There are so many seasons of waiting. When I was single, much of the waiting conversation revolved around finding a spouse. But after being married for six years, I’ve seen clearly that waiting is required of us in every single stage of life. Waiting is difficult because it requires trust. We can’t see the end game; we don’t know the outcome. We’re standing still (or so it feels like) until the next step if revealed to us.
Waiting doesn’t feel productive, but it does some of the most profound soul-work we will ever experience. We’d like to make the most of the wait – fix things. Do stuff.
I know what it means to be a ‘fixer’. I want to amend my circumstances, get them under control, or revise my schedule for the least amount of difficulty and disorganization. Looking in Scripture, we see some examples of how our forefathers (and mothers) handled those hard seasons of wait.
Sarah tried to fix her barrenness through Hagar.
Peter tried to fix Jesus’ death by forbidding Him to go to the cross.
“David learned to wait on God in a beautiful and strong way. Like Sarah and Peter, David was a man of weakness and strength. He committed adultery and murder, but he confesssed both these sins and is called a man after God’s own heart. We learn three things about how to wait from David: wait with courage, wait in hope, and bow to God’s timeline.” (Linda Dillow)
1. Wait with Courage
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
David was a shepherd and a king, but also a warrior. It’s the warrior’s heart that calls out here, in a way, summoning himself to stand up and be strong. This is a call to battle! We have to fight emotions and despair to wait on God, summoning our heart to the front lines and saying I WILL see the goodness of the Lord!
2. Wait in Hope
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (Psalm 25:5, NLT)
“The Hebrew word for ‘wait’ means to twist or stretch, and includes the idea of the tension of enduring.” According to Linda Dillow, this connotation invokes two images: connection and tension. As we wait, we have a constant tension that keeps us connected to God. Have you ever been out to eat while starving, waiting for your food to arrive? Every time the server comes out of the kitchen you watch to see if they are coming to your table. A silly illustration perhaps – but we wait the same way on God. Are we focused on His face, awaiting an answer, a change, to our situation? Trials give us a direct line to God to watch and wait, hoping in His salvation.
3. Bow to God’s Timeline
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God. My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:14-15)
David’s circumstances were more horrific than many of us could ever imagine. In tune with my post on attitude, I’ve tried to remember to thank God for that daily. My circumstances are in no way comparable to what David and so many other saints have dealt with. Even so, there are still some trials that I face, whether petty or large, and my response is 90% of the problem. Do I hand these things over to God and say, “My times are in Your hand?”
Whether I think they are or not, they are. I just need to live in that thought.
I won’t say a lot more. I don’t have this mastered. The book Satisfy My Thirsty Soul inspired this post has been so much to take in, but very freeing in the process. I’ll end with a passage that identifies why we can hope in God so confidently:
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary.
And to her who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
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 faint.
We hear this passage so much it’s easy to ignore how powerful it is.
Those who wait… rise up.
Those who wait… gain new strength.
Those who wait… run tirelessly.
Those who wait… walk with God.
Your waiting has meaning when you bow it to the Lord.