I think we all hate waiting rooms. You sit there awkwardly waiting unsure what to do. Should you people watch (no that’s creepy), watch the news on the TV (nothing interesting), read a magazine (you read that one last time), look at your phone (no texts – nobody loves you). So you fidget and awkwardly stare at your shoes. Maybe you play an app on your phone or count the tiles in the floor. Or you absentmindedly flip through a magazine you’re not interested in. If you’re lucky you have someone with you can talk to or you brought a book you can try and read. But the truth is we’re all looking at the clock. We’re all watching the minutes tick by wondering how much longer we’ll have to wait. Wait… We all hate that word.
You sit there attempting to be patient but really you just wish they’d hurry up. Waiting is frustrating…you have people to see, places to go, and things to do. In today’s world, we are always in motion… So the process of waiting for anything feels excruciating! Waiting in line, waiting for your meal, waiting rooms, waiting for the doctor, waiting for the holidays, waiting till your birthday… All of it sucks.
But what if we began to look at waiting differently?
Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
I don’t know about you but I need that. I want to not grow weary and I need him to renew my strength.
In my Tuesday night Bible study, we’ve been reading through Genesis. This past week we spoke about the long expected wait of Abraham and Sarah. God had promised them a son and they waited 25 YEARS for God to fulfill his promise. 25 years! Meanwhile I’m anxious when I have to wait 25 minutes or even 25 seconds. Seriously, I can hardly imagine the agony Abraham and Sarah must have been in. Is God going to do it? Did God forget? Did God change is mind? Is God even real? So many questions and doubts and worries must have been rolling around in their minds. Yet they waited and God provides.
Why did God make them wait? He must have had a reason. He must have had a plan. He must have had something he wanted to teach them.
He made them wait so they would learn to trust him and depend on him. He made them wait to show them he would fulfill his promises. Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 … He had them wait so he could show his power and strength. Waiting brought the glory and honour to God. Waiting was good for them and it’s good for us too.
So many people in scripture had to wait… The Isrealights wait 40 years in the desert, Noah waited 40 nights in the ark, Jonah waited 3 days in the belly of the whale, the disciples waited for Jesus to resurrect, Christians have been waiting thousands of years for Christ to return. Waiting was important back then and it’s important today.
Learning to wait devolops patience, trust reliance and dependence on the Father. Waiting teaches us to anticipate. It helps us savour God’s promises and helps us see him when things come to fruition. Waiting for the Lord teaches us to be still, to listen and lean on Him. Waiting instills in us a heart of a servant, and it evokes true thankfulness when it does happen. Waiting puts things in perspective and helps focus is on what’s important. Waiting is good for us. When we wait he is shaping us, moulds us and preparing us for what comes next. Without the wait how could we learn all these powerful things?
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.” – Psalm 130:5
I feel like I’m always waiting. Waiting for a husband. Waiting to have kids. Waiting to pay off my student debt. Waiting for God to call me to the mission field. Waiting to hear back from that medical report. Waiting for someone to come hom. Waiting.
And it’s hard! Really hard. What are you waiting for?
The Lord is speaking to both of us… He says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord.”
He promises us in Psalm 25:3, “Indeed, none who wait for you [Lord], shall be put to shame…”
Will you wait with me? As I learn to trust the Lord, I pray that you will also learn to trust.