Monday, February 21, 2011

Patience before Blessings

I've thought a lot lately about how long one must wait through a trial until a blessing arrives. It seems that though the timing varies in each case, that the blessing they received is much more than they could have imagined. I focused in lightly on Abraham, Job and then Zacharias. Each was put through a trial, some harsher than others, and each was forced to wait significant periods of time before their blessing was received. Trick is, they received much more than they had imagined, and each had learned quickly to not question the plan of God.

Starting with Abraham, the trials we read about are various, from having to leave home at seventy-five, to getting a promise of a son not soon after, and then being forced to wait like 24 years for that Promised Son to be Born. It looks as though through the scriptures, that Abraham was given the promise shortly after he was told to leave Ur. And that being when he was 75 he didn't have Isaac until he was 100. In that stretch of time he proceeded to try and intervene and speed up the process. He slept with Hagar when he was about 86 years old and was able to conceive a son through her. Only thing was that this wasn't the son that God had promised him. He sidestepped God's plan, or at least he thought he did. God told him as much too. He forced him to wait even more. Thirteen years later Abraham and Sarah were visited again by an angel this time promising them a son in one years time. They laughed at the Idea and were rebuked for it. And Just as promised a son Came one year later.

We have about 38 chapters of Job's woes before we get God speaking to him again. Job has not lost any faith in God, nor has he turned away, but in his frustration he has questioned what God has allowed to happen. God rebukes him for it. Asking him where Job was when God was creating the World, and what authority he has to educate God on the things He should be doing. Yet it is still another four chapters, I don't know length of time, until we see that Job is blessed for his faithfulness. It appears that this plague of badluck that Job had went on for a long time, and that the heeling process took long as well. But God Was faithful and blessed Job for his endurance.

Zacharias questioned the angel that Told him that He would have a son in his old Age, in the Holy of Holies no less. He was rebuked, and punished. For at least ten months he was silenced. He could not speak a word until the 8th day of his Sons life when he simply said He will be Called John. And Zacharias was blessed with the son he had always wanted, as well as the knowledge that soon after the Christ would come.

These three came to mind cause they varying degrees of the trials they faced, and the various lengths of time they had to endure until the blessing was given to them. Each one needed rebuking, each one needed correcting, and reaffirming that the trials would pass and they would be able to receive the blessing they had coming. While one of them seemed to know that this blessing was coming, the other two have no indication through the Scriptures that they knew anything else besides the fact that God is faithful. They were able to persevere simply based on that knowledge.

They Didn't have specifics.

They didn't have it in black and white.

They didn't have contracts they could refer back to.

I guess that for me that's what strengthens the points all the more. Those guys didn't know what was coming. They were able to keep their faith up however, because they knew that God was faithful. They probably never dreamed that their blessings would be as significant as they were, but none the less they still stood strong.

For me that's an amazing encouragement. That fact alone, that God is faithful, has been the backbone to me getting past the things that have been thrown my way. I've not lost the fact that God loves me, or that he will bless me once this is all over, but I've often needed the rebuking and correcting he has given me to make sure I keep my mind on what's true.

God is Faithful.

God Loves me.

God will see me through.

There is a blessing on the other side.

I'm not sure that this is theologically correct, but for me it seems that the longer the trial, the harsher the trial, that the blessing is that much more spectacular.

That said I'm anxious for this to be over, but prepared to keep enduring what's thrown at me.

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