Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wait For Iiiiiit…
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithinia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-8)
I keep coming back to "The God Complex" from the most recent season of Doctor Who – the longer it simmers in my brain, the more I discover within its many layers and complexities. I decided to revisit the awful hotel one more time because of a recent Sunday School lesson where we studied the scripture passage above.
Throughout the episode, various characters find "their" hotel room and use whatever faith they have to overcome the fearful thing or situation contained within. Doing so eventually alerts the creature, who kills them after feeding on their faith. The situation is summed up by Joe the gambler, whose faith in luck has evidently helped him overcome his fear of ventriloquist dummies because he is now surrounded by an army of them. He tells the Doctor, "I've seen the light. I've lived a blasphemous life but he's forgiven my inconstancy and soon he shall feast."
"But you've been here for two days," replies the Doctor. "What is he waiting for?"
"We weren't ready. We were still raw."
"But now you're what…cooked?"
"If you like. Soon you will be, too. Be patient."
The message that we take away from both TV and the Bible is this: faith is important, but so is timing. Paul was eager to spread the gospel to Asia and Mysia and Bithinia, but God said no, not now. Not yet. In Sunday School, we speculated that perhaps God was waiting for the people there to be ready to receive the message before he sent someone to give it to them. Or perhaps the messengers themselves weren't yet ready. At any rate, we're led to believe that if someone had gone just then, the message wouldn't have taken hold and God's will wouldn't have been done.
God's timing is a great mystery, and sometimes waiting on him to give the "go" for something is exceedingly frustrating. Patience is not an easy thing, but it is necessary because rawness in this case is detrimental to the overall mission. Fortunately, though, if we have the patience and faith to wait for the right time, we are the ones who will feast on the abundant blessings God has in store for us.