Waiting on God can sometimes be like standing at the intersection waiting for the light to change. There are times when you need that light to linger so you can catch your breath. Other times you feel like you’ve been sitting at that light for hours, days or in my case, years.
No one wants to wait for long. Unless the wait is for something really exciting. Concert, theater or game tickets might deem worthy of the wait. Some things you expect to have to wait for like a drivers license, the airport, for a bus or a train. Waiting on God can be challenging at times. But we can rest knowing that God has the outcome in hand. God often doesn’t do things the way we think He should. If we are insistent on getting our way then waiting on the Lord can be intolerable. Releasing our demand that God do things our way is the first step toward peace.
Waiting in line at the supermarket, I want through as quickly as possible. No one wants to take up residence in line. We’ve all seen that one person in line at the store who is so totally impatient that they shout their demands. They hurl insults at those who don’t jump through hoops or cower in fear at their rebukes. Some times some of us have been that intolerant belligerent individual barking out commands as if the world should bow in respect to our very presence. That kind of behavior might make other people shrink back and give us what we want just to get rid of us but it certainly doesn’t win us any respect. It also doesn’t get us very far with God.
James 4:6 NIV But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Psalm 138:6 NLT Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
“Waiting too long in a line is often perceived as a violation of our right to manage and control our time,” said Carol Bruess, a St. Thomas professor specializing in communication behavior. (quotes from Star Tribune article)
“At the end of the day — or, at the end of the line — our choices about lines come down to a basic tenet of human behavior: meeting and fulfilling needs,” she said. “If what comes at the front of the line is important enough to us, we’ll wait for it. And your perception of what’s important might be dramatically different from mine.”
As a society entrenched in immediate gratification, Americans tend to feel their civil liberties have been violated if they have to wait. It doesn’t matter if another American is standing in front of them they still feel waiting is an unnecessary inconvenience for which they should be compensated. It’s embedded in our modern culture. Waiting is just not to be tolerated. Having patience used to be a virtue. Now it’s looked on as an oddity. Everyone wants to be treated with tolerance but few seem to want to be the one extending it. We have a choice. We don’t have to give in to the demand to be serviced immediately. We can wait. Waiting is a choice. If I can chose to wait in line for tickets to a show I want to see, or a ride I want to experience I can certainly wait for God to move in my life.
There is a promise for those who wait upon the Lord.
Psalm 37:7-9 NLT Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.
Isaiah 40:31 NASB 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.
Galatians 6:9 ESV Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.
Proverbs 20:22 NIV Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.
1 Corinthians 1: 7-9 NIV Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
Psalm 37:34 BSB Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
Psalm 31:24 YLT Be strong, and He strengtheneth your heart, All ye who are waiting for Jehovah!
Waiting on the Lord to act can be frustrating at times but it is also quite rewarding. I’ve learned over the years that if I commit a situation or problem to the Lord He will take care of it. I can trust the outcome because God has proved Himself to be trustworthy. I tend to take matters into my own hands. But I have learned that if I relinquish my rights to a quick outcome and trust God with results I am always better off in long run.
Sometimes I have to wrestle with my own soul in order to let go of wanting a certain outcome. When I take my desire to the Lord and surrender to His will to be rather than my own He fills me with His peace and assurance. We can trust God to work all things for our good.
Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.