Henk Botha - Jude, verse 21 - Durban, South Africa Convention - Sunday, 2009

Keep yourself in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you into eternal life.


I am going to tell you something today that you don’t want to hear – at least I know this human nature don’t want to hear it – it is a very simple thing, something we have to learn to do – some basic thing that all Christians should learn. It is this matter of waiting. Not an easy thing. You know, waiting means not one step forward – not one step backwards. You just stand here and wait – not easy. It can mean so much – wait – so many different meanings or suggestions when we think of wait – to wait can mean to be faithful while you are waiting – faithful in the way you are waiting. Waiting can mean endurance – patiently waiting.  But it can also have a slight meaning of resting – to wait on the Lord. Such a simple little word, but with such a great deep meaning – to Wait.

You people here in Durban should know – or should have heard it  when Uncle Lesley was here and I was with him – he often said it – I don’t know how many times – I have been a few times with him, even in Cape Town he said, “Waiting time is not wasted time.” I thought to myself – I don’t know how it was with you people – I just rolled my eyes inside and said, “There he said it  again.” I don’t know if you feel the same, but I can tell you when it comes around to the practical part of this thing – it is so different. Standing at that point and wait.

In the Gospel meetings, we sometimes speak of the “cross roads.” Crossroads - that is for people who are just looking for Truth and for the right way, but in this sense it is different - different because our feet are already in the path of life and when we made the choice, we could not see what was lying ahead and somehow all of us will come to a spot where will have to wait – where the road forks. You can either go to the left or to the right and you just wait until you know.  Uncle Jimmy used to say, “If you don’t know what to do – do nothing.”  In other words, just wait, wait on God until you have the surety of which way get direction - each one has a destination as we heard the other night – just do it or don’t. Ending in different directions. You know, looking back and if I may share some of my mistakes, I know most of them is just because I didn’t wait. I didn’t wait long enough! And I know now that it would have been so different if I had just waited. So – this thing of Waiting. We can go out and chose – left or right - shall I go this way or shall I go that way. 

King Saul did that – there was an allotted time for him and Samuel said, "You go on and just wait for me there and we will do the necessary sacrifices there." He just waited with his men and of course, got kind of restless – you know told them to calm down – and then he went on and did it.  And he was just putting the things down and here came Samuel. He was waiting but not long enough. And because of that, the kingdom was lost and we can lose out completely because I haven’t been waiting. Haven’t been waiting long enough Such a scary thought that we can lose out because I haven’t been waiting.

I don’t know if you remember Tom Hinkle when he was here. I believe he was only at Ixopo but he told us a beautiful story. I am sorry that I am going to repeat it here but there are perhaps some that have heard it – he was telling us about a certain man - a cowboy, living out in the country, doing what he was supposed to do, looking after his animals – a lonely, lonely life out in the veldt (fields) with his animals. And one day, a call came – an urgent call came, “Come over there is urgent need of your presence," from a family member. So he left – set out with his horse and his faithful friend, his dog - watch dog. And he left and he went to the station and because he knew he was just going to be a few days, he said to his dog, “Just wait here. Wait for me." And there he sat on the station waiting for his master. Something sad happened to this man – it was when he was with his family – sudden death – maybe a heart attack – I don’t know but he died. Back at the station, there the dog was still waiting faithfully. This poor dog would wait for a train that comes from this direction – this is the direction my master left and when he heard a train coming from this direction, he would get onto the platform and wait. And there he waited for many years. The Station Master just took him under his wings, encouraging this faithfulness – this enduring in waiting. He gave him shelter and there he waited until his last days. It is a beautiful picture of how you and I can be. Faithful loyal waiting.

In our Worker’s Meeting one year, just practical advice was given for us, but to you in a different sense. This Worker was telling us that when you show somebody an address, you often say, "I will hop in my car and you just follow me and I’ll show you." So when you get to the traffic light and you see it’s amber, because I’m mindful of the one behind me, I rather wait. And we have been here four days waiting and God has been here waiting for us and now, it’s time to go. The light has turned green and we must go but remember – God has been mindful of us – waiting for us and as we have been waiting here, we can continue in the year ahead of us and let us remember, “Waiting Time is not Wasted Time.”