I should have seen this coming. Are you kidding me? We’re really going to do this again? Why, Lord? Why do I have to go through this over and over again? What is it that I’m supposed to learn this time that I didn’t learn the last three hundred or so times before? Sound familiar? Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? Every now and then we get handed the same bowl of lemons we had last week and we’re expected to make some kind of decadent dessert because we’re just plain sick of lemonade. It’s not fair! So really, what is it that we’re supposed to learn from all this? Joshua, Chapter 6 gives us some clues.
vs 10—“You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” The first thing we need to do is shut up. Stop talking. Remain silent. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, when we’re not silent we can’t hear God. During this time of trial we have a wonderful opportunity to get to know God better. When we really stop and listen we could learn some fascinating things about ourselves and our sovereign God. When faced with a difficulty our first inclination is to complain and gripe. After that we beg or bargain. Anger usually comes strolling in right about the time we think we’ve had enough. Eventually we come to the sanctuary of acceptance. God is telling us that this is actually supposed to be our first stop. Zip the lip and simply trust. Be still and know that He is God. When we’re silent we rebuke any form of negativity and allow God to be in His rightful place.
The second thing we need to do is appreciate the power of repetition. By allowing us to go through the same problem over and over again, God has a specific purpose in mind. He wants us to learn to trust and obey. It’s a bit like practicing for a recital. While the act of practicing can be tedious, exhausting, and even painful at times, it produces results. The instrument or dance step we’re trying to learn is perfected the more times we go over it. When practicing a new song, a singer oftentimes starts out rough. The notes don’t sound right, she has to find the right key, and the timing may need some work. The more she practices, the more the song comes together. The notes find their way to perfect harmony and the song becomes a beautiful act of worship for its creator. So it is with us. Repetition should ultimately lead to worship.
I am convinced that worship is the end-all to every problem. When I am worshiping God, my mind is focused on Him and not on my problems. Worship teaches obedience, it silences negativity, and it draws us closer to God during our challenges. It opens our mind up to the things of God and makes every problem seem small in comparison to Him. He’s a big God and he can handle our big problems. John Waller said it perfect in his song, “While I’m waiting”. “I will serve you, I will worship, I will not faint. I’ll be running the race even while I wait.”
If you're waiting or enduring, let me pray with you. God is able.