A time of waiting can test the heart of man like no other time spent on this earth.
It may be a time waiting for the news that a promotion has been given to you, or waiting for that special someone that will complete you on this journey called life.
But when a heart is waiting to hear from the Lord concerning a deep longing of a promise to be fulfilled – maybe waiting for years to see the change that has not yet manifested itself – it is here that the test of the heart is made.
Consider the father of faith, Abraham.
God promised to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. But when the promise was first given – Genesis 12:1-3 – Abraham and his wife, Sarah, did not have children. God continued to restate his promise to Abraham through the years – Genesis 13:6; 15:1-6; 17:6-8; 18:10.
Abraham, though known as a man of faith, listened to his wife’s suggestion and had a child with Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar. The son’s name was Ishmael. But this was not the son God intended for Abraham – Genesis 16. Finally, when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 years old, God gave them their son Isaac. Although it took years of patiently waiting, they received the promise of a child. “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise,” Hebrews 6:15 says of Abraham.
How long will your heart remain steadfast?
How long will your heart stand on God’s promises and not waiver in unbelief though circumstance denies such a fulfillment of promise?
I knew a man who endured such a time of waiting, a time of severe testing of his resolve to side with God and his word.
Years ago a man was in pursuit of a righteousness that only comes from God. Although his colleagues were content with the status quo he was driven to discover the power and presence of a living Christ. As the years of pursuit for the understanding of such a reality passed, trials and tribulations came to deter this pursuit.
One day there came a great storm against him and his family that scattered them to the wind. A storm that tore at the very fabric of his faith and hope in a loving God. As the Christ, he was left alone to pursue the course set before him and against all hope he held fast the promise God had given him so long ago. Unwilling to allow his heart to stray from the testimony that “what God had joined together, let no man separate,” he dug in and soldiered on in the pursuit of a righteousness that only comes from God.
Enduring the apparent broken dreams, he held fast the truth that God had never left him nor forsaken him – Hebrews 13:5. He staggered not at the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully persuaded by what God had promised, he was able to perform – Romans 4.
I remember after talking with him so many years ago, I wondered where his life’s pursuit had brought him. Was he restored to his family? And did he indeed discover the undiscovered country of a righteousness that is truly from His love and presence? I think that when one measures themselves, the standard that must be applied is one like this man. Unwilling to give up and return to the world from which he came but a fighter for revelation.
As I stated in the beginning, a time of waiting can test the heart of man like no other time spent on this earth, it is here that the test of the heart is made.