(Image Credit – Tracy Cooper)
I am waiting right now, for a lot of things. I’m waiting while paying off financial debts, waiting for summer vacation from my teaching job, waiting for a writers’ conference I’m attending this summer and so on. All of these “next big things” will have a positive result, yet I don’t always wait well. Then, I think about others who have more pain in their waiting. Friends of mine are waiting to hear about placement of a child in their home after completing adoption paperwork and having two birth moms choose other parents for their babies. Another friend is waiting on progress results from intensive radiation for brain cancer, after having overcome breast cancer already. Yet another is waiting to meet someone special after years of being single. Waiting for the next big thing is no easy task.
Life is made of spans of time that take up the space between things we are praying, dreaming and hoping for. It’s within these spans that we either grow stronger or grow discouraged. My waiting and the waiting of my friends runs the gamut, from minute to monumental. It’s in the waiting that our mettle is tested and our character is developed, or diminished. Waiting and waiting well are two different creatures indeed. I know this because I have done my share of waiting ungracefully.
Waiting well is not only honoring to the Lord, but is a witness to others. To trust Him means we must allow Him to work in our period of waiting. He works both on our circumstances and on our inner selves. Grumbling, murmuring and complaining don’t make our wait any shorter, and they certainly don’t bless those around us. Learning to abide in Jesus while we wait is a discipline that should not be overlooked.
The bible provides plenty of advice and encouragement for those who are in a period of waiting:
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. -Psalm 27:14
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation, My God will hear me. -Micah 7:7
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31
Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. -Hosea 12:6
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. -James 5:7-8
I encourage you to meditate on these, and perhaps choose one at a time to memorize and internalize. Hiding the word of God in your heart renders you equipped with a mighty weapon with which to battle fear and doubt while waiting well.