By Molly Law
“Wait for The Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for The Lord!” – Psalm 27:14
It seems like life is just one big waiting game. We wait in lines at the grocery store, airport, amusement parks etc., — there is even a room called “waiting” at a doctor’s office. In every instance, the time we wait far outweighs what we are actually waiting for. As a culture that increasingly pushes instant gratification, even Christians cannot escape this subliminal messaging that we receive in our everyday lives.
But what the world tells us is often in direct conflict with Scripture. Throughout the Bible, the concept of waiting is expressed in many different ways. We read about how long the Israelites had to wait to enter the Promised Land, but that was due to their disobedience (Joshua 5:6). Scripture also tells us to wait for our own peace of mind. God tells us that “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
I know that I am not alone in this, but I have a really hard time waiting, especially for good things. Often, it feels like my choices are taken away from me in times of waiting, but when I remember who my Lord is — I realize how wrong I am. I do have a choice. I can either stress, spiral, or bemoan to anyone who will listen about my plight. Or I can be still. I can turn to The Lord and be with Him. The more time I spend with Him, the more I glean about His will for me. I experience peace, and before I know it, the time of waiting doesn’t feel so long.
However, if I don’t turn to my Savior, I’m more likely to disobey, just as the Israelites did when waiting for Moses: they crafted a golden calf to worship because they were not focused on their God. Instead, they were hyper-focused on every minute that passed as they waited. I have found that when I take matters into my own hands in times of waiting that I miss out on the amazing blessings God has for me or I have to wait even longer — if I only had just waited for Him.
When I was still and waited patiently, it was hard and frustrating, but God never let me down. He was faithful, and I experienced the exact blessing and perfect timing He wanted for me all along. I have been waiting a long time for one desire in particular. This prayer of mine has been decades in the making, and I’m still waiting. Yes, I can feel God’s provision and promise, but for reasons only God Knows, He is keeping me waiting. One day, when I felt utterly heartbroken and confused, I poured my heart out to God. Afterward, my daily devotional directed me to this verse in Scripture:
And The Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
Because I turned to The Lord in my pain, He comforted me.
Thank You for Your constant Presence in our lives. Thank You for Your marvelous works — the ones we may or may not see. Please be with us in times of waiting, when it seems to go on forever — when the answer seems far away, so much so that we can no longer envision Your promise.
Not only do we wait for worldly matters, but as believers, we are also awaiting our eternal citizenship. We await the day that we are reunited with You, Jesus, our Savior. But You never told us to just sit on our hands and wait life away, but You called us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in The Name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19-20). So that when we finally make it to Heaven, we will hear, “Well, done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
Father, today I pray for those waiting to hear back about a diagnosis for themselves, their child, or a family member. I pray for couples who have prayed to start a family but are still waiting to conceive or waiting to hear back from an adoption agency. I pray for people who are feeling lonely and are praying for their future spouse. I pray for those waiting to hear back about their dream college or career. I pray for everyone who is waiting for an answer to prayer.
I pray that while we wait that we turn to You for comfort. I pray that anxiety and stress may be lessened. We need You, Jesus, every moment of every day before we come into Your Presence where there will be no more death or weeping. Be with us in the waiting — something we all experience — that we may not only pursue what we want, but as we grow closer to You that we will desire to do Your will to bring You glory for ever and ever, Amen.