Serving in our Waiting
Serving in our Waiting
We have all been forced to stop and wait while this coronavirus slowly fades away. Not only has it brought sickness and death to many, but it has brought pain and sorrow to many more through lost jobs or wages. At the same time, there are others of us who have not been as directly affected by the illness and are simply waiting for it to run its course. This has caused many of us to consider, "How are we spending our time? How did we spend our time before covid-19? How will we spend our time after?"
Many of us feel stuck, unable to "do" what we did before. We can't even serve the Lord like we use to. We can't preach, shepherd, disciple, teach, evanglize, or help others like we did before. However, that doesn't mean we are helpless. We can spend our time and days well even if we can't "do" much!
In Matthew 20:1-16 and 25:14-30, Jesus tells two parables that portray God as the master who entrusts his vineyard and resources to servants to steward while he is away. He expects them to be faithful no matter what the circumstances and will reward them when he returns. Unfortunately, some complain and make excuses for their situation and are in the end rebuked by the master. But those who remained faithful till the end are rewarded and told, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a litte; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master."
This is what John Milton had in mind when he wrote his poem, When I consider how my light is spent. Milton lived from 1608-1674 in England. He was a Christian and a highly influential civil servant during his time. However, he went blind at the age of 44 and could not "do" what he had "done" before. In a moment, everything came to halt. However, that did not mean he couldn't spend the rest of his days serving the Lord by worshiping and waiting on the Lord. In his poem he concluded that God does not need his service. While some angels travel to and fro doing God's bidding, others stand in his presence praising. Milton spent the first half of his life worshiping through service, but would spend the second half of his life worshiping through waiting.
What about you?
Can you worship the Lord in your waiting? Can you worship the Lord in the midst of your hardships? Can you praise God like John Milton and Job, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Can you use this season of waiting to praise and pray? Can you spend your time reading, memorizing, and meditating on God's Word? Can you stop long enough for the silence to not feel awkward and enjoy being in the presence of God? Will Christ return to find us being faithful and say, "Well done"? Let's learn to serve the Lord in the waiting.
“When I Consider How My Light Is Spent,”
by John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”