Waiting on God in a Social Media Age


This morning, I started reading through Matthew, and was tempted to skip most of the first part - the genealogy of Jesus Christ. I'll be honest - it felt SO long and boring! I wasn't really interested in reading about "this descendent" and "that descendant". I just wanted something new, something exciting to learn about and chew on. Novelty and newness - we're sometimes so hungry for this that we skip right over the insights we're looking for. But let's get back to the story.

So after disciplining myself to trail through the genealogy, I saw things I'd forgotten or previously overlooked. One of these was the fact that Ruth and Boaz were David's great grandparents. Nothing too exciting, just some nice-to-know information. It wasn't the nugget I was looking for, so I continued trawling through.


The next thing that stood out was Solomon's history. The wisest man recorded to have ever lived was born out of messy origins. His parents were David and Bathsheba, a relationship that started with lust, adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel chapters 11 & 12). God redeems even the messiest mistakes! So much so, that Solomon was part of Jesus' lineage! A reassuring truth to know, but this still wasn't the nugget I was looking for. So I kept on trawling through even more verses.


Hidden in plain sight

I was shocked at where I found the nugget. It was in Matthew 1:19-20, which says:


“And her [Mary's] husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”


For context, this is when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant with a child that wasn't his. Of all that was said here, the short phrase that spoke to me was this:


"But as he considered these things..."


What comes to mind when you hear the word "considered"? Usually, it's something thought about in passing, not something dwelt on for any length of time. But the root Greek word for "considered" here means "pondered", "revolved in mind", "deliberated" or "reflected on" (Strong's Concordance - G1760. "enthumeomai"). This tends to be a much lengthier process.


The context of what happened with Joseph shows that he wasn't moving in haste. He'd took time to reflect on his decision to divorce Mary. So much so that there was enough time for him to have a dream before he'd actually followed through on his decision. If Joseph was in a rush and didn't ponder a little longer, he could've missed a key encounter that revealed God's purpose and plan.

A call to go back to waiting...

We've often unconsciously bought into the lie that waiting and patience are old-fashioned. In our social media age, we swipe and scroll past the boring parts of life. As a result, we grow in impatience, which naturally seeps into other areas of our lives.


This impatience affects the way we read the Bible. Going back to my earlier experience, I wanted to skip right over the "boring" bits. But by sticking it out when it seemed less exciting, I found a golden nugget where I least expected. By waiting on God through what felt like a waste of time, it created more space for God to meet me with the truth.


What about our decision-making? Sometimes, we don't need much time to come to a conclusion. For example, if it's between stealing or not stealing, it doesn't take a "burning bush experience" to answer that. But outside of these kinds of straight-forward decisions, there's still a place for reflecting before coming to a final conclusion. Looking at the earlier example of Joseph, there's clearly major benefits to living this out. There's power in the wait, and safety in reflecting. In all of this, the following verses conclude this lesson well:


“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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” - Isaiah 40:28-31


Brothers and sisters, let's cultivate an attitude of waiting on God.

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