Thursday, January 30, 2014

Papa God's Waiting Room

While driving through a pastoral area last week in rural Florida, I was enjoying the peaceful scenery of cows, horses, and the occasional pygmy goat herd (aren't they cute?), when something caught me by surprise.

There, standing beside the fence bordering the highway, all alone, was a blindfolded horse.

Knowing absolutely nothing about the care of our equine friends, I was puzzled as to why this fellow had been singled out. None of the other half-dozen or so horses in the field wore blindfolds. They moved around freely, navigating their own paths.

Was he being punished for something he'd done? Was it to keep him calm? Could it be that he had a longtime dream to run free and had tried to escape one too many times? Or maybe he had a tendency to harm himself and the blindfold was deemed necessary by the powers that be for his own good.  

He struck me as a forlorn figure, standing there rather droopy and spiritless, sporting this annoying blue plaid eye cover that he was completely powerless to remove. He seemed to be waiting for ... what?

He appeared lost. In broad daylight. What's next? the caption begged to read. Where do I go from here? 

As I drove on my way, Papa God, as He so often does, spoke to me through the scene I'd just witnessed. I can so identify with that blindfolded horse. I've walked a mile in his horseshoes. And so have you.

We all go through periods of blindfoldedness, when our vision is occluded for any number of reasons, and we become lost in broad daylight. Our internal GPS (God-Powered Satellite) shorts out and we don't have a good feel for where we are now or a clue about which direction we should head next.

So we wait. We sit in Papa God's waiting room and wait for the medical test results; for the new job to come through; for the illness to finally end; for forgiveness from that friend we offended; to be smitten with true love; for the gratitude we feel we deserve but have never received. So many things to wait for.

Sometimes it's a very l-o-n-g wait.

The blindfold starts to chafe and itch. Sometimes it even creates a miserable pressure sore. It itches, oozes, and bleeds, but we're helpless to rip the blindfold off. We're not the ones who put it there. We only have hooves when it requires hands.

So what do we do while we're hangin' (in several senses of the word) in Papa's waiting room? A good example from the Bible is found in Acts 1:14 when the lost-in-broad-daylight disciples were anxiously waiting for their next direction after Jesus had ascended into heaven: "They all joined together constantly in prayer..." (NIV).

Based on this scripture, what should we do while we're waiting on Papa God's next move?
1. Reach out to connect to other believers; do not alienate yourself - you need their support.
2. Keep busy; no standing around swatting flies with your tail. 
3. Pray, pray, and pray some more.  Join hands with Papa God - you'll be better able to feel the gentle tug on your bit when He begins to lead you to your next destination.
4. Wait for Papa, not His answer. Focus on His nature, His marvelous attributes, His person. Learn to experience and appreciate Papa's presence, not what He can do for you.

That blindfolded horse needed nothing less that his Master's presence to remove his blindfold.

So, my friend, do we.


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