9-10 (NIV)

Two words seemed to most accurately describe the Christians at Thessalonica. Those two are SERVE and WAIT. I understand the part about serving, but the "wait" part is a bit surprising. Shouldn't it be "fight" or "love" or something a bit more active -- aggressive?

But maybe we misunderstand this word "wait".  Our first impression is that of passivity, but really it is ACTIVE TRUST. 

Several years ago, I read a great story from a book by Henri Nouwen. He told of a circus family called the Flying Rodleighs. They were trapeze artists. Here's what Henri Nouwen wrote:

"One day, I was sitting with Rodleigh, the leader of the troupe, in his caravan, talking about flying. He said, 'As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher. The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.' 'How does it work?' I asked. 'The secret,' Rodleigh said, 'is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar.'
" 'You do nothing!' I said, surprised. 'Nothing,' Rodleigh repeated. 'The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. I am not supposed to catch Joe. It's Joe's task to catch me. If I grabbed Joe's wrists, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end for both of us. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.'

Our lives are like the flyer.  We let go and sail out into the life of faith and trust.  We wait.  We wait for the sure hands of the catcher.  I love the image here of arms outstretched to the one who comes for us.  The flyer must do nothing.  You cannot do the catcher's job.  To do so would be to fail. 

So, like the Thessalonians, our lives are a progression of SERVING and WAITING.  We serve the Lord every day, and we trust that the sure hands of the Catcher will daily grab us and carry us through every detail of life.  That is the life of faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment