THE LONG WAIT
We do it in line at the post office, in traffic, while our kids hunt for their shoes, and at doctor appointments. My mom recently had to do it for 14 long days in August in the Texas heat while her A/C was being repaired.
We wait for marriage, we wait for children, then sometimes we wait for divorce. We wait for money and love and power and success as well as for mundane things like the disoriented squirrel who is madly dashing back and forth across the street in front of our car, insane with indecision about which direction leads to carless safety (Really. It happens.).
Oh, we do it, but we sure don’t like it. We chafe, fuss, and fret, and make phone calls to find out what in the world is taking so long.
Sometimes we get worn out waiting for things that seem forever elusive – maddeningly out of our grasp.
Waiting can be tinged with excitement and festive joy as in counting down the tinseled days until Christmas.
Other times, waiting can seem to drain us of the effervescence of life, leaving us flat as an open can of warm Sprite.
I know I am not the only one who has been waiting for years for some things to pass. Do you have a situation like that in your own life?
In a such a state of wait-induced listlessness, a Scripture came to my mind. Being spiritual like I am (ha), I was immediately annoyed by it.
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength…” Isaiah 40:31, NASB.
More waiting! Why does it have to be those who WAIT who are strengthened?
And why does He make us wait, anyway?
Incredible, isn’t it, that the Everlasting puts up with the impatience of mere humans, made of dust?
In the words of Shakespeare, “Lord, what fools these mortals be”.
He has patiently waited on me for a lifetime to get a clue on some issues, and I can’t deign to wait an hour or two, a month, a year, for Him to reveal Himself?
Lord, forgive me.
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty.
THE LIVING HOPE
He is from everlasting to everlasting, and if He chooses to make me wait for a season, there is purpose in the very waiting.
Waiting tests us. It strips us of self-reliance. It rankles when there is pride, and grants humility and wisdom to those who endure long enough to receive such blessed fruit.
Yes, I may have a few more of those tiny wrinkles that have begun to camp out in the area around my eyes by the time some prayers get answered. I may go through seasons where God is silent. But He’s never gone. Listen to His powerful words that thunder through time to the hearts of His children:
“To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary,
and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired they will walk and not be faint.”
Waiting on the Everlasting God isn’t a dead-end prospect, hope stifled with layers of suffocating dust and clingy cobwebs.
It is a living, breathing, abiding in His presence with fresh strength and higher heights waiting for us at the end.
I want to be found among the faithful who weren’t too proud to wait. Who were willing to embrace patience as desirable fruit of walking in step with the Spirit.
Like young Will in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, I want to hear, “You have passed the test and proved stronger than the testing.”
May God give us the grace to wait patiently on Him and to become more like Christ in the process!
With faith, hope, and love,
PS – For further reading on the subject of waiting on God, check out this article by David Mathis from Desiring God.org!