I have never been very good at waiting, but it seems pretty clear to me by this point in my life that it is one of those tools the Lord uses to inform me of areas of character He has not yet fully sanctified.
I can’t even recall my earliest waiting experience, but I know there were all the usual ones most of us relate to. Waiting for Christmas morning, waiting to get a grade on a test, waiting to hear if I were picked for a team or a part in a play, waiting for summer vacation, waiting to go see the movie I anticipated…. and the list goes on.
Sometimes when we are young, we are also waiting to grow up so we get to do all those things we think are better than the things we get to do now.
We tend to try to rush life along when we are young. We want to experience that first car, first date, first job, first apartment, and so much more. Maybe life as a child or teen seems to drag along because we are too often waiting on what we think will be better ahead and never savor the now of childhood.
My dislike of waiting highlights my impatience, my self-centered existence, and my wavering faith and trust to name just a few things.
As I got older, I still felt like “I can’t wait” when I was waiting on a child to be born, waiting on a decision about a new job, or waiting to hear my husband was on his way home from being overseas. That feeling began to be tempered, however, as time and experience taught me that the news was not always what I hoped for, the opportunity did not always manifest itself, and prayers were not always answered in the time or way I wished.
God truly is sovereign! He is ever looking out for our best and how to shape and mold us to look like, be like, and do things more like Him. I don’t think any of us can imagine Him pacing impatiently around heaven because the news He is expecting has not yet arrived.
Some seasons of waiting are especially difficult. Things like waiting on medical test results, homecomings for service members, waiting for some injustice to be made right, and news of a job when we are unemployed are not easy no matter what our age or season of life.
Scripture often reminds us to wait. How often has someone quoted Isaiah 40:31 to you in your season of waiting?
“…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.” (ESV)
In a hard waiting season, the words may feel much less comforting than the person who spoke them may desire them to be.
How I wait and likely how you wait is very much affected by a great many variables including, but not limited to:
- The meaning or value of the thing or one we are waiting for
- Our perspective on whether we anticipate something positive or fear something negative
- Our past experience with waiting
- How we view God’s goodness toward us as well as His faithfulness and trustworthiness
- How much we own of God’s love for us
As I was reflecting on this today, I tried to turn this around and look at it differently. When I did, other perspectives came to mind that were not there before.
- How long did God wait for me to accept Him and make Him a priority?
- How long has God been waiting on His church to love Him above all others and to be prepared as His bride for His return?
- How long has God waited for me, you, or any of us to recognize the truth about Him, the truth about ourselves, and what He desires?
These questions begin to adjust my perspective and remind me that He does not see or experience time as I do or you do.
He always and forever looks at things through an eternal lens with an everlasting perspective.
That brings me to repentance for my impatience for so many temporal things, temporal answers, and temporal desires.
It also reminds me that my eagerness for His return is the one desire that should temper all else and remind me of His goodness toward us. It causes eagerness in the waiting because of the confidence in that goodness and faithfulness.
Will it also influence my living while I wait?