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7-Day Practical Faith Blog: Time to Wait or Time to Act?

1 Samuel 2: 1-2

Our recent vacation confirmed again that my wife Sara and I have different styles of vacationing. Sara is content to sit and watch and absorb scenery and people. I am on the go, with a list of things I want to see and do.

Each of us has different ways to approach our faith as well. Some are content to watch and wait, while some are driven to act.

Actually, the waiting and the acting ideally are determined not by us, but by the Holy Spirit, who wisely guides us to wait or to act. Even an action guy like me has experienced times when the Spirit told me to wait: "Clear your calendar." "Take care of your family first." "The time is coming."

Similarly, there are times when the Spirit unfolds that now is the time to act. I experienced one of those recently in making a decision I had been hesitant to make. Through repeated prayer and contemplation, I realized it was the right moment to make a daring move and race into action.

Our waiting can be a time of preparation for the action. Such is the case with the Biblical character Hannah. She was frustrated because she could bear no children, while her husband's second wife was fertile and delivering babies. The Bible reads that "The Lord had closed Hannah's womb." Deeply troubled, Hannah openly prayed with anguish and grief, and the priest Eli assured her, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

Hannah became pregnant shortly thereafter and bore a son, Samuel. She delayed any action while weaning him. But after her time of waiting, Hannah was ready to spring into action. She dedicated Samuel to the Lord and gave him to Eli as his apprentice. Then, in a prayer at the outset of 1 Samuel chapter 2 that foreshadows Mary's Magnificat, Hannah proclaimed:

My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

In the waiting, Hannah prepared for her moment. In her waiting, she came to understand God's power and felt assurance that her moment was coming. When it was time to act, she was decisive, faithful, appreciative, and praise-filled.

In our 7-day practical faith, how can we be like Hannah? How can we listen to God to understand the balance between waiting and acting? How can we prepare during the waiting? May we be ready to spring into action when the time comes.

Spring into action? How about "fall" into a book study? This fall, you can participate in two online book studies led by Cecil Taylor on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm Central. Registration is now open for "The Next Thing" study (Sept. 13 - Oct. 11) at In September, we'll open registration for the "Live Like You're Loved" study (Oct. 18 - Nov. 15). The fee is $20. Space is limited to 20 participants per study, so register soon!

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