Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"1 (Lyrics)
There are so many times when we are waiting. For me, recently, it has been waiting for medical appointments and procedures. These days, we read about thousands of people waiting for hours or days at airports, now that people are able to travel again after the pandemic.
My longest such wait, however, was in October, 1973, when I was on a business trip to Tehran, Iran. The company that I was working for had an office there and some contracts with an Iranian partner. I had a number of things to look after, and the meetings and negotiations took about a week.
While I was there, the Yom Kippur War, also known as the Ramadan War, broke out, when a coalition of armies led by Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. My work was done, and I needed to get back to our office in the Netherlands, but all westward flights from that area were stopped. The airlines decided that it was too dangerous to fly in that area. Every day, I called the airline with the same questions: "Are you flying yet? How much longer?" Every day, they told me, "As soon as it is safe to travel, we will. Just be patient." I was not desperate; for me, waiting was just an inconvenience. After about three weeks, the war ended, and I arrived home.
Recently, I have been waiting for an answer to my prayers for the Lord's intervention in the war in Ukraine. I have been deeply saddened by the ongoing destruction of homes, businesses, churches, schools, and hospitals. When people involved in these terrible situations open their eyes each morning, they must wonder how they are going to go through another day. Will it be worse than the day before? How long will those who were displaced have to wait — their homes destroyed, men, women, and children brutally murdered, survivors mourning the death of loved ones!
I agonized over this. My wife and I talked about it, and quite often, we wonder when our prayers and the prayers of millions of others will be answered. While we were thinking about this, the following Bible verse came to mind:
Romans 12:12 – Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. (NKJV)
Paul tells us that we should not lose hope, and that whatever happens, we should be patient. Most of all, we should continue in prayer. God's answer is sometimes "yes", but at other times, it is "no" or "wait". Will you pray with me?
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, during these tumultuous times, we pray for all who are suffering and mourning, and we also pray that You will speak to the hearts of those who have the ability to change the course of events, that they will hear Your voice, and that a change will come about. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.