Waiting can be hard. I was in the grocery store awhile back, getting ready to pay for my groceries, and I started walking toward the bank of multiple checkout lanes. I started playing the mind game that I often do when choosing a line to go in. “Which line will move the quickest and give me the shortest wait time?” As per usual, I inadvertently settled in behind the sweet older lady with an accordion folder full of coupons. Had I seen this folder that was big enough to pass for a dossier in a murder trial, I would have DEFINITELY chosen another line. But I was locked in between this nice woman and the guy behind me with his hands clenched on a cart full of frozen pizzas and a six pack of Bud Light. I was forced to slow down and wait.
Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do, especially in this world where instant gratification is as common as a streaming service with commercials. Getting something you want quickly is as easy as clicking “add to cart” on Amazon Prime. But God’s way and His approach to waiting is far different from the, “If I can’t have it now, it’s not worth having”, mentality so many of us struggle with.
Waiting on the Lord can look like many things. It can be waiting for that job promotion you’ve worked so hard for and feels so far away. It’s the baby you desperately want, but it’s taking longer to get pregnant than you thought it would. Maybe it’s the promise that God has told you will come to pass in your life, but you haven’t seen a lick of it and you’re starting to think He’s forgotten about you completely.
I get it. I’ve been in situations where I feel like the waiting will never end, and maybe I’ve missed the boat completely. I want to encourage you that waiting is part of the deal when you sign up for this crazy and amazing marathon called, “putting your faith in God”.
There are multiple verses in the Bible that reference waiting for the Lord, but here are two of my favs.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
When I read these two verses I see something very interesting. Both of them refer to a correlation between waiting and being STRONG. Waiting develops our strength and our faith.
Psalm 27:14 is a direct command to wait and be strong! We aren’t supposed to sit around like a flower wilting in the sun while we wait. No! We are to draw on the strength of the Lord to help us persevere and stand in authority where our feet are currently planted.
Waiting also develops our trust in the Lord because it requires some heavy “trust” lifting. When things don’t go our way, and when we want them to, we must make a decision to either give up or dig deep and do the tough emotional work of being content in the waiting. What happens when you lift a heavy weight in the gym multiple times over a period of days, months, and even years? That’s right, you get “jacked”! (That’s “strong” for you non-gym rats out there.) The same happens when you wait. You build that trust muscle that God needs us to have to walk out the waiting.
Growth is another by-product of waiting. I hate to break it to ya, but you may not be ready for that super cool thing that you feel God has promised you. It’s similar to my kids thinking they were ready to drive a car when they were eight. Uh, no. I think not. You wouldn’t hand the keys to a brand new car over to your four year old, would you? Hello, crazy! So why would God give us the keys to unlock that blessing He knows we aren’t quite ready for. It’s not that He doesn’t think you deserve it, but He wants you to be in the right place in your life to handle the amazing thing He’s prepared for you. As hard as that can be, only He knows when you’re ready for that blessing.
Timing. This is one of the hardest things to wrap our finite brains around when we’re desperately waiting for something. God’s timing is always perfect. Let me say that again in case you missed it. God’s timing is always perfect. What we think should happen right now isn’t because God is still moving pieces around like a chessboard in the sky, to make sure that every aspect of what you’re waiting for is perfectly aligned. This is where that trust factor comes in again. We have to trust that He will work all things together for our good, and that often takes time.
Waiting teaches us to appreciate the blessings when they finally come. My husband and I have chosen to wait to give our daughters a phone until they are entering their freshman year of high school. Holy cow. Talk about a struggle with waiting! It’s not easy for any of us, but I can only imagine the excitement and the appreciation that we will see on their faces when they finally receive this illusive item that they have long waited to own for themselves.
It will mean so much more to them because they had to struggle through the waiting. It will also give us incredible joy to see the elation on their faces because as parents, we want to bless them simply because they’re our kids. This is similar to the way our Heavenly Father thinks about us, His children! (Although I wouldn’t necessarily call a smart phone a blessing. I would prefer to chuck them all off a cliff, but that’s just me).
If you’re waiting for something, take heart. God’s got you. Trust that His plan is perfect, and be faithful with what He has currently given you. Keep working, keep praying, and wait with expectation that He will eventually give you more than you could ever hope or imagine!