PURPOSEFUL WAITING …FAITHFULLY PRESENT
I wonder, how you are with waiting?
I would guess that for those of us who use public transport waiting on a bus or a train can, not only be frustrating but, seem like wasted time. Indeed, oftentimes waiting can seem like wasted time. This sense of waste is heightened given our culture of acceleration places an increased pressure to “spend your time well”. Of course, you can only spend time once, which brings its own pressure to use our time well.
DANIEL 9: 1-19
I ask, “how are you with waiting?” because Daniel 9: 1 – 19, which we will think about this Sunday, takes place in a time of waiting.
THE IN-BETWEEN TIMES.
For Daniel and his fellow Judeans this is an in-between time.
With the defeat of Babylon one empire, one age, has come to an end, and hope is rising of a new age as Jeremiah’s prophecy begins to be realised before their eyes. However, the promised return to Jerusalem and restoration of the temple has not yet taken place. For this they still need to wait for the reign of King Cyrus.
WHAT TO DO IN THE IN-BETWEEN.
So, what does Daniel do in these in-between times? He waits productively by turning to prayer (vv. 4 – 19).
There is a great lesson to be learned here, both in Daniel’s turning to prayer and what he says in his prayer.
OUR IN-BETWEEN TIMES.
We also live in in-between times. The time between Christ’s victory on the cross and the fullness of his reign, in which all things will be made new, when he returns at the end of our present age.
As well as this “big” in-between time, we live with many in-betweens and their accompanying waiting. The in-between of a full-scale global health pandemic and the end of the pandemic. The in-between of finishing high-school and college or university starting. The in-between of a medical concern and diagnosis, treatment, and the recovery of health. Differing in-betweens and periods of waiting, and their scale and intensity, but important nevertheless.
I wonder if, like Daniel, we use our time of waiting productively by turning to God in prayer. I wonder, particularly in longer periods of waiting, what wisdom you can share about prayer and persisting in prayer.
Let me know your thoughts. If you are at one of our in-building services, you can share your thoughts by email or over an after-service cup of tea. And of course, if you are connecting via QPLive you can share your thoughts in the Live-chat.
Grace and Peace,