Easy word to say. Hard word to obey.
There’s a lot of waiting required in our stories, though. Am I right? We wait all the time. We wait on His time. We wait when we want to work… to run… to change something or someone. Or, we go ahead on our own because the waiting is just so hard.
However… and, I cannot stress this enough…there is such a gift in the waiting. Such beauty and strength and growth and power and wonder that happens in the waiting. Ya’ll, it truly is one of His most glorious gifts.
And, I’d like us to make our minds up right now to simply work. on. the. waiting. On waiting for our stories to play out for His Glory. On waiting on Him. On waiting on His perfect timing.
Because, the waiting makes us slow down. Take in our life… truly take in our story with Him. We aren’t rushing around trying not to miss out on any part… or, rushing to get to the good parts. No… the waiting IS part of the best parts. And, it’s ALL part of our story.
Most especially when we look at all the benefits that come from waiting… all the lessons, all the love, all the life! Rushing anything steals that. And, rushing is NEVER of God. If any decision, choice, purchase, word, or action needs to be rushed, then you can pretty much count on the fact God isn’t ordering it.
Simply put… did you ever see Jesus in a rush???
Soooooo, if you stop and consider – or, just up and ask Him outright, “Where am I not waiting?” (Because, we honestly all have those places) Then – and, here’s the sticky part – WAIT for the answer. (We’re practicing, remember??)
Now, we may be surprised at all the areas we press on with our plans because His timing has not (yet) arrived. Or, we may not at all be surprised because we’re already up to our eyeballs dealing with the consequences of not waiting. But, why is that?? Well, we may feel the pressure of the world… of voices and old tapes that swirl through our brains, shouting loud all the ought-to’s and shoulda’s. Or, we may just not trust Him.
But… He is The Sovereign of the Universe. And, He has a Perfect Will for us. So, why on earth would we not want to be in that?!? Because we think we KNOW better? Or, deserve better? (Ouch!) Or, because our impatience gets the best of us?? (Those are all my answers, anyway.)
And, it really makes no sense.
So, let’s look at just a few examples from the Bible… the good, the bad, and the ugly of waiting, shall we???
- Had Eve waited on Adam when tempted in the garden they may have been able to stand up to the serpent together… as a united front.
- Or, had they both waited and asked God His opinion, He could have spoken the truth in love to them, strengthening them to avoid the temptation.
- Noah actually did wait on God and His timing, even being obedient in the process, and was able to save both his family and the animal kingdom to repopulate a destroyed earth.
- Had Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah) waited on God’s promise to father a great nation and not acted on their own they could have prevented much misery, brokenness, and division.
- They did eventually wait, however, and were rewarded with the promised child of that great nation well past their prime.
- Jacob waited 14 years to win the woman he loved, and waited out a wrestling match with God, receiving a blessing and a new name for his persistence.
- Joseph waited on God’s perfect timing in spite of much unfair treatment, betrayal, out-right lies, and decades separated from his family and was able to save that family in the end.
- Moses waited forty years to free his people from slavery. And waited another forty to prepare them for the promised land.
- Joshua waited through seven days of a downright strange plan of God’s to knock down the walls of Jericho, the first city of that promised land.
- John the Baptizer waited in the desert until it was time to prepare the way for Jesus.
- And, Jesus himself waited 30 years before His public ministry and another 40 days being tempted by Satan in the desert.
Friends, God’s Word is so full of all the wonderfully gracious and marvelous benefits of waiting, and here are just a few. Okay… more than a few, but it’s God’s Word and can be hard to choose, so please stick with me! Soak them in. Believe and receive them! Every. last. one. of. them. As if they were spoken right to you from the mouth of Jesus Himself. (Because they were…)
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)
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.( Proverbs 3:5-6)
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:7-8)
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:3-5)
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)
Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. (Psalm 37:34)
But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. (Psalm 40:1-5)
I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)
God is within her, she will not fall… He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; (Psalm 46:5, 10)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me…” (Acts 1:4)
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6)
Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling. (Isaiah 30:15)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. (1 Peter 5:6)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:1-8)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
Clearly the benefits of waiting are so well documented because they’re so well worth it. And, He is so worthy of our waiting. And, so very faithful AS we wait.
