Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Have you ever found yourself in a season of waiting? Yes, many of us are waiting this Christmas season. What about other times of waiting? Waiting for test results. Waiting for an answer. Waiting to see what happens. Waiting for direction. I imagine that every single one of us has had the "opportunity" to wait.
The Israelites found themselves in many seasons of waiting. Waiting to be freed from the Egyptians. Waiting in the desert. Waiting to return to Jerusalem. Waiting to rebuild the temple. And in the midst of the waiting, they wanted: they wanted freedom; they wanted what they had in Egypt; they wanted more food; they wanted water; they wanted the promised land; they wanted a king; they wanted the temple to be like it was; they wanted peace...there were many things they wanted in the midst of their waiting.
I have made the comment at times, "I don't wait well." I am definitely learning and growing in this area! There was one transition in my past where, as I look back, I am a bit embarrassed. I was trying to figure out what was around the corner, and I threw a bit of a fit as I had to wait to discover it. And even in the midst of my little tantrum, I even said - "I know that some day I will look back at this and realize God's timing, but right now, I just don't understand." As we are brought into these seasons of waiting, I find that it's a challenge to consider our heart's desires, our wants while we wait. I wanted answers. I wanted clarity. I wanted sanity. I wanted it all figured out. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. And I kinda wanted all those things...um...well...now if you don't mind.
I don't think waiting is a new thing...Abraham and Sarah waited until they were around 100 years old to have a son...Joseph waited in many pits before he landed the lead position...Moses, of course, waited with the hardened heart of Pharoah, with grumpy folks, he waited and waited...Job - oh the patience of Job - in a long wait of tragedy after tragedy before his season of despair ended...Nehemiah waited through many steps and bumps in the road until restoration could take place... Jesus, waited here on earth for the fulfillment of God's plan, longing to return to His seat with His Father. I get a sense that maybe, just maybe, God knows and has a plan and purpose for the time of waiting in our lives.
Let's flip things around a bit. What if we consider what GOD wants in our waiting? We know what WE want...What might God desire in the space of the wait? Psalm 27:14 says, "Be strong and take heart". Psalm 5:3 says, "In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." Colossians 4:2 says, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Lamentations 3:22-25 says,
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It sounds as though there is greatness in the window of waiting. What if, instead of throwing an impatient fit because we don't get what we want in the time frame that we want it which is usually right now...what if we talk with God every morning? What if we devote ourselves to prayer - having conversation with God, and then expect and watch and take notice of even the small things He does? What if we embrace a quietness as we wait...a time of resting in Him? What if we surrender to trusting Him and not make up our own understanding? What if we got to know our Lord enough, that as we reflect on how He has worked from the very beginning of time, that we can know He is at work doing His thing at His pace and in His timing...and that we can trust and be strong and have courage that in the midst of our waiting, He is making good, accomplishing His plan all around and inside of us? What if God's desire for us to run to Him, is what we want in our wait?
We have a choice. What do you want in the wait? I pray that we choose to lean in on our Creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the I AM, our Savior. That in the midst of a wait, we might experience sweet communion and fellowship with our Father. That it can be a time to listen and hear His whispers upon our hearts as He leads and guides us through whatever wilderness we may be experiencing.
If you are in a season like I have been in before, where you feel like you are not waiting well.....seek Him. Shift your focus and heart to Him today, every day. It's not too late. Consider what He wants you to want in this wait.
We have a choice...