Domingo, 03 de Março de 2024
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Sit Down and Wait

“Then Naomi said, ‘Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens’” (Ruth 3:18a)

The quote “He did not know it was impossible, so he did it!” is attributed to Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), a French poet. It became popular in social networks, mainly those experts in labor market (such as LinkedIn), as a motto for a hardworking and proactive people. Thus, there is no room for passiveness as a virtue in labor market.

Even for a farmer who casts his seeds and has to wait for the harvest complete passiveness is not advisable. While waiting, he remains active and attentive to weather condition, irrigation problems, animals expecting to feed from his seeds and even to market prices so as to sell his crop.

However, many are the moments in life when we have no option but to practice waiting in order to obtain relief and problem resolution. Those are the situations when we say: “there was nothing left for me to do but wait”. Just like what happened to Ruth. She had already done everything in her power to show Boaz her interest in marriage. Naturally, only he could give the next step.

Would Boaz keep a positive attitude towards Ruth if Noemi had advised her differently? In this regard, even secular conceptions such as Ernest Hemingway’s (“do not mistake action for movement”) show that action is a concept broader than we imagine and it is also related to waiting. There is plenty of action in the act of waiting, to start with, there is the effort of containing that impulse of “do something about it”. The effort is often painful. In the case of Christians, that is when they clearly exercise faith and trust in the Lord. So, there is difference between the one who is passive and the one who awaits: the passive one is lazy, not feeling pain or distress until something comes about (Pv.19:15).

Unfortunately, evangelical community has been dumb to the notions above, taking the plunge into a worldly way of thinking. We see evangelical leaders’ attitude when they teach the flock not to wait for God’s deliverance even when everything in their power is over. To this end, they encourage the flock to insist before God’s throne in “The Victory Service” on Wednesday, and then come back later on Friday’s “Triumph Worship”, week after week, month after month. On this matter Jesus taught us that “when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7)

When the Jews were about to suffer invasion from Assyria they were unable to wait for the Lord who had clearly told them not to ask any kind of help to Egypt’s Pharaoh. And it was exactly because they could not wait for God that ruin befell them. The Lord himself said through Isaiah, “in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said ‘no, we will flee on horses’. Therefore you will flee!” (Is 30.15,16a).

In times of “powerful worship” and “infallible techniques” of people who can no longer gather sweating, work and waiting, it becomes imperative that we practice the holy hope taught by God: “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps 46:10). Have you already prayed and done everything in your power? Then rest and wait in the Lord.

Ev. Leandro Boer

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