I pressed the power button and waited. As usual, the white dots appeared and began circling in the middle of the blank blue screen as the laptop booted up. What was probably only mere seconds felt more like minutes and I might have grumbled under my breath, “Come on!” The waiting was surely getting the better of me. That is, until I took note of the wording directly beneath that hypnotic circle. It said, “Please wait”. Ha! I sarcastically chuckled to myself. I mean, as if you can actually do anything else?
Confession: I am not good at waiting.
I stand in line at the supermarket. There are stickers on the floor that are placed 3 feet apart, encroaching into the narrow aisles. On any given Saturday, you can find yourself standing at the back of the line that actually wraps around into the next aisle. The wait time is at least a half hour. All the while, the perishables are perishing and my patience is waning. I exhale heavy underneath my mask, the moisture of which fogs up my glasses.
Confession: I am not good at waiting.
I oft escape to the one place in the house where quiet happens for me. On that bathroom floor, I sit with my knees drawn tight to my chest and pray. I keep crying out to God for the desires of my heart—the aching of which I’ve tried to grow numb to over the years, but the heaviness of which I cannot ignore. They are all there, you know, buried deep down. Desires that I want to surface, that maybe even need to surface. Desires that I want to see happen, like now. The tears rolling down my cheeks signal my fatigue in it all and, by all, I mean the waiting to hear from God, the lonely in the living of this overseas life, and the grief of missing what I thought life would look like. Yet in it all, I do know this—the Spirit is still bidding me to wait. Just wait.
Doesn’t He know? Of course He knows. I am not good at waiting.
See, waiting has always felt like an exercise of wasting time to my type “A” self. The very origin of the Old Northern French word “wait” means “to watch with hostile intent.” Apparently, they, too, would’ve rather taken charge of the situation in the early 1200’s.
But the call to waiting happened long before its earthly definition in the 13th century—and I, for one, would do well to remember this.
Just look at Noah. He waited 120 years for God to fulfill the covenant that He made with him. Spelled out, that’s one hundred and twenty years! He’d never seen rain, much less experienced a flood, but Noah heeded God’s instructions and built a massive ark in his season of waiting. His was an active wait. He wasn’t just watching. He was preparing for what the Lord said was to come.
In the waiting, there is an expectancy of promise.
Look at David. He waited 15 years between the time that he was anointed as king by Samuel to actually becoming the king over all of Israel and Judah. While in this waiting, David would go back to the fields to shepherd the sheep, would go on to defeat the giant Goliath, and would be banished by Saul. He found himself living a life on the run and at the heart of many a battle. But David’s turbulent time of waiting became God’s tenacious training ground.
In the waiting, there must be steadfast trust.
Look at Hannah. She was a woman who was barren and her rival taunted her relentlessly because of it. She couldn’t eat. She wept bitterly. She was totally downhearted. But Hannah was also a woman of fervent prayer. In her waiting, she’d persistently pour out her broken heart to God with so much desperation and grief that she was even accused of being drunk. But she didn’t let it stop her. Hers was a waiting of bent knees and empty spaces—yearning for the Lord to do the impossible and open her womb.
In the waiting, there are longings that are only meant to be filled by God.
Look at Cross of Christ. It was a place of both pain and Promise, of persecution and Providence, of pardon and of Peace. It was a place where the waiting brought anguish to the Messiah and Hope to the world. It was the place where Love, bound by nails to the tree, still is the very way that sets the repentant heart free.
In the waiting, there is Hope resurrected.
Now, look at us. We are all waiting on something, aren’t we? Some dream to become reality or a healing from an infirmity or maybe a long-awaited conception. Most importantly, we are all waiting for second coming of Christ. So, in the spirit of Advent, I want to encourage you (and me) to wait well.
For in the waiting, God renews our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
In the waiting, He will exalt you. (Psalm 37:34)
In the waiting, He is good. (Lamentations 3:25-26)
In the waiting, He hears your cry. (Psalm 40:1)
In the waiting, you will not be put to shame. (Psalm 25:3)
In the waiting, He restores your soul (Psalm 23:1-3)
In the waiting, He will avenge you. (Proverbs 20:22)
In the waiting, He is acting on your behalf. (Isaiah 64:4)
So wait. Wait with expectancy of His promises. Wait trusting in and longing for God. Wait knowing there is Hope resurrected. Wait, not watching with hostile intent, but watching with hearty resolve.
Are you finding it hard to wait on God during the current season of your life?