The trouble with waiting is you have to wait so long.
If I could truly “hurry up and wait” I would. Get it over with and get on with it.
Waiting tries my patience. It makes me crazy. I want to race into the next phase, turn over the new leaf, launch into the unknown, rise to another level…and any other overused cliché you can think of.
I act as if “good things come to those who”……..just do it! What I don’t want is to wait for the “it” I’m supposed to be doing.
By now you have figured out two things about me:
- I really don’t like waiting.
- I am in a waiting period.
So I’m anticipating with an attitude. Growing but grumpy. Thankfully, I’m not the first of God’s children with ants in his pants.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14)
The Psalmist encourages patience in the waiting process because he knows this process is not easy. It takes guts to wait. Look at what he says we have to do if we are to be able to wait for the Lord:
- Take strength– the word means to grow firm, harden. Be resolute!
- Take heart–the word means to let your heart take courage. Be brave!
Just look at the negative connotations we assign to the word: Wait it out, waiting around, wait your turn, waiting game, waiting list…and of course, the most dreaded “waiting room”. Just the words make me recoil in horror!
Yet, waiting seems to be one of God’s favorite tools in uncovering what needs to be dealt with in us. God frequently seems bent on using delays, downtime and detentions in our development. Why?
Because waiting will bring out the best in us and surface the worst in us. It purifies our desires while it exposes our motives. It strengthens our weakness while it displays our flaws. It demonstrates what we are, what we need and what we can’t live without.
Waiting is how God prepares us for what He has next for us. It is a womb for gestation, a seedbed for germination, a hothouse for maturation.
Waiting is not passive resignation, it is active surrender. It is not a shrug of the shoulder in apathy, it is a bending of the knee in prayer. It is not a retreat to stagnate in what is now, it is a rest to strengthen for what is next.
Waiting involves serving and surrender…waiting tables and waiting rooms. Waiting feels like watching grass grow when in reality it is watching fruit ripen.
Waiting seasons reveal more about us than any other process in our spiritual development. It reveals:
- What I am afraid of. Do I trust God more than I fear people? Do I believe He is bigger than what I face and stronger than what I fear? (Ps 27: 1-3)
- What I really care about. Is our “one thing” truly intimacy with God? Are we passionate to know Him even when the days are long and the times hard? (Ps 27: 4-5)
- What I believe about myself. Can I see the person He sees me becoming? Do I believe He is bringing me to a destiny or a dead end? (Ps 27: 6)
- What I believe about God. Do I act on the premise that God is mad at me or that He is mad about me? (Ps 27: 7-10)
- What I need to change. Am I searching to know what God designs, desires and delights in? Do I listen to His voice or the voices all around me? (Ps 27: 11-12)
As we allow the work of waiting to build into us the character needed for the next phase, adventure and challenge of the Kingdom life, we gain what we need most to leave the old and enter the new: confidence.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Ps 27: 13)
Keep dreaming, keep hoping, keep longing. There is something brewing in you that has an unearthly aroma and heavenly taste.
You really are in a period of seasoning–this is the time where God enhances your flavor as salt in the earth and increases your impact as light of the world.
There is nothing squandered in these moments when nothing seems to be happening. There is purpose in this routine and power in this commonplace. These are NOT wasted days and wasted nights! There is eternity in this everyday.
“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” (Isa 40:31, MSG)
Stuff is happening you can’t see and when the time is right–when the waiting is over–you will be ready to step into something beyond your wildest expectations.
Underneath the normal and behind the ordinary God is creating. His Word is still resonating inside you as it does throughout the universe: “Let there be…”
As at creation, it will be. And it will be good!
That is what you are waiting for!