Finger drumming, foot tapping, deep breathing, clock glancing, nervous twitching: waiting.
No one is really fond of the delay in itineration that slows our course to get from point A to point B. The hinderance in time until something else happens can cause great agitation in our lives. It’s like being on hold with an automated phone system letting you know you have 30 minutes before the next customer service representative can take your call, or waiting in line an 15 extra minutes for your favorite chicken sandwich!!
All through scripture, we see plenty of our favorite characters working through the challenge of “wait time.” Israel walked 40 years in the desert. Sarah waited for a baby. Ruth waited for a new hubby. Esther waited until her fingers were all pruny to become a queen. Mary waited for the Messiah to be born.
So here’s the question of the hour:
“What are you waiting for?”
Does God have you in a holding pattern? “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps 37:7). Time used for preparation is never wasted time. And preparation is always part of the process. And, furthermore, if you let the process happen God’s way, it will lead to perfection. Girls, it’s like getting ready for the day. Whether you put on a full coat, or just a half coat of make-up, or tediously select your outfit, there’s still a preparation process. Showering, grooming, plucking, primping, and smoothing are all important steps to getting ready. It just doesn’t happen in a snap of the fingers, (though I wish it did). The time invested produces a beautiful result.
When waiting on the Lord, our attitude will also reflect our outcome. If you are too busy complaining the entire “wait time” you will miss the joy found in the journey. Instead, let your heart reflect on “waiting” more like this:
Don’t begrudge the wait time. Instead, tuck yourself in to the Lord’s arm. Listen for His still small voice, and learn to quiet your mind and emotions as you yield to Him during the waiting process.
“Those that WAIT on the Lord, will renew their strength.” Is 40:31a
“…On You I WAIT all the day.” Ps 25:5c
“The Lord is good to those who WAIT for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and WAIT quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25
One particular instance in scripture that reaps a beautiful reward from the “wait time” was in Acts as the disciples prepared to WAIT for another promise. Pentecost was near. It marked 50 days after Passover, and God’s people had much to celebrate as they made their way back to Jerusalem. Pentecost (Shavuot) means “fifty,” but it also means “completion.”1 Its name is so fitting as it completes the redemption story. Can you imagine how the disciples were processing their thoughts just weeks before as their Lord and friend was brutally crucified before their eyes and then laid to rest? They knew what Jesus said He would do. That He would rise on the third day. But, they found themselves waiting. Yet, He came, just as he said! He was alive!! Fast forward 50 days later, as the Jews prepared for Pentecost, the new believers were assembled together and recalled Jesus’ instructions. “…WAIT for the promise!…” Acts 1:4 Because they waited, they were all filled, received the promise of the Holy Spirit, and were baptized with fire (Acts 2:4). What if they had not waited? Consider what they would have missed out on!
What power are you forfeiting in your own life because you don’t want to wait? What intimacy with the Lord are you wiling to give up, all because it is too hard to wait for what’s been promised? Waiting is not a punishment. Waiting is an opportunity to rest in the Lord, and allow Him to do His best preparation work effectively in us. Your strength will be renewed and spiritual rewards will come. So, just WAIT! Cool your jets, sister! Once the waiting is over, I pray you will look back and say, “What An Intimate Time with Jesus!
So, what are you waiting for?
1 “What is Shavuot? The Jewish Pentecost.” International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, May 1, 2021, ifcj.org