We absolutely hate it. It’s vile and wretched and rarely the answer we want to hear. Yet, unfortunately, we often find it a regular part of life. What is this four-letter response that leads us to wince when we hear it?
None of us like to wait. Whether it’s the DMV or the line at the drive-thru, waiting grates on us and highlights our worst qualities. How often do we instinctively say “I can’t wait”? Even from a young age we hate to wait. Often, my children will ask to play a video game or eat a dessert and I’ll tell them to wait. I’m not saying ‘no,’ but for some reason now is not the best time. Yet, telling them to wait is often received just as ruefully as if I told them ‘no.’ I’m often perplexed by their response but I also realize I’m just as guilty when my Heavenly Father tells me to wait.
The Promise For Those Who Wait
I wish there was some formula that could make me a better wait-er. Perhaps it will take a lifetime of waiting to bring needed patience to a restless heart. Perhaps I need to remember the many Scripture passages that provide hope-filled promises for those who wait on the Lord. Here are a few:
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:1-2)
Waiting and trusting are closely connected. I can say I trust God, but when the answer seems delayed and the waiting tarries, the true nature of whether or not I trust is revealed. When he tells us to wait, he’s not necessarily saying ‘no,’ but it just may not be the right time. Anytime the Lord calls us to wait, there’s a good reason for it.
One Long Wait
For the believer, all of our life on this earth is one long period of waiting. We know the promises of God after this life is over. When that time comes, we’ll dwell with our Lord in a place where sin, death, and all tears are fully done away with. We’ll be reunited with loved ones we dearly miss who loved Jesus and passed from this life before us. We know these wonderful promises and yet we don’t experience them now. We long for the day, but for now the Lord calls us to wait. But, we don’t wait idly. We intentionally live each day in service of our Lord, but we long-fully wait for that great day as we do so!
Since all of my life is waiting for the grand promises, perhaps, with the Spirit’s help, I can be a better wait-er on things that are less significant. It’s likely that waiting will always be a challenge, but waiting on God has never disappointed before and, I suspect, it never will.