High Speed Waiting

“High speed waiting.”

This sign above the entrance to a waiting room in a bus station in China made me smile.

It was attempting to describe the room where one waits for the high speed bus. But, isn’t this how we often feel about waiting: fly through it, and get it over quick?

One time my husband was on a train to a northern city in China — and a trip that was supposed to take 2-3 hours ended up taking TWELVE HOURS, as they kept stopping the train to shovel snow off the tracks.

Or, the time I stood in line for an hour at the hospital in order to rent a thermometer for my sick husband before the doctor would see him.

We wait. A lot. And, if you’re like me, it doesn’t always bring out your best self.

Our time is a precious commodity to us, and we don’t like to see it slip through our fingers. Think about how often we say (or at least think): “Well, that sure was a waste of time.”

We surely don’t like to wait for answers to prayers, healing for loved ones, God to tell us His plan for us, the test results to come back, or people we love to come to Jesus.

Then I think about all of the waiting in the Bible: Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Hannah, the Jews waiting centuries for the Messiah, Mary & Martha wondering if Jesus was going to show up to heal their brother.

Some of them waited well, and some of them didn’t, and took matters into their own hands. Waiting, it seems, is an intricate part of the human story.

What is the posture of my heart when God asks me to wait?

I’m learning that waiting is a good teacher … and a good mirror.

I’m learning that waiting requires surrender. Waiting teaches me to bend my knee and submit to my King.

Waiting opens up a unique space for conversation with God about the deep places of my soul.

Waiting has shown me my stubborn heart, my pride, my self-sufficiency. I really do want things my way.

But, greatest of all, waiting is an invitation. It is an invitation from the God who loves me with the love He has for his only Son. It is an invitation to sit with Him, lean into Him, and breathe deeply of His relentless, extravagant love.

We serve a God who has a grander, fuller picture of the Story He is writing.

We are loved by the God who lives outside of time, and holds history in His hands.

We are invited by the One who says, “Don’t be afraid.  I am the Beginning and the End…” (Revelation 1).

And we are adored by the One who knows exactly what we need and when, and promises to get us across the finish line, “to present us blameless before His glorious throne” (Jude).

What is the posture of my heart when God asks me to wait?

How I long to be like my brothers and sisters in Hebrews 11 who “were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.”

Maybe today you are simply waiting in a grocery store line. But, maybe today there are longings groaning in your heart that you ache to see fulfilled. Maybe your prayers feel unanswered or it feels like God hasn’t shown up.

My prayer for you — and for me — is that we will accept His invitation and tuck in tightly to our Shepherd as we wait, that we will fix our eyes on Him, “so that we will not become weary and lose heart.”

My prayer is that we will look back at His faithfulness and look forward in hope, trusting His heart for us and His great big hold on history

As we wait, let us encourage each other, as our good friend, C.S. Lewis did: “There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

For aren’t we all in the season of waiting right now, as we scan the horizon, longing for Him to return? As we live in the Kingdom of “already, but not yet,” we wait for Him to come again when He will make the crooked places straight and wipe away the final tears.

What is your heart posture as you wait?

What is God showing you through the process?


  1. Ashley Felder April 20, 2017

    Such great Truth! And that waiting is a good teacher…and mirror. Oh my, yes! What a great thought to ponder…kinda scary, but it definitely reveals another area to work on. I think of all the times I tell my kids to be more patient in times of waiting (although, for them it’s waiting for the next meal or when they can go knock on their friend’s door to play), yet I’m not so patient when waiting for THEM. Example: my dear middle child that you Aupps love so dearly. Every. single. day. when I ask him to get dressed for school, he goofs off until I hit the angry stage and give him a consequence. Every day! Lord, help me be patient in training these children…WAITING for them to learn the lessons You have for them!

    1. Renee Aupperlee April 21, 2017

      Thanks, Ashley. I am so with you. I think the Lord has used my kids in my life more than any other thing to show me my impatience. Whew. And, yes, we do adore that middle child (and all your kids!).

  2. Rachel Monger April 21, 2017

    Henri Nouwen makes very good sense of waiting! I found this quote of his helpful and amazing to reflect on it my time of waiting! “The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.”

    1. Renee Aupperlee April 21, 2017

      Rachel, what a great Nouwen quote. I love the idea of “active waiting” — and trusting that something IS happening in the middle of the waiting. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Casual Friday | Paracletos June 10, 2017

    […] of waiting… Renee Aupperlee wants to know the state of your heart when you are forced to wait. Good check-up for the global workers you […]

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