If you have been in the military you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Hurry up and wait.” Generally, this is the source of much frustration with much rushing around to get everything done quickly so that you can sit around for hours bored to tears. Having served in the U.S. Army (1984-1986) I endured the hurrying up and waiting, yet toward the end of my enlistment, I began to understand not only the necessity, but also the brilliance of it.
Being prepared for something in advance is vital to being able to perform at your full potential. Going into battle without being prepared most often ends in failure or even death. Thus, if one has the choice and/or the opportunity to be prepared in advance, being frustrated because you were prepared in advance and then had to wait becomes a small price to pay for being ready to perform to your full potential when called to duty. Whatever is tied to your job — bags being packed, trucks being loaded, weapons being clean — must all be done in advance of going anywhere. The idea of “hurrying up and waiting” was just part of Army life, but a part of Army life, that was vital to success.
I don’t believe the military invented the concept of “hurry up and wait,” I think God did. We know that God is all about timing, but God is also about preparedness. Think of the parable of the Ten Virgins1. This is a parable directly calling for a preparedness mindset. All the virgins with their lamps, awaiting the bridegroom and expected to have what was necessary in place when He got there to light the way. And yet, half of them were not prepared and had to hear the words that would cut us all so deeply, “I do not know you2.”
This concept of being prepared in advance goes beyond just being ready for the coming of messiah. In the interim, we all have some form of work to do3. I personally believe that each of us has been called to something that will be of benefit to the Kingdom, but before we can walk in the fullness of that calling, we must first be trained. We must be given the tools necessary, be made ready, prepared, so that when God requires us to walk in the fullness of His calling, we are packed, prepared, and ready to go (so to speak).
It is often lost on the Christian world that the Great Commission4 is really a call to prepare the nations for the work that is ahead of us. The idea of “making disciples” means making students; being ready to teach those who desire to learn about the Lord and His will for their lives. Yet all too often, we see people being placed into positions like that of a teacher, before they have been fully taught themselves. There is a reason why the disciples walked with Rabbi Yeshua for three years before they were fully let loose to begin the process of teaching others. Even in the case of Paul, a learned man who studied under Gamaliel5 who was the grandson of Hillel (Hillel started the school Paul attended), we find him going away for a time to make the necessary connections before returning and walking in his calling6.
There is literally a time for everything7, including the time when God expects us to function according to His good will regarding what He called us to be. But being properly prepared often means that time will pass between the time we are called and the time we walk in that calling. Consider the commandment found in Torah8 about uncircumcised fruit9. Here we see that when a fruit tree was planted, the fruit itself, for the first three years, was considered by God to be — “uncircumcised” and “inedible.” Then, in the forth year, the fruit was holy unto the Lord and finally in the fifth year it was able to be consumed by anyone. The picture is that of a young tree with great potential being given the time to extend its roots deep into the ground, so that, having been properly established (prepared, if you will?), the tree will be able to produce quality fruit for a very long period of time. When we apply this concept in our own lives, we should see the importance of taking the time necessary to extend our own “roots” in the Word of God. Just as the tree is given time to extend it’s roots and become strong in order to produce fruit for a long period of time, we, too, should take that time to be properly discipled.
Perhaps now you see why one of the character attributes of God10 is patience. And seeing that we are expected to reflect Him in our words and deeds11, then patience, even during the time when it seems we are just waiting on Him, should also be an obvious character trait of ours. Yet being patient when you have such love and zeal for what we know is just ahead of us is not easy! In fact, it is very reminiscent of the “hurry up and wait” feeling I had when I served in the Army.
When I look out at the current landscape I see groups who are made up of people who now understand God’s ultimate plan of restoration and reconciliation such as United 2 Restore, B’ney Yosef, and others. Yet the “curse” that comes along with having been prepared for this is knowing that, as Hanoch Young12 has said many times, “It is like being the tip of the spear which gets to where it is going, first.” For those reading who have understood what God is ultimately doing today, you are like that tip of that spear that got to this understanding before the vast majority of the rest of Israel did. In fact, seeing most Ephraimites still do not know they are Ephraim… that “wait” might be a while longer. Now please don’t misunderstand, by “curse” I simply mean the frustration that comes with waiting — for we are truly blessed to understand and be a part of what God is doing today.
So where do we go from here? The answer is simple, we make wise use of the time13 and continue to study, prepare and be ready for the days ahead. The Jewish man wearing the tzitziot14 in Zechariah15 was prepared and ready to have ten men from the nations come to him. How do I know? Because, Yeshua told us that He “doesn’t know” those who are not prepared16; and those ten men, Zechariah wrote, heard that God was with that man. Only those who are prepared, in place, and ready, will be used for such things. Yes, the preparation and waiting can be frustrating, but the reward for having been prepared in advance — before walking in your calling — is immeasurable.
3Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:12-18
8Strong’s # H8451, often translated as “Law” but literally means “instructions or directions”
12Co-founder of United 2 Restore and Israeli tour guide ( http://www.kolyehuda.com/ )
132 Peter 1:5-10
16See end-note #1
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