I don’t think any of us like to wait – unless it’s for something we are not looking forward to enduring. It’s like one of “those” 4-letter words, isn’t it? As children we often hear “wait your turn”, “wait a minute”, or the infamous “wait until your Father gets home”. As adults we are not used to waiting for things and we don’t like it when we are forced to wait. Here are just some examples I’m reminded of:
We don’t have to flip through a TV Guide to make our viewing selections. We can click a button on our remote or even watch on our phones, computers or tablets. We have streaming on demand.
We don’t have to dig out a dictionary and flip through the pages to find out the spelling or definition of a word. We just search on-line, ask Siri or Alexa. We get immediate answers to our questions and don’t have to search for them. I wonder if we are forgetting how to problem solve since answers come so easily by just asking.
We don’t have to wait for our food to be prepared from start to finish if we are in a hurry. We can go to fast food, order ahead of time and pull up for them to deliver it to our car. We can even order from a restaurant and have it delivered to our home.
We don’t even have to do our own grocery shopping any more. We can place our order ahead of time from our phones and have someone at the grocery shop for us and bring it to our car.
What do all these things say about us? We want immediate action, access, answers. We don’t want to be delayed or inconvenienced. We don’t want to wait!
What about when we are waiting for an answer to prayer? How well do we wait on God? Do we jump in and try to “help Him”? Do we keep our eyes open to His leading? Do we spend time in communication with Him through prayer and His Word? Do we “wait upon the Lord”? I know in my own life I sometimes get way ahead of myself. A circumstance arises that causes some anxiety, or I think needs my immediate action of some sort. Even though I pray about it, for some reason still think I must “do something now” while I wait. Maybe sometimes I do need to do something. But, often, if I just keep praying and watching and waiting on God, things work out as they should. Funny how that happens. God does know what He is doing!
There are certainly benefits of waiting, especially waiting upon the Lord. Now, waiting upon the Lord is not the same as procrastinating so I/we must not confuse the two to excuse ourselves from action. Procrastination is more about avoidance than waiting. First, we must call upon The Lord. Then we wait upon Him – in expectation, being faithful to stay connected to Him through His Word and Prayer, keeping our eyes and ears open so that we recognize His answer when it comes. I searched God’s Word for some wisdom about waiting on Him. Here are some:
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7)
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you. (Proverbs 20:22)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. ”The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:24-26)
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (Acts 1:4)
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)
saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”[ And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. (Hebrews 6:14-15)
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 20-21)
Patience and waiting are very hard for us but are so worthwhile when God is working in our lives. The outcome is always best when we wait upon the Lord and let Him lead as we follow. Let’s agree to slow down, calm down, and be joyful knowing that God is in control and we can trust Him, even in the waiting.