“Wait on the Lord” is a common saying in Christian circles. It sounds good. It sounds holy. In reality, it is a discipline that doesn’t come easily for many people, especially me. I like to take charge and make things happen, and when I can’t, it frustrates me.

Even more frustrating is seeing others prosper, when I feel like I am spinning my wheels. They sometimes seem to be on the fast track to things I would like for myself. I see people who are dishonest or selfish attaining their goals, while I feel like I’m still at the starting line.

God has gradually been reframing my mind and heart on these matters, helping me to learn to wait. Waiting on God is a painful art to learn.  

Thankfully, God understands our impulsive, impatient human nature and places explicit encouragement about it in the Bible:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” -Psalms 37:7 (NIV)

Further, in Proverbs, we read about the hazards of haste when we fail to wait on God and the insight He provides. All the good intentions in the world are no help if we haven’t prayed and waited on God. Rushing ahead in my own strength has caused my own downfall more than once.

“Desire without knowledge is not good– how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” -Proverbs 19:2 (NIV)

Lord, help me not to have hasty feet! To rush ahead unadvisedly, as I am inclined to do, causes frustration and sometimes, failure. God has your victory prepared for you and for me. We must turn our hearts and ears in His direction, waiting for wisdom and favor.

In the waiting, we get the benefit of being obedient to God’s call to trust Him. We also get sweet communion with Him. It’s an intimate working out and wrestling through all of our hopes and fears while we wait.

In His time, by His means, His will is done. Because He is always at work and can see the whole picture that we cannot, waiting on Him is critical for His plan to be fulfilled in our lives.

Day by day, I am learning to wait, despite my press-ahead nature. It’s in the space of waiting that we are sanctified. As we trust and wait, He refines us and makes us more and more like Himself.