Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Last Minute God

Have you ever waited in line for church?

Last Sunday, I waited for 30 minutes to get into Hillsong church in Cape Town to hear Brian Houston. That was a first. Actually most of my weekend was waiting. We had to wait three hours for our food on Friday because the restaurant made a mistake. We had to wait in 3 km of traffic on the way to Cape Town on Saturday because of construction. We had to wait in a huge line for the women’s program. And then we waited in a forever line to get into church Sunday morning.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a terrible waiter. I inevitably give up or lose my patience just before the end. I yell at the waiter 2 seconds before the food arrives. I step out of line, just before the doors open. I make a detour just before the construction ends. I think Americans particularly stink at waiting. We want what we want and we want it yesterday.

But that’s what the Christmas story is all about. Waiting. A mother waiting for a baby. Shepherds waiting on their flocks. Kings waiting for a sign. The world waiting for a Savior. And the God who came through at the last minute.

At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6

How often do we miss what God has for us because we get tired of waiting? We abort the dream before it becomes a reality. We settle for the Plan B. We step out of line. We give up and go home.

Because, you see, we forget that God is the God of the last minute saves. He loves the final second comeback. He is master of the homestretch sprint and King of the against-all-odds victories. Like the Israelites, He likes to bring us right to the water’s edge before He makes a way. He likes to wait until all odds are stacked against us and then, like with Daniel and his friends in the fiery furnace, defy them all. That’s the God we serve.

A week ago, I was staring at a $7,000 deficit in our school budget and listening to student after student telling me how they were struggling financially and I wondered how it would ever be possible for that much money to come in. The day before graduation we were down to $1000, and that night one student knocked on my door and paid in enough for us to meet our budget with $100 to spare. Although I was attempting not to worry (see this post), I must admit it was nail-bitingly close.

I don’t know what you are waiting for right now. It might be a long way in the distance or it might be mere seconds away from reality. All I want to say is don’t give up. Don’t forget you serve a “when all hope is lost” kind of a God, and it’s His utter delight to come through for you at the last minute.

“So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.” – Galations 6:9

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