Wait and Watch

Wait and Watch
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 2:10

Job’s response to his wife’s suggestion that he curse God and die is magnificent. “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10). Hats off to the old patriarch! In his weakened condition, sitting there in the misery of all those sores, not knowing if any of that would ever change, he stood firm—he even reproved her. He said, in effect, “I need to correct the course of this conversation. We’re not going there.”

He went further than stating a reproof; he asked an excellent question. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (v. 10). His insight was rare, not only back then, but today. What magnificent theology! How seldom such a statement emerges from our secular system.

Job is thinking these thoughts: Doesn’t He have the right? Isn’t He the Potter? Aren’t we the clay? Isn’t He the Shepherd and we the sheep? Isn’t He the Master and we the servant? Isn’t that the way it works?

Somehow he already knew that the clay does not ask the potter, “What are you making?” And so he says, in effect, “No, no, no, sweetheart. Let’s not do that. We serve a God who has the right to do whatever He does and is never obligated to explain it or ask permission. Stop and consider—should we think that good things are all we receive? Is that the kind of God we serve? He’s no heavenly servant of ours who waits for the snap of our fingers, is He? He is our Lord and our Master! We need to remember that the God we serve has a game plan that is beyond our comprehension, including hard times like this.”

And I love this last line, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (v. 10). There’s absolute trust there. And faith. “Sweetheart, we can’t explain any of this, so let’s wait and watch God work. We would never have expected what happened. Both our hearts are broken over the loss. We’ve lost everything. Well—not everything. We’ve still got each other. Our God has a plan that is unfolding, even though we cannot understand it right now. Let’s wait and watch to see what He will do next.”

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The Fog Is Lifting

The Fog Is Lifting
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Esther 7:1–2

Imagine swimming in a vast lake and getting three or four hundred yards offshore when suddenly a freak fog rolls in and surrounds you. You’re trapped in this tiny circle of diffused light, but you can’t see beyond your arm’s reach.

You and I are locked in a tiny space on this foggy lake of life called the present. Because our entire perspective is based on this moment in which we find ourselves, we speak of the present, the past, and the future. If we want to know the hour or minute or second, we merely look at our watches. If we want to know the day or the month, the year or the century, we look at the calendar. Time. Easily marked, carefully measured. It is all very objective: measurable, understandable, and conscious.

God is not like that at all. As a matter of fact, He lives and moves outside the realm of earthly time. In His time and only in His time, He begins to move in subtle ways until, suddenly, as His surprising sovereignty unfolds, a change occurs. It’s God’s way of lifting the fog, which always happens when He decides and when He pleases!

“What is your petition?” the king asks Esther. “What is your request?”

He’s already asked that two other times: when she first approached him and he held out his scepter, and then at the first banquet. But Esther never answered him, because the time wasn’t right. Esther had a sensitive ear, a wise heart; she sensed something wasn’t quite right. So, she didn’t push it. She knew when to act—and she knew when to wait.

Are you as sensitive as that? Do you know when to listen? Do you know when to speak up and when to keep quiet? Do you know how much to say and when to say it? Do you have the wisdom to hold back until exactly the right moment in order to achieve maximum results? Those things make a difference, you know. The question is: Are you sufficiently in tune with God to read His subtle signals? It’s easy to jump at the first sighting of the fog’s lifting.

As Solomon once wrote, “There is a time for every event under heaven . . . a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. )