Do you know anyone who is good at waiting?
Waiting occupies the time between the moment a need is realized until it is met.
- It could be a few seconds, like waiting for the thunder after the lightning struck nearby.
- It may be a matter of minutes as in waiting for your food to arrive after the waiter has taken your order.
- We wait for days for an order we placed online to arrive in the mail.
- It certainly is a careful accounting of weeks and months until a new baby arrives.
- Perhaps we wait (and work) faithfully for years building the credits to be awarded the degree.
We wait seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years—and sometimes, a lifetime.
It would be accurate to suppose that any moment in anyone’s life is a moment spent waiting on something.
A Skill Learned in Childhood
Just when a child is old enough to communicate what he/she wants, he/she has to learn how to wait. Even as adults, we are never quite happy about “waiting our turn” if what we are waiting for promises to be pleasurable.
On the Path of Life, waiting takes its place alongside the other essential skills required by the prospect of getting from here—life on earth—to there—life in the glories of heaven:
- Learning skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking—and waiting;
- Spiritual skills: believing, confessing, praying, praising, reading the Word—and waiting;
- Interpersonal skills: loving, being lovable, supporting, being supported, honoring; receiving honor—and waiting;
- Financial skills: giving, receiving, saving, investing, spending, selling, buying—and waiting.
I need not go on.
A Skill Demanded by Adulthood
I don’t mean a certain age, though sometimes age and adulthood arrive simultaneously. What I really mean is spiritual maturity. Waiting is an exercise in faith, a demonstration of confidence in God, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in advance of answered prayer.
Since waiting is something we all must do, let’s put a smile on our heart as we wait on God.
- Parents of prodigals—God has heard your prayers and is at work in their rebellious, trouble hearts.
- Pastors of troubled churches—keep preaching the Word, loving God and feeding the sheep. Jesus still brings down walls of hostility.
- Worship Leaders and Lead Worshipers—keep praying and leading in prayer, praising and leading in praise. The Lord has promised to pour out His Spirit in the Last Days.
- Students—keep on studying; salesmen keep on selling; managers keep on managing and workers keep on working.
Waiting is not passive inactivity. Waiting is the work life demands—the planting, watering and tending that brings the harvest.
Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication. If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, O Lord, who could stand? For there is forgiveness with you; therefore you shall be feared. I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy; With him there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.
Hebrews 6:13-15 NIV
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 37:1-7 NIV
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Jude 20-21 NIV
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Titus 2:11-14 NIV
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Romans 8:23-25 NIV
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Lord Jesus, help me to wait in faith believing! When answers to prayers are delayed, I will wait in faith believing. When needs persist, I will trust in You and wait in faith believing. When it seems the enemy will win, I will wait for Your victory in battle. As I praise You, give me confidence. As I obey You today, going about my work as if everything is just fine, each completed task draws me closer to Your answer, Your provision, Your reward. I will wait upon You and You will renew my strength! Amen and Amen.
Waiting on the Lord
Words and Music: Charles F. Weigle
1. Waiting on the Lord, for the promise given;
Waiting on the Lord, to send from Heaven;
Waiting on the Lord, by our faith receiving,
Waiting in the Upper Room.
The Power! The Power!
Gives victory over sin and purity within;
The Power! The Power!
The power they had a Pentecost.
2. Waiting on the Lord, giving all to Jesus;
Waiting on the Lord, till from sin He frees us;
Waiting on the Lord, for the heavenly breezes
Waiting in the Upper Room!
3. Waiting on the Lord, longing to mount higher;
Waiting on the Lord, having great desire;
Waiting on the Lord, for the Heavenly fire;
Waiting in the Upper Room.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved