Godly Waiting

WAIT! That’s what God often calls us to do. God told Moses He was going to use him to save his people. It happened 40 years later. Paul met Christ and was called to preach. His first sermon was years later. Isaiah 40:31 tells us to wait, and makes promises. “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 become weary.”

Nobody likes to wait. If the line to a restaurant is too long, we may choose not to wait, but go elsewhere. The irony of this highlights our aversion to waiting. Probably that we would receive our meal more quickly if we waited at the first restaurant. It would be quicker than finding another place to dine. Last week, early voting opened in Georgia. On the first day, lines were long. My daughter commented that she would vote later as she didn’t want to wait in a long line to vote. We don’t like waiting, we see it as a waste of time.

But God tells us to wait. Waiting on God is not like waiting for service at a restaurant or waiting in a line of some sort. In waiting on God we don’t just idly pass our time doing nothing. In a period of waiting we actively serve God and listen to him as we patiently wait.

I think there are three aspects of waiting on God.The first of these is TRUST. God promises rewards if we wait on Him. We must trust him in our uncertainty. We trust that he has heard our plea, that He knows our situation and we trust that he will respond to us. Waiting on God is not idly sitting by like waiting for something to happen. “I waited for hours to get those tickets.” Was the wait worth it? Maybe, maybe not. Waiting on God is a Godly, robust activity while we set aside our plans and actively trust God in His abilities and plans for us. God has promised good things to those who wait. Do we trust God to do what He said he would do? 

The second aspect of waiting on God is TIMING. Time is God’s gift to us. Time is nothing to God, He is timeless. When God told Abram he and Sarai would have a child, Abram laughed. They took things into their own hands and Abram had a child with Hagar. This was not God’s plan and was the beginning of centuries of trouble. When we pray, rest assured that God has heard our prayer and will answer it. Maybe not when we would like or in the manner in which we envision, but the answer will come when God says it is time. When my wife was suffering with a serious illness, I prayed, probably thousands of prayers, but she didn’t get better. Yes, I questioned His timing. I questioned why she was suffering. But I never once lost sight of the fact that she would one day be healed. She is now at peace with our Lord, having achieved perfect healing. I don’t fully understand why it had to be this way, but I accept it.

The third aspect of waiting on God is TERMS. We wait on God according to His terms. If this were not the case, God would become our vending machine. “God, I need a new car.” “BOOM! Go look in your driveway.” That’s certainly not the way it works. God has made many promises to those who wait on Him. But we must do it on His terms. Abraham didn’t wait on God’s terms, but tried to speed things up on his own. We come to understand God’s terms when we draw closer to Him, know Him, and meditate on his grace and goodness. This is how we learn what God would have us do. Doing it God’s way isn’t tiring. Going back to Isaiah 40:31 waiting on Him gives us strength, we will soar, we will not grow weary, we shall be strong and not faint of heart, we will find rest. 

Steven Curtis Chapman wrote:

“And in every situation He has proved His love to me:

When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.  Everything He has said he will do.

And every morning His mercies are new.

My redeemer is faithful and true.”

Wait on God.

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