I could make a career out of waiting. Looking back, I can point out any period in my life and tell you what I was waiting for. And I’m not done yet. Despite all this practice, I’m still not proficient at it. I guess you could say I’m waiting for patience.
Whether it was a friend when I was a kid, I husband when I grew up, or a baby after I got married, there has always been something to wait for. At the moment, I’m waiting for milk and honey.
My husband and I made a big change last month and moved 1,000 miles away to Texas. And I’m still waiting for God to tell us why. So far, it’s not the promise land I expected.
But what can I do? My hands are tied. My husband and I are doing all that we can to make our new home here, but so much of it is in God’s hands that there is a lot of waiting left over.
The Bible tells us multiple times to wait on the Lord and I’ve always thought this command was a little odd. So often when I’ve been called to wait on Him, I haven’t really had a choice.
Take waiting on Him to get married, for example. Well, I had to wait for Him to work because no one would even ask me out on a date. Now, when it comes to waiting in Texas for His will for our future, we can only go so far before it’s all in His hands and we are forced to wait on His timing.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And whining. And complaining. And worrying. But not trusting, or praising, or hoping.
But the Lord has been showing me that there is more to waiting than just sitting around and grumbling, as I’m so prone to do.
He has been calling me to hope.
I don’t like hoping. It hurts too much. Over the years, I’ve placed my hope in a lot of the wrong things, and I’ve been disappointed as a result.
We tend to think of hope as this weak thing, the least expected outcome, or something that’s just a step or two above worse case scenario. Hope has become a wimpy word.
In the Bible, it’s often used synonymously with waiting. And more than that, waiting expectantly.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
When we are commanded to wait on the Lord, many of us (*raises hand*) do so begrudgingly, worrying all the while that what’s coming isn’t gonna be all that great. But that’s not being obedient to the command.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
See, that’s what waiting should look like. It should acknowledge that the Lord is our portion, everything we need. Waiting should involve seeking after Him as the ultimate prize. And eagerly anticipating His will to be done.
Hope means waiting with great expectations. It means praising God and celebrating the victory before it even comes.
That’s the interesting thing about when the walls of Jericho came down; they fell after the Israelites raised the victory cry. When Judah came under attack in 2 Cor.20, God told them to stand still because the battle was His. They didn’t even have to fight their enemy; God defeated the enemy while the Israelites were praising Him, before they even made it to the battle ground, because they’d put their hope in Him.
Waiting isn’t easy, it isn’t supposed to be. And neither is hoping. God has an amazing plan for each and every one of us that can only come through the long hard wait.
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Those words ‘perseverance’ and ‘character’ are translated in the King James Bible as ‘patience’ and ‘experience.’
That’s why it’s so important to ‘let patience have its perfect work’ in us, and wait the right way.
Instead of asking God “Are we there yet?” we should spend the time thanking Him for the journey and for the end that He has planned.
Instead of worrying about whether things will work out the way we want them too, we can get our mopey thoughts off ourselves and look for ways we can love on others.
No matter what you’re waiting for, no matter how long the road looks, cling to hope.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
From now on, I’m determined to wait the right way, hopefully.