No. 314. Thanksgiving for the Lord’s timings.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 314. Thanksgiving for the Lord’s timings.

I woke up this morning with one or two potentially ‘heavy’ things weighing on my mind and then, having got my mug of tea, I sat down to watch the dawn. (Not the sunrise, the dawn.) I knew it was coming because of the time, and the light that was beginning to fill the sky. I knew it was going to be beautiful because although the sky was clearish there were some clouds positioned ready to catch the sun’s rays, as the earth rotated into the east. These clouds were just a dull grey, nothing spectacular, but I watched and waited hoping to see a morning display of God’s glory in the heavens.

‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. Psalm 19:1,2.

Then slowly it happened. One small sliver of cloud turned gold, then another and another. Then some higher clouds catching the rays reflected, first a soft dove greyish pink and then a radiant pink. The purples followed and then the whole sky lit up with colour, and all quite a bit before the sun itself rose. I just felt the Lord there with me this morning. I could almost sense Him saying with delight, “watch this!”  I had a feeling we were enjoying this display together.

At the same time I was listening to a song ‘Wait on you’ based on Isaiah 40:31, ‘those who wait on the Lord, or hope in the Lord, will renew their strength.’ NIV. It was a simple lesson I know, but sitting there watching the dawn break so gently and slowly reminded me again that in the spiritual, as in the natural world, God moves with His own timings and not mine.

The thing that struck me about the dawn is that you really don’t want it to be rushed. If the sun had come up instantly instead of slowly, it really wouldn’t have been such a feast for the eyes. Waiting on the Lord takes time, it can’t be rushed!! And in the song there was a line repeated several times…. ‘That’s what happens when you wait, stay right there and you get a little stronger, and you get a little stronger….’  It reminded me that the renewal of strength doesn’t come instantly but little by little as we ‘entwine’ our hearts with His, (which is another understanding of the phrase ‘to wait’ on the Lord). Being entwined with the Lord definitely can’t be rushed..

Waiting on the Lord to renew our strength is not like taking an amphetamine. It’s about drawing close to Him and receiving more of His love and grace. In fact it is drawing so close so that we can receive more of God Himself by His Holy Spirit, and there is a real joy in the process, like watching the dawn slowly break. The renewal of our strength might be about physical strength but it can also, I believe, be about emotional and spiritual strength too. We are whole people and weariness in any one of those areas will affect all three.

A second thing that struck me this morning was that if there had been a clear sky with no clouds, I wouldn’t have seen all that beauty. The sun would have appeared in due course without that magnificent display. A similar thing is true of rainbows of course.  We need sun and rain to get a rainbow and we also need clouds. Clouds form the ‘screen onto which the rainbow is projected and the darker they are the more stunning and perfect is the rainbow.

There is something here about the fact that the things that seem like clouds in our lives, things that we don’t really want to be there, do in fact provide the backdrop, in fact the opportunity, for God to show us His power and His glory, His loving kindness and His faithfulness. We can therefore thank the Lord for those clouds in our lives, because we know that as we do, we will see God’s glory reflected as He works everything in our  lives for good.

Finally as this song was ending, the singer, in his own words, sings about what we need to be doing while we are waiting. He sings, ‘And while I’m waiting I’ll be worshipping, and while I’m waiting I’ll be praising. (Not complaining.)……..’  And there we have it again, Worship, Praise, Thanksgiving. These three things are such an important part of ‘waiting on the Lord.’ They are how I entwine my heart with His, and they are how I turn those times of ‘waiting’ into times of refreshing.


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