Waiting…waiting…waiting. It seems like we have to do too much of that in life. It’s not one of my favorite pastimes. How about you? I’ve often wished that I had a penny for every minute that I’ve waited for my husband. He leaves me off somewhere and goes to do something else while I wait for him to return. Before the days of cell phone communication it was especially frustrating because I had no idea what had become of him.
We were recently at the hospital trying to get in for a test for my husband. Three hours later we finally got a chest Xray which took about five minutes. There were other frustrated people in the waiting room also. Sometimes we have to wait. We have no choice. But do we do it with patience? That’s the problem, isn’t it?
I used to sing the song “O Rest in the Lord” from the oratorio “Elijah” by Mendelssohn. It comes directly from Scripture. “O rest in the Lord. Wait patiently for Him, and He shall give thee thy hearts desire” (Psalm 37). In Psalm 27:14 we read, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Why did the Psalmist repeat the word “wait” in the same sentence? Probably so we wouldn’t miss it and the importance of the challenge.
We wait for doctors. We wait for rides. We wait for people. We wait for dates on the calendar. But what does it mean to “wait on the Lord,” so to speak? Ah, we all know that He doesn’t always answer our prayers instantaneously. And sometimes He doesn’t seem to show up when we need Him. Waiting on God involves stopping, being still, and being silent in anticipation of what He will do. That takes patience and confidence.
David Jeremiah put it this way in one of his blogs. “To wait on the Lord is to trust that God is at work even when His timetable is longer than we’d like. It goes against our nature, but part of the problem is how we define ‘waiting.’ It’s far more than sitting around twiddling our thumbs. Waiting is what happens between the promise and the fulfillment…In the waiting we build our trust in God.”
How’s the waiting going for you? Are you struggling or resting? Looking forward in anticipation or just focusing on the moment? We all have a lot to learn in this area, don’t we?