As God moves on the hearts of the more mature members of Special Gathering, they are expressing a desire to serve the Lord in “important ways.” I’ve been surprised at how much they are yearning to have their lives count for God’s kingdom. Special Gathering members are intellectually disabled, but their spirits are whole and holy. Some of them are starting to discuss how they can be effective Christians, reaching out into our community and sharing the good news of redemption through Jesus. They feel that they are having to spend a lot of time waiting for the Lord to use them.
Like these men and women from the disability community, most of us spend much of our time waiting in the wings, peeking around waiting for our turn. The Bible is full of men and women that we consider heroes of the faith who spent most of their lives waiting for a promise of God to be fulfilled. My mother often said, “God is wanting a people who are faithful. Our success is not as important as our faithfulness.”
I’m not one to look backwards; but I’ve recently been asked to share a testimony regarding things which happened to our community in the 1960’s. This has triggered a look into my past that is interesting. My day to day observation has been that I’ve been waiting for God to move most of my life. Looking back, I’ve been a bit shocked at how much the Lord has moved in the life of our community.
In fact, my life appears blessed compared to the lives of the men and women we find in the Scriptures. Nearly all of his life, Daniel lived in captivity and forced to serve in the courts of the conquering kingdom. By his own accounts, Jeremiah had a disastrous career. He was not trusted, ridiculed, thrown into a pit and left to die. Esther was forced into a loveless marriage. Ruth became a widow at a young age. Later, she chose to move from her homeland to take care of her mother-in-law.
Perhaps during the 21 years that David was waiting to become king, he could have grown tired of waiting. Joseph spent an equal amount of time in prison before he was elevated to prime minister of Egypt. Moses languished for 40 years in the wilderness until his burning bush experience.
It is obvious that God’s measuring stick of what is accomplished in the “wings” of life is different from our human accounting processes. Yet, as the author of our faith, He alone will be our final judge. Reviewing the lives of these men and women that were used to bring forth and spread the Gospel, I’m relieved that the Lord is one who is keeping the records. Perhaps a time of waiting is necessary to bring his children into maturity and able to be faithful to the end.