Waiting is woven through the fabric of our lives. We wait for traffic lights to change, wait in line at our favorite eateries, and wait for the weekend to begin. However, at some point our waiting becomes uniquely tied to the issues of our lives. We wait for things to turnaround or wait for our ship to come in. Countless life demands require our patience until what we’re hoping for appears or disappears on the horizon.
From a spiritual standpoint, I don’t always withstand pauses well. Eventually, my waiting reveals if I’ve been waiting for an event to happen or if I am waiting on the Lord. And there is a distinct difference.
While we wait for an event, what’s not happening grabs our attention. But if we wait on the Lord, His peace eclipses what’s not happening.
This principle was prominent as I waited for an equipment repair to complete a recent project. I could not make progress in the project until the problem was solved. Initially, I was told to check back in minutes, but it seemed like hours. The project was already behind schedule and I was quickly approaching the end of my rope. Are you a good waiter? And I’m not talking about the kind that works in a restaurant.
As I waited, I was also putting the finishing touches on a workshop for a prayer conference a few days away. My workshop topic was about transformation and renewing the mind. Yeah I know, I was due for some mind renewal of my own by this point and the irony did not escape me.
As I contemplated the lesson I would learn and then teach, a truth began to surface. When we feel like God is taking too long, what we long for can become our god. I can always tell which one I’ve chosen by my response when I have to wait.
Here are a few points I shared from the workshop this past weekend:
While we are waiting for someone else to make better choices, God wants us to pray for them. (see 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18)
While we are waiting for God to give us what we desire, God wants to become our greatest desire. (see Psalm 27:4)
While we are waiting for things to happen more quickly, God wants us to be still and know He is God. (see Psalm 46:10)
While we are waiting to begin a difficult task, God wants us to know with Him all things are possible. (see Mark 10:27)
Regardless of what you’ve been waiting for here’s some good news: Isaiah 30:18 tells us that God “longs to be gracious to us.” No matter what or who we are waiting on, God is also waiting for us to encounter His grace. This may occur through a change in our prayer focus, our desires, our activities, or our courage. But rest assured grace awaits us as we wait on the Lord, and that brings hope to my heart and joy to my soul.
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. – Isaiah 40:31 NASB
What do you do to stay encouraged when you have to wait?
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