Do you stare at the timer on the microwave while it’s heating your burrito … or is it just me? I stare at the timer as if I’m willing the time to speed up. (It hasn’t yet.)
I don’t like to wait, but I’m guessing you don’t either. Our culture encourages impatience in us.
- There’s the 10-items-or-less check-out line so you don’t have to wait behind the couple with two full baskets.
- We call ahead to the restaurant, so we don’t have to wait for 10 minutes in the lobby with the rest of the riff-raff.
- We gladly upgrade our Internet service so that we can download kitten videos two milliseconds faster.
Despite the technology that makes things faster and the gizmos that are geared to save us time, we only find ourselves getting more impatient. I’m all for not wasting time, but our fast-paced lifestyles have zoomed right past the benefits of waiting.
Even when it comes to our walk with God, we don’t like to wait. We pray and expect God to answer—right then. And we don’t slow down long enough to hear Him when He does answer.
Waiting may be the very thing we need. To slow down … listen … just wait. Scripture gives plenty of nods to the value and blessing of waiting on God.
- “I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord” (Ps. 27:13-14).
- “Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy” (Isa. 30:18).
- “From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened to, no eye has seen any God except you who acts on behalf of the one who waits for him” (64:4).
- “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him” (Lam. 3:25).
For too many of us, impatience is the companion of waiting. But there is not a hint of impatience or frustration in these Scriptures. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Waiting implies trust. We don’t give up; we know God is there and will respond—so we wait.
“I’M NOT ONE JUST TO STAND AROUND. SURELY THERE IS SOMETHING I CAN DO WHILE I WAIT!”
There is something you can do when you’re in a season of waiting on God—and the answer is found again in the word waiting.
Consider what a waiter and waitress does. They take your order … they refill your glass … they bring the food. It goes back to the late 14th century and the idea of the household servant who is standing close by and waiting to be summoned to serve food, fill glasses, and remove dishes.
As children of God, we are also His servants, ever waiting and ever ready to be called to serve. When we wait, we don’t just stand around doing nothing. Waiting carries the idea of trust, and it carries the idea of serving. We serve the One we are trusting for an answer. We don’t serve as a way to motivate God to answer us; we serve because the One we are trusting is worthy of our service.
I hope you spend time with God on a daily basis. Whether you call it a quiet time, devotions, or just spending time with God, don’t rush through it. Savor the time with God in His Word and in prayer. Wait to hear from Him … wait just to be with Him … and wait on Him as He calls you to some task today.
“I lift my eyes to you, the one enthroned in heaven. Like a servant’s eyes on his master’s hand, like a servant girl’s eyes on her mistress’s hand, so our eyes are on the Lord our God until he shows us favor” (Ps. 123:1-2).
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