Our pace of daily life quickens. For instance, do you remember when email emerged as a life-changing breakthrough––speeding up and expanding communication beyond what we ever imagined? Some of us older cats do. But today, many view email as an archaic nuisance, like snail mail. Why not just text or chat?
In our world of one-click shopping and on-demand streaming, much of life no longer unfolds over time. We expect immediate results. We want what we want when we want it. Instantaneous life is a must. We hate waiting.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for anything. Or do we?
Yes, often God asks us to wait. But His concept of waiting entails hope and expectation, not delay and nuisance. God’s waiting bears fruit. When we wait and dwell with God, His strength becomes our strength. This waiting opens the door for the Spirit to continue His work of transformation in our lives. This waiting allows God’s plan to become our plan, and even our deliverance.
Psalm 31:24 “Be strong and courageous, all you who wait––who hope––in the LORD.”
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.”
Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.”
Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait––who hope––in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”
Psalm 37 demonstrates how we grow in our walk with God. It’s a progression, and the waiting underscores spiritual maturity.
- First, as we begin to get to know Jesus, we learn that He’s always trustworthy (v3).
- Then, as our trust in Him grows, we begin to delight in Him and rejoice with thankfulness because of His grace, forgiveness, and protection (v4).
- Our delight leads us to commitment as we devote our lives to following Him and becoming His ambassadors in this world (v5). Harder challenges may begin to emerge.
- Finally, as we look for direction forward, He tells us to be still––to let go of all that we hold onto and all that we trust outside of Him––and to wait (v7). In this time of waiting, we lay our ambitions at the foot of the cross. We allow Christ to prepare us for the work He’s calling us to. And we allow His indwelling power to transform us from the inside out.
Isaiah 40:31 reveals the results of our waiting. Strength emerges as the hallmark of those who wait and hope in the LORD. Whether we soar to new heights of an amazing new journey, or run the long haul of a life marathon through new terrain, or walk the slow, hard roads of daily life challenges––we will not tire. We will not grow weary. We will not give up. Our trust, delight, commitment, and waiting strengthen us. And they impact our faith journey as God lives through us and uses us mightily each day in our circles of influence.
In this chaotic and quickening world, waiting can feel like surrender to a foe. The world’s expectation of waiting breeds anxiety and fear. Emotions ratchet up as the focus becomes all that could happen while someone refrains from taking matters into their own hands. In doing nothing, they resolve themselves to someone else’s will. Misfortune watches intently, ready to pounce.
But this doesn’t reflect our expectation of waiting. We wait for our good and holy God.
When we wait for God, we give Him space to work in and through our lives. When we wait for God, we listen and watch and move toward Him in prayer. When we wait for God, we allow Him to be God.
We wait with expectation rooted in His power, faithfulness, and love. Waiting for God doesn’t garner resignation. It elicits hope as we trust that our God––the Master Strategist, Creator of the Universe, and our Heavenly Father––continues to put things in place as He works all things to good. In His timing, our path forward develops and unfolds.
Next time you struggle with waiting, pray through the scriptures above. Praise God for your journey through trusting, delighting in, committing to, and waiting for Him. Praise God for his strength in you, and His perseverance through you, which allows you to soar and run and walk the journey of life in His care and provision.
Don’t hate the wait. Praise Him in the process and let your life be a beacon of hope to others.
Do you have a story of how God has worked through your waiting? Your story could be a great encouragement to others––we’d love to hear it!