Waiting can be exhausting. Waiting can be tedious. Waiting can be irritating. I am not a big fan of waiting.
When I go to the grocery store, I admit, I look for the shortest line possible because delays are annoying. My time is valuable. I have places to be, things to accomplish and people to see. When I have to wait long periods of time I tend to think about all the time wasted that I could be doing other things. More important things. But I am slowly learning that there is a hidden beauty in waiting. Sometimes a delay is for my own good and I am learning to accept this in many areas of my life…even at the grocery store.
Waiting on God can be the most frustrating suspension of time. When we find ourselves in a long season of waiting we can start to question God’s course of action, especially during a difficult season. As believers we understand that God has a plan. We know He will evidence Himself in great and glorifying deeds…BUT we are people that want it NOW. We don’t want to wait. There is always purpose in our wait on God. Waiting is frustrating, but it’s also transforming.
Waiting on God is an act that increases our faith. Often times waiting is a tool God uses to perfect our faith. It requires stilling ourselves before God no matter the situation. He uses it to transform our character. Trust increases greatly as we witness God moving and making strides of only He is capable. Moses was an impatient and brash man who killed and then hid the body. After his deed was discovered he was exiled. His character was changed by waiting. It prepared him for leading the Israelites into the desert. His faith continued to grow even during those long 40 years in the desert. He lived his life by God’s instruction and he became a great leader. Our faith increases when we allow God to show himself not just capable, but masterful in leading us.
Waiting allows God to clear the path for our Journey. Sometimes we get so frustrated with waiting that we run ahead of God and into brambles and thorns that have not yet been cleared. We think we know the best way to do something or the best way to arrive to a destination, and instead of waiting we run ahead and risk getting lost or injured. In our hurry we can make a big mistake that can cost us dearly as well as those around us. Abraham was promised a son with his wife, Sarah. The wait for this son was long. God had a perfect plan to create Isaac, but Abraham did not want to wait. Sometimes when you run ahead of God you end up with an Ishmael instead of an Isaac.
Waiting creates dependency upon God. When we become dependent on God our relating with Him increases. We seek him out. We talk to him. We listen for him. The result of our dependency on God is the invaluable intimacy that is fostered between the Father and us. Jesus is the ultimate example of intimacy and dependency on His Father. Jesus often withdrew Himself to be alone and pray. He was dependent on God for all his needs; spiritually and physically. When we become independent from God we can forget and go ahead on our own losing intimacy with our Father, which affects many areas of our lives.
Waiting increases our anticipation of God’s next great deed in our lives. It would be monotonous to watch same the 3 movies over and over, except for the classics. I could watch Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and the Wizard of Oz again and again. During the waiting we replay all the times God has been faithful. At the same time we are in anticipation for the next great deed. Everyone is excited to see the new summer blockbuster despite the 500,000 titles that have previously been celebrated. The anticipation builds buzz for the next great film that sure to be full of surprise, thrills, and action… perhaps it will become a new classic. When we replay, discuss, and share the prior times where God has proven Himself faithful (the classics) we increase our anticipation and find ourselves asking in excitement, “What will He do next?!”
Waiting reveals the true nature of our motives. Waiting entreats an evaluation of ourselves. Sometimes our desire of not wanting to wait can reveal our ambition for a short term gain that is egocentric in nature. Waiting helps to eradicate any pride we may have in our intentions for success or accomplishment. It is like the fire that removes impurities from silver; it refines our motives to be God led. Waiting allows for time and discovery to purge the dishonoring conceit from our motives so the resulting glory ALL goes to God and none to ourselves.
Waiting gives us opportunity to love others. Sometimes a period of waiting provides a passage of our journey that puts many new faces in our path. God creates opportunities to choose to love for every interaction we have in our lives. God is love. When we allow His Spirit to work in us we can more easily see these opportunities to be love to those around us. During times of unemployment we can choose to spend our time ministering to others. When we are waiting for a child we can help a busy mother with tasks or child care. As we wait for breakthrough in our lives we can share our journey with others to encourage and come alongside them as them as they wait for their breakthrough.
It is God Himself that is our example of love during waiting. He waits so patiently for us to come to Him…to reveal ourselves to Him, even though He already knows everything about us. To devote ourselves to Him, even though He is already devoted to us. To allow ourselves to be dependent on Him, even though He already provides all our needs. God loves us in our waiting and continues to pour His love on us while he awaits us to fully trust Him.
His love for us is transforming. His making us wait is purposeful. His inevitable glory inexplicable. There is beauty in the waiting…we just need to look for it.