Psalm 27:4 “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
Throughout history God’s people have had to wait on Him. From the time when God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and it took them 40 years, to now when women take 9 months to have a baby, we have all experienced the __trial__ of waiting on God. People are waiting on God as they wait for their medical diagnosis. Students waiting for their test scores. People in pain waiting for their trial to be over. Or simply waiting on God for the next season of life to begin. The list goes on and on. No matter what season of life we are in, we are always waiting on God in some way.
I remember as a child wanting so bad to be an adult so I could stay up late and do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. As human beings, we do not like to wait. We often grumble and complain, trying to rush through the waiting period. Even waiting for a phone to charge or a stoplight to change causes us frustration. We stress and we rush when we don’t have all the details.
We live in a world that is filled with the consumer mentality: We want what we want and we want it right NOW! However, what we must remember is that while we are in a hurry, God is usually not. Take the story of Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus was sick. After Lazarus died, Jesus came and the two sisters accused Jesus of taking too long. (see John 11)
But as much as we hate it, there is so much good that comes from our times of waiting.
5 Reasons for & Benefits of Our Waiting:
1. Preparation & Development
Babies, for example, must develop and physically mature before they are brought into this world and can survive on their own. Waiting allows us the time to change. It builds patience and character. When we wait for small things, this leads to patience in the bigger things. Moses was brash and impatient, but his time of waiting allowed him to become a great leader.
Romans 5:3-4 “ Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
2. Builds Anticipation
We cherish things more when we have to wait for them.
James 1:4 “…let patience have her perfect work.”
3. It Is Wise
Too often we make foolish decisions in the heat of the moment and later feel regret because we did not seek God first or wait on Him.
Just as God is patient with us (forgiving us time and time again and giving us time to become more like Him), we should be patient with God and trust that He is still at work even when we don’t see immediate results.
4. Builds Intimacy with God
Waiting on God leads us back to Him by reminding us of our dependence on Him and that He is ultimately in control of every area of our lives. It allows us time to surrender to God’s story. No matter how much we stress and worry and try to rush through the waiting period, life runs by God’s watch and not our own.
People who have had the most success eternally are those who have the most intimacy and dependence on God.
Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him.”
5. God’s Story of Redemption
God is writing a bigger, redemptive story than we could ever imagine. And this story does not revolve around us, but rather around God alone. Our individual stories are part of a grander story where God is the Author. God uses the waiting room to rescue us from our own plans and the little kingdoms we have created for ourselves.
Waiting is not a sign that the world is out of control, but rather it is a sign that the world is under the care of a wise, loving, and all-powerful God. This means we can rest while we wait, because we can trust that God is working His story for our Eternal good and for His glory.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
What to Do in The Waiting Room:
1. Rest in God
Trust in His purposes and His timing.
Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
2. Serve the Lord
Don’t wait for God to fulfill your desire before you serve Him.
3. Prepare Yourself
Prepare yourself for what God is preparing for you.
4. Be Obedient (to what He has already shown you)
5. Receive it with Joy!
Rejoice and be grateful.
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Waiting is not only about what you will receive at the end of the wait, but what you will become as you wait. God is just as much interested in the journey as He is the destination.
What we must note is that we learn some of life’s greatest lessons from delayed gratification. The Lord promises to reward those who submit to His timing. We may never fully understand why we are in the waiting room, but the good news is that God never asks us to wait without Him.
Waiting on God is what many of us would consider a trial, but it is actually a ___blessing___ from God.
While I’m Waiting by John Waller