Question is… How much do we BELIEVE what the Bible tells us… How much do we trust in His Way and His Time… that it’s ALL for our best and His Glory???
Do you want to know a crazy part? God actually WAITS for us! Yep. Peter tells us exactly this in his second epistle… “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)
Can we see that… do we get that?? If He can wait on us, His Creation to come to repentance, then why in the world can we not wait on Him, our Creator?! Because, think about it… we’re only waiting on His best FOR us! All He’s asking is that we spend our time trusting in His Perfect Time.
Which is ALWAYS good!
Yeah, I get it. We don’t usually see it. Or, sometimes we see well after, but many times we don’t ever. Why did I not even consider His existence until I was over 20 years old? All the heartache that could’ve been avoided. Or, the sins that I wouldn’t have committed. [Insert loud throat clearing here] Why did my husband reject Him until he was nearly 40? Or, my Dad until he was nearly 70?? Even after all the prayers that were prayed on all of our behalves! Truly exhausting to consider, really. Yet, timing is everything and, as Solomon explains in the book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything…
Which brings me to a fun story. (At least it is now.) A couple years back, I found myself rushing Big Daddy to the ER because his heart rate was well over 200 bpm. It was Monday of Thanksgiving week and it was our year to host. By Wednesday, he was still in the hospital with a diagnosis of tachycardia and was being prepped for a heart ablation procedure to cauterize some something or another an expert in the field figured was the culprit. On Thursday, after the three hour procedure and a night’s recovery, he was packing up and set to be discharged when the 7th (!) doctor we’d come in contact with was given an update. It was supposed to be a quick look over and release, since Dr. Expert had already made the plan to discharge him with a follow-up appointment the following month.
Well, Dr. Seven had other plans and proceeded to argue in the hall with Dr. Expert, then head into the hospital room to tell Big Daddy he actually wasn’t leaving because something wasn’t adding up and more tests needed to be run to determine why. Then, he actually did the running… straight out of that room because Big Daddy was fuming mad and about to take a week’s worth of hospital stress out all over him. But, one CT scan later, we get a phone call from a panicked Dr. Seven who explains that the problem was not tachycardia, but an ‘extremely large blood clot in your lung!’
Wow! Suffice it to say I’ve never seen a medical team work faster to administer needed medicine. Except maybe on that prior Monday when the ER team tried to bring down the 200 bpm heart rate with too strong a dose of something that brought the blood pressure to barely registering and Big Daddy a black out. Btw, B.D. saw Jesus standing at the foot of his ER bed during that frightful scene and I know He never left during the entire week and remained right up to when Dr. Seven knew something wasn’t right and ordered more testing.
Now, why? Why couldn’t the ER team diagnose it originally? Why did B.D. have a heart procedure we don’t think he ultimately needed? Basically… why did we have to wait the entire week?
We don’t know the answers and may never. I do know that his sweet nurse was grieving the loss of her previously deceased son in the later afternoon hours of that Thanksgiving Day we were forced to celebrate in the hospital. I do know she overheard my Step Mom’s prayers for Big Daddy and was reduced to tears. I do know she reached out to us and shared her struggles. I do know we’ve prayed for her since that day. And, I absolutely do KNOW it was all for our good and His Glory.
Listen, questioning His timing is a waste of ours. We’ve got better things to do… like getting on with His Kingdom building business. Like walking out our story for His Glory.
So, y’all… may we spend our wait getting to know better the One that carried ALL the weight of OUR sin. The One who waited through a horrific scourging and death on a cross, so He could joyously wait for us to be with Him in Glory.
YES. May we always rejoice in that WAIT, while we quietly rest here in our own ❤