This word makes the impatient toddler in me want to scream at the top of her lungs.
Wait? For what? Don’t we live in a culture where I have access to any information I want literally at my fingertips with my handheld devices? Can’t I just decide I want a latte NOW and get it at any number of coffee houses around the corner? And what does that lady at the front of the checkout line think she’s doing writing a CHECK? The light has been green for 5 whole seconds . . . WHY AREN’T WE MOVING???!!!!
Any of this sound familiar to you?
I often wonder how frustrated God gets with my pointy little head. I certainly give Him a fair amount of opposition at times. And I’m SO stubborn. I tell people all the time that it’s better to learn our lessons in the Christian life through the textbook (the Word) than it is to learn things on a field trip (trials, life lessons, tests, they have a variety of presentations). I would do well to follow my own advice.
For over a year, I have felt the Lord preparing me for something . . . different. Just recently, I have started to see small glimpses of what the “something” is. But this process still has a long way to go before I see the fruit. I found myself wondering how much longer it would be. Then I HEARD myself when I was questioning God. And I was ashamed and immediately confessed my impatience and distrust. And I remembered the faithfulness of my God.
Then the Lord gently reminded me of all the heroes of the faith who have gone before me that had to wait for some pretty amazing things. These men and women were given promises by the Lord and they were blessed because they had faith WHILE WAITING. Let’s discuss a few, shall we?
Abraham waited 26 years for the child God promised him. During that time he learned that nothing was too difficult for God. (Genesis 18:14)
Joseph waited 13 years to see the events of the dreams given to him by the Lord. During that time, he realized the incredible sovereignty and sufficiency of the Lord. (Genesis 45:4-8, Genesis 50:15-21)
Moses waited 40 years to see the land promised by God to His people, the Israelites. During that time, he faithfully led the Lord’s people to their future possession and demonstrated for them the perseverance and steadfast commitment to the Lord they would require as they moved into their new home.
I know all these stories are familiar and there’s nothing new here. But take a minute and let these familiar stories hit you afresh like they did for me. In every one of these examples and countless others, we see God’s people waiting on promises He had given them. What do you see them doing in the midst of their waiting? I see several things. However, the key is that we see them DOING. They are not idle. They do not sit around and wait for the promises they were given to come to fruition. They DO. And they are consistently faithful.
THIS, my friends, is the most important work of waiting.
It is not even necessary for us to know WHAT we’re waiting for or HOW God will bring it about. Regardless, we must be consistently faithful IN THE MIDST OF the wait. While we wait, we must DO. I had a dear friend remind me recently that God is a God of the verb. He is a God who speaks in action statements. COME and FOLLOW Me. GO and MAKE disciples. THOSE are our marching orders.
We can take up our crosses and follow Him wherever we are. And while we’re on our way following Him, we can make disciples. Waiting is a great place to meet new disciples and to take the time to share the love of God with them. Then, while we’re waiting, we can come alongside those new disciples and show them what it looks like to BE a disciple.
So, are you waiting? Perhaps you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Perhaps this is God’s divine appointment for this season of your life. Perhaps, like me, you are growing in your relationship with the Lord like never before because you’re waiting.
Who knows? Maybe this could be the most productive time you’ve ever spent doing “nothing.” Maybe, just maybe you’re in the midst of the greatest Kingdom work you’ve ever been given the privilege of completing.
Thank Him for the “wait” today and be encouraged, my dear friends!