I don’t like waiting for anything, but I seem to do a lot of it. Waiting is the nature of this life, I suppose. We wait to grow up so that we can be independent. We wait for the birth of children. We wait for cherished holidays, for beloved relatives to arrive, for the appointed time to open gifts. We wait in line to check out at the grocery store, wait endlessly for an amusement park ride, wait our turn to graduate, all for an expected payoff for our patience. The world waited centuries for a Savior.
We wait for prayers to be answered, nightmares to end, dreams to be realized. We wait for medical treatments to work, for test results, for heartache to go away. I once waited to relocate to a more desirable locale, much longer than I ever expected or wanted. Many years ago I gave God permission to work His will through the details of my life and He took me seriously. It has been quite the adventure, and it has been a lot of waiting.
Now, I am waiting again for big changes in my life. I believe I am ready for them; I know I welcome the idea of changes. Many days I find myself tempted to twiddle my thumbs and drum my fingers, actually catch myself doing them, because I am impatient with the waiting. I am ready for life to move forward in a big way. God gave me the gift of analysis, to see a situation and devise solutions. I have a solution to my current situation plainly mapped out in my head, steps one through ten neatly spelled out. Deep inside me, though, I know God says it isn’t His time yet. His time. Isn’t it MY life?
The great temptation for me is to take matters into my own hands rather than waiting on God to work circumstances and people into the places He wants them before I make my changes. I feel the pull to rely on my own logic, to cut God out of the process of deciding what changes to make and how to make them. I question if God truly cares about the details of my life, if He really is working all of the mess and confusion of my life into something that is good for the long term.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
God causes. All things. To work together for good. It is one of the many wonders of God that He sees all of time all at once as one big picture of good. I am but one small puzzle piece He shapes so that I will fit in His plan for eternal blessing. If I choose to shape myself, I do not fit anywhere in His limitless mosaic. Some pieces in the puzzle need more shaping than others, but all are precious to Him. Each and every piece is a treasure to Him. With my permission, He works on me like a craftsman, honing intricate edges and fluid curves. He fashions the events of my life so that they put the right facet in just the right place on me. So that I will fit. He wants me to fit. I want to fit.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
I learned a long time ago to take Mr. Rogers’ advice to heart and “find something to do while I am waiting.” So, during each and every interlude of waiting I find productive things to do. Things which honor God. Things which bless those around me. And I seek God more earnestly than ever before, begging for His guidance, still asking for His moving of me to the next place, to show me plainly how and when and where and why. He eventually provides the when and where. He doesn’t always provide the how and why. Silly me!
Looking back, I see that sometimes the periods of waiting have been times of healing and rest. They last longer than I want them to, but they are important to my well-being. Occasionally, the time of waiting is an episode of profound growth when I learn new-to-me truths and flesh out an unknown-to-me about God. Such times are filled with wrestling with God, figuring out how to align my will to His, letting go of my idea of what should come next and adopting His idea. Once in a while, the waiting is not about me but about someone else God is working on to bring to the place of blessing for both of us.
“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
“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:5,6
“Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.” Isaiah 26:8
“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.” Isaiah 40:31
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
The first century Christians anxiously waited for Jesus’ return. (Romans 8:25, 1 Corinthians 4:5, Philippians 3:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:10) Do I wait eagerly for the Lord to return? Is it more important to me to be ready for His return than it is to be ready for the next big change in my life? I prepare for the next chapter of my life by doing what I need to do to hear God’s instruction and leading. Am I listening for the trumpet call that will announce the arrival of the Son of God? (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
So I wait in promised hope of a blessing greater than I can imagine–the next step in my adventure with God in this life. And I wait for my Savior to return, to take me Home with the rest of His beloved. Waiting for God is never a wrong move.
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.'” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him, It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25, 26
All Bible quotes are from Zondervan’s Classic Reference Bible, New American Standard Bible–Updated Edition copyright 1999 by Zondervan
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.