Human beings do not like to wait. By nature, we are impatient. We find it hard to trust the process. We are quick to take matters into our own hands.
And, you’d think, as believers, that we’d have a somewhat better track record in the waiting game, than unbelievers. After all, both long-suffering and faith are fruit of the Spirit.
Yet, the Bible has many examples of godly people who didn’t wait or didn’t wait long enough. Most were waiting for specific promises to be fulfilled. In retrospect, salvation was just around the corner. But, they didn’t know that. Impatience lost the day, with repeatedly disastrous results.
- Saul waited seven days for Samuel, then offered the burnt offering. He lost the kingdom.
- Abraham waited 11 years for God to fulfill his promise of an heir. He planned his own solution, fathered a son on Hagar, and 2,500 plus years of history speak to the fiasco that’s been.
Conversely, the Bible has many examples of what happens when people just kept waiting on the Lord. They’re such a good reminder to me.
One of my favorite examples is the story of David, Nabal and Abigail.
It is ironic that David put up with all kinds of harassment from Saul, but his fuse was rather short with Nabal. Nabal insulted David and his men, and David was (literally) on the warpath.
Then Abigail intervenes, and in her wisdom persuades David to wait. Her impeccable logic was…”you’ve waited long and patiently for the Lord to work in the matter of the throne, why mess it up by taking this matter into your own hands?”
The Lord has restrained you from blood guilt and from saving with your own hand.(1 Samuel 25:26, 29, 31 ESV)
The life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God.
My lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for…working salvation himself.
My favorite phrases: the Lord has restrained you (wow!), bound in the bundle of the living (so poetic), and no pangs of conscience for working salvation himself (whew!).
Personally, I just like resolution. No dangling threads. No unresolved issues. No broken communication. No upheaval in relationships.
I don’t like sitting in the unknown, abiding in the tension, doing nothing.
Waiting is HARD.
It may be the hardest.
It is certainly harder, in the short run, than pushing for resolution and finagling results. Working my own salvation.
But, in the long run, it pays to wait on the Lord.
A new favorite hymn is I Will Wait for You, based on Psalm 130.
Out of the depths I cry to you, in darkest places I will call,Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker, Keith Getty, Stuart Townend
Incline your ear to me anew, and hear my cry for mercy, Lord.
Were You to count my sinful ways, how could I come before your throne?
But full forgiveness meets my gaze, I stand redeemed by grace alone.
I will wait for You, surely wait for You, on Your word I will rely.
I will wait for You, surely wait for You, ’til my soul is satisfied.
So put your hope in God alone, take courage in His power to save,
Completely and forever won by Christ’s emerging from the grave.
Now He has come to make a way, and God Himself has paid the price,
That all who trust in Him today, find healing in His sacrifice.
I will wait for You, surely wait for You, through the storm and through the night.
I will wait for You, surely wait for You, for Your love is my delight.
For the believer, waiting is not a static activity. Waiting is a courageous act.
It’s the deepest cry of our hearts from the darkest places…a desperate call to the Lord. A cry for mercy.
It’s confident reliance on the Lord, based on His immutable character, and His unchanging word.
Waiting anticipates imminent salvation, inevitable healing, approaching satisfaction.
Even in the darkest hour. In the deepest pit. In the most jarring conflict. In the broken relationship. In the roughest storm.
Waiting is to put my trust in God alone, in His power to save. In His mercy, and redemption, grace and healing. Waiting is an acknowledgement of a higher power at work on my behalf, for my good and His glory.
In God alone
Not God and me, and my efforts to finagle, power through, or otherwise force the issue.
When God works in His perfect time, the result is soul satisfaction, not pangs of conscience.
Healing and redemption instead of blood and guilt.
My soul waits for the Lord, more than the watchman for the morning…for with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with Him plentiful redemption. (Psalm 130:7 ESV)
What are you waiting for?