Waiting Well

Who doesn't hate waiting? Honestly, I don't know of anyone who just enjoys the process of waiting.

Whether we're waiting for our food in the drive thru line, waiting for our roses to bloom in the spring, waiting to receive our score on a test we've studied for and deliberated over, waiting for a baby to be born, or waiting for that grand vacation to finally show up on our calendar, we feel we've waited too long. Isn't it here already? Isn't it done? Isn't it time?

I suppose I hate waiting on other people more than anything. Sometimes, as you wait on someone else to finish something, give you something, fix something or get ready to go, you feel like they're just not moving fast enough.

I experienced that sensation a couple of times recently as I waited on my son to tie his shoes so we could get out the door. I don't know who taught that boy to tie his shoes, but it must not have been me. I imagine he learned his cockamamie method of tying his laces on You Tube, where young people gather most of their "valuable" knowledge these days. At any rate, while he claims his laces never come untied accidentally, Daniel takes a long time to lace up! And I get tired of waiting on him.

It's one thing for me to grow impatient with my son as he laces his shoes and I stand at the door ready to go out to lunch or a movie (although I probably owe him a little more forbearance and courtesy). It's quite another thing to huff and puff while I wait on my God.

Unlike my estimation of Daniel's questionable shoe tying method, I can know that my God is acting with perfect timing, doing the job right, being efficient, and working all things together for my good.

I can trust Him.

Still, I struggle as I wait on God sometimes. Do you?

This morning as I read the Bible I came across this promise:

For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
(Isaiah 64:4)

This reassuring scripture reminds me that God does great things when I wait for Him. Oh, I'm going to have to wait. But the verse implies that there is waiting (begrudgingly, impatiently, unwillingly) and there is waiting (with faith, in obedience, with patience, with anticipation).

When I engage in wholehearted, obedient, joyful, and patient waiting, God does some really special things in my life.
  1. He does me good. "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." (Lamentations 3:25) I can trust that, even though I may have to wait for the outcome, it will be good. God doesn't make me wait just to surprise me with a lousy response. If I wait with my heart and soul seeking Him (not just His gifts and blessings, necessarily, but Him), He will reward me with good.
  2. I receive supernatural energy and strength in the meanwhile. "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength...those who wait on 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 40:29-31) We like to quote that scripture passage, but we still don't like to wait. Maybe if we grasp the promise it contains we'll be more prone to comply. Not only is God going to deliver in the end, but He's willing to infuse you with additional, supernatural strength and energy right now...while you wait on the outcome. That's like when a restaurant gives you free appetizers while you're waiting on the food you've ordered because the order is taking too long! But better!
  3. He comes to my rescue at just the right climatic, God-glorifying moment! "Wait for the Lord, and He will save you." (Proverbs 20:22) The problem is we sometimes jump the gun and look for a different savior. We try to fix things ourselves, look to others for heroics, even get mad when others don't rescue us. But God has your salvation planned. He will not leave you high and dry. Wait on Him and He will redeem you, save you, give you victory, reward you... Bottom line? He'll ride in at the right moment and sweep you off your feet!
  4. He saves me from embarrassment. You read that right. When I wait on God instead of trying to run ahead of Him, he protects my integrity, my honor, my reputation. But when I run ahead, I'm like a small child running from her father's hand and darting into traffic. I could get seriously hurt or at least embarrassed. "They shall not be ashamed who wait for Me." (Isaiah 49:23) In the end, we're never wrong to wait on God. Others may encourage us to move ahead without Him, but we're wisest to wait. He's got our backs.
  5. He puts on a show like I've never seen! When I wait on God I get to see Him work on my behalf. "...who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:4) I've heard Christians say they've never really seen God do anything special in their lives. That's a shame. But it's not God's fault. If a believer has never seen God do miraculous things in their life, it's because they've never given Him the chance. God's not going to plow over us and knock us down so He can take center stage. He only does the really big stuff when we give Him the platform, the time, and the glory. When we dart ahead or stomp our feet impetuously, we limit God. But when we take hands off, sit back and expect Him to show up, He will. Really big. He will.
So let's take heart in the waiting.

Right now I'm waiting to see where my daughter ends up going to college. I'm waiting to see how God's going to finance that college education, too (and I'm well aware it may be through me getting a job at Walmart!). Sometimes I get a little impatient and I try to "contribute" by worrying. But I'm pretty sure worrying is not the kind of waiting God rewards. So I'm going to try to wait with hope, patience, faith, confidence, and expectation instead.

What are you waiting for? Be encouraged. There are multiple blessings in store for those who wait...well.