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Waiting: A Lesson From A Sheep Dog

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Ruby’s large chocolate brown eyes were fixed lovingly on her master and companion, Ben. Their decade or more friendship had matured into a relationship of deep trust and affection. Ruby sat alert, ready to obey his every command and Ben knew with pride and confidence, that Ruby could be depended upon to get the job done when it came to herding the flock.

Directing her to the shade of a stance of gums, an oasis from the sultry midday sun, Ben gave a simple and clear command. ‘Ruby sit, stay and wait.’ Ruby fell to the soft grass and with a heavy thump of her curly tail and a smile that seemed to say, ‘Whatever you say, boss’, then watched Ben as he retreated to the house for lunch.

Then the trouble started. A protective rabble of magpies, bent on ensuring that no stranger would threaten their newborn chicks, began to dive down upon Ruby. The air was filled with the fiery snapping of magpies and vehement cries as in unison, they attempted to distract Ruby and cause her to leave off her post. Ruby in return growled loudly and barked when they came too close, threatening to pierce her fur or worse still, her eyes.

Ruby was desperate. She wanted to get up and chase them away, but remembered Ben’s last command. ‘Sit, stay and wait.’ Dropping her head to the ground and crouching low, she shut her eyes and held tightly to her post, ignoring the swoops and outcries that endangered her safety.

Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’

Sit, stay and wait. How often has God told us to do this and yet we begin to look around and our attention is diverted towards other distractions? It takes all our effort (and often the encouragement of another) to help us to remain focused on the command that God has given us to do.

Why is waiting so hard? We are by nature impatient, selfish and demanding. In our sin we seek instant gratification, but in Christ, God asks us to wait. Wait, not with clenched fists and a grumbling attitude, but with a deep trust in Him in all circumstances. When we wait well we will experience the blessedness of depending upon God and the discipline of waiting with humility, hope and joy. We find waiting so hard because it is not our natural inclination.

Christians never graduate from the school of waiting. Life is a cycle of waiting and receiving from the LORD. Hopefully as we mature in Christ, we will learn to wait in a way that is more complimentary with our calling as disciples of Christ.

In our trials we will learn to caste ourselves more fully upon the LORD and will be able to identify with Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: -Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distressed For Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In the myriad of trials that Paul faced, he became like an eagle, with renewed strength and able to soar above the hardship of his circumstances as he looked to and waited upon the LORD. Though weak, God made him strong even to the point of taking pleasure in the hardships that he suffered.

The rewards of waiting upon the LORD through trials and temptations abound. The greatest however, is the pleasure that arises as we trust in the LORD and seek to remain faithful to His command to ‘sit, stay and wait.’ For we can be assured that in this, He will be glorified.

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Thank you, Jennifer, for this heartwarming story that delivered a touching message along with a good Word for the LORD!
    Loved this!
    God Bless~

  2. Jennifer,
    I enjoyed your illustration of the sheep dog. Would to God that we all could listen to God’s command and wait patiently. A hard, but valuable, lesson to learn. Thanks.

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