I hate the word wait. I honestly would rather hear a “yes” or a “no”, even if that isn’t the answer I am hoping for, so that I can deal with what that answer means and move on. But “wait”?! Ugh! That means I have to slow my plans down, be patient, and sit in ambiguity until an answer comes.
The cry before any race or competition begins is “On your mark” or “Take your marks.” This is the prompt to fix your eyes on your goal. Where are you headed? What do you wish to accomplish? The next phrase to follow is “Get set” – align your position to accomplish that goal. With eager anticipation, we attack when we hear the word “GO!” We start moving toward the mark that we have named the “finish line.” But what if the length of time between “get set” and “go” seems to last an inordinate amount of time? This pause can cause us to question everything. Do I have the wrong mark/goal? Did I miss the “go”? In the waiting time, we often get frustrated, tense up, or lose patience.
A seven-year-old taught me the definition of patience. He said, very matter-of-factly: “Patience is happy waiting.” I can’t think of a time that I happily wait. I felt chastised by a seven-year-old.
Perhaps you have had to wait for a paycheck. Or wait for the results of an exam or licensing course. Or to get in to see a doctor. Or for medical results. Or information from an inspection of a house. Or for an employer or a client to make a decision. Maybe you are waiting to hear if tickets for something will become available. Or if you already have tickets, you are waiting for a start time to post so that you can make your plans. Are you waiting to hear if you have qualified for something? I could go on for longer than you have time to read, but hopefully, something resonated with you so that we can share angst about having to wait.
I was convicted this week that angst over waiting signals a lack of trust in the Lord. Everything is in His perfect timing. So, if I have to wait, He is likely sparing me from something, getting ready to do something more grandiose than I anticipated, or going to bring Himself more glory through the thing I want to power through.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
If trusting means waiting on God’s timing, I should also trust Him to help me shoulder the result of the waiting. I shouldn’t be anxious or angry about having to wait. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Since God knows all (and all means all), He knows the desire of our heart – what we want. But He knows us better than we know ourselves, so He will answer in a way that is ultimately for our best. And He is faithful. And loving. With the rope made of these three strands, He throws us His lifeline to hang onto in the waiting. When we go to Him in the waiting and trust in His faithful love, He gives us the peace to do it happily.
When we find ourselves in a state of waiting, we might consider it as a drumroll, which is what we hear before something really big and wonderful happens. God is great. And He wants us to trust that what we are waiting for is worth it – because He has deemed it worth our waiting.