Wait for it . . .

Between the promise and the performance is a parenthesis!

I was listening to the radio when I heard that line. I'm still turning it over in my mind. Talk about truth succinctly stated! God always performs on his promises.

Every word of God proves true.
— Proverbs 30:5

The issue of course is the parenthesis, the length of time the Lord asks us to wait before we see his promises fulfilled.

I think of Joseph. He was seventeen when God promised that he would rule:

5 Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”

8 “Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.

9 Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Genesis 37:5-11 CSB

He was thirty-nine when it was fulfilled:

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
— Genesis 41:46 CSB

That is a 13-year parenthesis. And to think that I get frustrated waiting for a red light to change!

Yesterday I was talking with one of my sons who is living in the parenthesis. I could sense his frustration. And why not? It is hard to wait. It is hard to live "on hold." So how do we peacefully, patiently, and profitably survive the parenthesis? Let's look at Joseph:

1.  Joseph's motto must have been, "Serve God faithfully today!" You don't see him sighing, longing, lounging, wishing, or complaining. He simply got busy for God! It is easy to gripe instead of get going. But I must get going! God has work for me to do today right where I am.

2. Joseph must have reminded himself, "God is in control today!" He understood the providence of God, that God is working out his purposes in the parenthesis (Genesis 45:4-8). When I remember God is in control, that nothing has escaped his notice, that he is working out every aspect for my good, I can relax.

3. I wonder if Joseph made a practice of "counting his blessings." Things may not have been everything he wanted, but God provided for his needs! When I am tempted to bemoan my unhappy circumstances I must make sure I am not missing the box full of blessings sitting under my nose.

Are you living in a parenthesis? Trust God. Get busy. Count your blessings!

Wait for the Lord
— Psalm 27:14

MY PRAYER: Lord, help me not to miss what you have for me while I wait for what you will bring me.


"Between the promise and the performance ..." I heard the phrase listening to Ravi Zacharias' radio program, Just Thinking. Ravi noted that the saying did not originate with him. I'm sure glad he shared it.