Seven Wonders of the Word
“10For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11
I admit it… I don’t wait well.
Maybe it is related to the attention thing that I struggle with from time to time. Maybe it is in part due to the 24/7 nature of the world in which we live. I am not certain.
I have gotten a little better at waiting though. For six years I served a congregation on a small island in the middle of Lake Michigan. You can’t do much in a hurry on an island, you just can’t.
First off, you need to take a ferry to get on or off the island and you don’t have any say over the schedule. For a goodly chunk of the winter months there is only one ferry a day, and that is if the weather permits and the ice cooperates. During the summers the ferry’s run quite often, but as it is a tourist area, they are often packed and just because a ferry leaves at 10 o’clock, doesn’t mean you are going to get on it! Sometimes… um…. often… it means you have to wait.
One late spring, my family was to head off island so they could go visit my in-laws over spring break, as it was Lent, and pastors are sorta busy then, I couldn’t go. However it just so happened the school district needed someone to pick up the Drivers Ed car in Algoma and drive it back. So, we caught the ferry and my family dropped me off to get the car, and they headed on to Ohio, I turned around and spent the night in Sturgeon Bay until I could get the ferry in the morning. Next morning I show up at the dock, no boat. The ice had shifted overnight and they couldn’t get the ferry out of the harbor. So… back to the hotel I went. Twice. The next day was no better. It wasn’t until the Coast Guard ice breaker made it to the island that the ferry was able to make it out. 3 days, with nothing to do… well that isn’t true, I had much to do back home, but not there… not stuck in a hotel.
So, I waited.
Turns out I met some wonderful folks as I wondered around Sturgeon Bay. I had time to talk with fellow islanders who were stuck like me. I had time to think, to sleep, to pray and to well watch some really bad TV. But all in all when I got back to the island I was in good shape for Holy Week, I was well rested and I and ready to do what I needed to do.
You see the guys who run the ferry line do what they can to keep you safe. Sometimes that means waiting. Sometimes that means you don’t get to do what you want to do, but when you get on the ferry you can trust that they do what they can to get you to where you are going!
God’s Word is like that. Sometimes we have our agendas, our ideas of the way God’s justice, and God’s will should be done. It’s just that they are not always God’s ways. This passage from Isaiah we read today is in part one of the reasons I was able to say “yes” to God’s call for me to be a pastor. God will get done what God needs to do, it will accomplish that which God proposes.
We hear the word and trust in its promise, not our abilities. Yes we each are given ministries, and skills we are to use, and God works in and among them. God’s promise is sure, it has defeated the grave and we can count on it. This Word sustains us in our work, in our love and in our relationships. It is the rock in which we can trust, for God’s Word will succeed in the thing which God has sent it.
Today I will ponder where I need to wait on the Lord, and where I am being called to be a part of that redeeming word so others might be loved, forgiven and have life in that Word.