What do you think of when you hear the word, wait? Is it to stay where you are? Is it a delay of action, or delay in general?
To wait is to hold on, hold back, hold up, hold one’s horses, halt, standby, and sit tight. To wait is to stay where one is, or is to delay action until a later time–until something else happens.
Waiting can be exciting and isn’t always bad. For example, you feel excited when you are waiting for an amusement park ride, or to see someone special. It has been said, that waiting makes the heart grow fonder. But, it has also been said that waiting makes the heart sick. How could waiting produce such different outcomes? Could it be that our perspective and belief in God's goodness plays a role?
When you are waiting on a diagnosis, or to hear about a loved one in crisis or danger, waiting can feel agonizing.
Waiting can be irritating when you are in traffic or a long check-out lane. It can be filled with anxiety or peace–anger or trust–fear or courage.
In Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, he says it this way,
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
Or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
For a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
That you’ll start in to race
Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
And grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place.
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
Or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow,
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
Or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
Or waiting around for Friday night
Or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
Or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you.
Dr. Seuss then goes on to tell his readers that they will move past this waiting place and be successful enough to move mountains. However, it isn’t easy to get out of the “waiting place.” And often times, if we are not careful about where we place our focus, we can become apathetic. We anticipate outcomes we have no control over. We allow fear to fuel us.
We might even feel left behind and lonely–and that can cause us to do and say things we wouldn’t normally do or say. We may even begin to question God, “Where are you Lord?" "Did you forget me?" "What are you teaching me?" "Why me Lord?” Or, “Why not me?”
Waiting produces questions. But what does God’s Word say about waiting?
Hosea 12:6 New International Version (NIV) says, “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.”
Psalm 27:14 (NIV) says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 37:37 (NIV) says, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.”
Psalm 5: 3 (NIV) says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly."
We are to wait for God. We are to wait and be strong and take heart. We are to seek peace in the waiting. And we are to wait expectantly.
As somoene who struggles with waiting, I have learned that I don’t wait in this way. I tend to fret, worry, look ahead, wonder, plan and try to fix. I speculate and assume. In return, I feel more confused and isolated. Those actions are not Christlike. They are self-centered and not what God desires. He desires to be the center of my thoughts.
Yes, I need to do my part and be proactive. However, while being proactive in my situation, I need to trust my Lord. He holds the universe, so He certainly doesn’t need my help, or my immature intrusion. He only asks me to trust Him. He wants me to wait expectantly for Him and His answer. He desires that I remain peaceful, strong, prayful and steadfast.
It sounds so simple, but it isn’t. To wait well, I have to give over my selfishness and allow Christ to control my emotions, heart and mind. In return for waiting, God gives us this incredible promise….
But, God says, wait. Isaiah 64:4 says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”
Today, how might you better trust God? What are you waiting for that He wants you give to Him?