by Tiffany Dickerson
The title of this blog seems counter-intuitive doesn’t it? No one likes to wait, and waiting well seems nearly impossible. I liken it to my four-year-old on pizza night. There is a very small window of time for me to put his pizza on his plate and get it to the table before waiting well goes out the window. Adults are no different. Our issues and needs are just a little more complex than waiting for dinner to reach the table.
Seasons of waiting often come in our lives. As a kid, you can’t wait to grow up and graduate high school. As an adult, you can’t wait to get that first job and start your career. Then there are those seasons of waiting on a spouse or children. Sadly, there are seasons where we wait and hope for the cancer treatments to work, a wayward child to come back to Jesus, or even a global pandemic to end. Ultimately, we all await something much greater. Our hearts wait and long for the day when Jesus returns and we live in His presence forever. We all wait, but how we wait says a lot about our faith.
In seasons of waiting, we tend to think there isn’t anything we can do. We simply endure until the thing we desire finally happens or, depending on the situation, goes away. But what if, instead of enduring, we flourish in our waiting. God’s Word isn’t silent about waiting. He tells us in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Wait for the Lord….
The author of Psalm 27:14 is David. David was a king that God appointed to lead Israel, and if anyone knew about waiting, it was David. Samuel, the last judge over Israel, anointed David nearly fifteen years before David became king. During many of those years, he was on the run from King Saul, who wanted to kill him. David eagerly awaited the time he would become king, but he understood his need for God was much greater than his earthly desire. Part of waiting well is remembering that, first and foremost, our souls wait for Christ to return. When our focus remains on waiting for Christ to come and take his children home, our earthly waiting pales in comparison. The waiting may be long and even a lifetime, but we wait with great hope and expectation. James points us to this hope in James 5:7-8, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
In the Psalms, David encourages the reader to be strong, but how do we do that in an increasingly sinful and hostile world? Paul says in Colossians 3:2 to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” To do this, we must meditate on Scripture. The Bible is where we learn true wisdom and knowledge originate. It is in the very words of Christ we find life and hope. We take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and we do battle against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-20). Our strength comes from the Lord, and we know Him through His Word.
Our world believes courage is the absence of fear. For the Christian, courage comes from the Lord. He has already won the battle against Satan, sin, and death. “Take heart, I have overcome the world,” Jesus tells us in John 16:33. Our courage in a dark world is on display when we heed the words of the psalmist, “commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5). God will act on our behalf, and we have courage because we trust his plan. In your waiting, remember it sometimes takes more courage to accept the season and what God has for you to learn than rushing through, getting what you wanted, and learning nothing.
Don’t fear seasons of waiting. Often, it is in the waiting when we learn the most. It is in the waiting when we realize the only thing worth waiting for is the presence of God. The great British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said it so well, “If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.” Let’s be a people that wait well and set an example to a lost world. May our waiting draw them, and us, ever closer to our Savior, who is always right on time.