“When Love Tarries” – The Awakening Week 4

How many of you remember playing ‘freeze tag’?

You know everyone’s running around and then you’re tagged and you gotta stay ‘frozen’ and remain still until someone else comes along and tags you. Or how about musical chairs. Round and round you ‘walk-run’ and nervously wait for the music to finally stop so you can “jump” into that seat before the next person because you didn’t want to be the one to end up without a ‘seat’. Now, doesn’t that speak a mouthful right there about our need to ‘hurry’!

Because whether it’s staying put or moving around, ‘waiting’ stretches us and is hardly ever easy.

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Our memory scripture for the week is: Jeremiah 29:11

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For this week’s Israel Moment video “Jesus, The Ministry”, click here.

This week’s lesson is entitled, “When Love Tarries.”

As we read chapter 4 , I’m sure we can all relate to a time or times when we’ve waited on the Lord’s reply to a prayer, a petition or a promise. Too often, its the waiting that tires us more than anything else.  And sometimes waiting ends in a shattered hope or dream. Sometimes, the waiting results in death.  And its in these moments when we cry as Mary and Martha did: “Why didn’t Jesus come?” “Why did Lazarus have to die?” Moments that just make no ‘common’ or earthly sense.

What do we do when God doesn’t make sense? When His answer seems to be…wait. Or no.  These ‘dark nights of the soul’ have the capacity to shake the very core of our faith. Joanna shares in her book about an author Brian  whose wise seminary professor’s response to his agonizing trial of faith was: “When the last grain of sand is finally gone, you’re going to discover that you’re standing on a rock.” 

The scariest thing in the world is to feel that you are losing everything you hold dear.
Jesus heard Lazarus was sick and waited two days more! And on top of that, He called the delay good! The book calls it “The Blessing of Trouble”

“I am glad I was not there…so that you may believe”
John 11:15

The Lord’s denial of what we desperately want can be His very mercy so that we can finally find what our hearts need most. Its purpose is divinely working a faith in you that comes through as gold. The delay is deliberate so that the work of God might be displayed in your life (John 9:3).

For discussion:
1. How do you respond to waiting times in your life? What, if anything would you have done differently? What did you learn from a particularly difficult waiting period?

For Reflection:

lazarusawakeningquill This week’s lesson talked about giving God the ‘quill of our will’. Review the “Art of Waiting” sidebar on page 49 in the study guide and reflect on what area(s) of your life you may need to give God control and learn to stand still (Exodus 14:13), sit still (Ruth 3:18) and be still and know that He is God. (Psam 46:10)

Reading Assignment for week of October 19th:
Read chapters 5&6 and join us for our next online discussion Monday October 26th.

And don’t forget to share your comments and insights below!

~ pastor m.

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