We all know what it means to wait. In our busy, hectic lives, we often find ourselves waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store. Waiting in traffic at the red light. Waiting for the end of a work day or school day. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for vacation to start. It can be quite frustrating.
During different times in our lives we find ourselves waiting for big events. Waiting to graduate. Waiting for Mr. (or Ms.) Right to come along. Waiting for the big day when we say “I do.” Waiting for the baby to arrive. Waiting for the kids to get big enough to (fill in the blank). Waiting to retire.
For those of us who have served in the military, we are quite familiar with the saying “Hurry up and wait.” We hurried up and did everything we needed to enlist. Then we waited to go to Recruit Training. We hurried to stand in hundreds of lines to get uniforms, shots, food. We waited to graduate. We hurried up and reported to our technical school. We waited in more lines to check in. Then we waited to finish and graduate. We waited to transfer to new duty stations. We waited to get qualified. We waited to return from deployment. We waited to get orders to our next duty station. Soon, we found ourselves waiting for retirement.
Life is filled with waiting.
I’m currently reading Max Lucado’s book God’s Story, Your Story. In the chapter “Power Moves In,” Max addresses waiting. Specifically, waiting on the Spirit, as the Apostles did. Jesus left. He told them to wait. They didn’t start planning. They didn’t rush out on their own and start doing what they thought they should be doing . Instead, the waited. And prayed. When the Spirit came, He came while they prayed. Then they saw what God had planned. Paul waited, too. After his conversion, although he started preaching right away, he didn’t suddenly become the great missionary we know him to have been. Instead, he waited, spending a period of years preparing for what God had planned for him.
Max goes on to discuss opportunities that God brings about in “The Right Doors Open.” Again, waiting. Waiting on the right doors to open and not running ahead into every good thing that comes along. Waiting for the Spirit to guide us and direct us. Even when he started his missionary journeys, Paul had more times of waiting. Finding doors that were closed rather than open. Waiting for the right doors to open. Finding himself arrested. Waiting in prison. Finding places that the Spirit hindered him from going. Waiting on direction. Again, the waiting prepared him for what God had planned.
I’m not very good at waiting.
But the Psalmist tells me
“Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart…” Psalm 27:14
“I wait for the Lord.. and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
“We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20
“I wait for you, Lord, you will answer…” Psalm 38:15
And of course, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37:7
Waiting prepares me for what God has planned.
John Waller has a song, “While I’m Waiting.” He sings:
“I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting”
I will learn to wait. And while I wait, I will pray. I will be strong and take heart. I will put my hope in His word. I will wait for Him to answer. I will be still. I will serve. And I will worship.
Because I trust God in what He has planned.