Prayer Thought: Waiting is the Hardest Thing to Do
‘”Wait on the Lord”’ is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”
In a society that seems to only concern ourselves with instant gratification and a sort of “me first” mentality, the concept of waiting has simply all but vanished. Most of us, if we have the necessary funds, can purchase just about anything at the click of a button…instantly. Everything, from fast food restaurants to streaming hundreds of channels and websites in mere seconds from the privacy of our own homes, tends to be geared toward the absolute necessity of “faster” and ease of accessibility.
Think about the last time you had to wait for any length of time, for example, in a traffic jam. What did you experience? Was it relaxing and rejuvenating? Or were you yelling on the inside (or outside) because all the cars in front of you were an incredible inconvenience. After all, you’re a pretty big deal, you have things to do and places to go. You can’t be bothered by a hiccup in your plans. Doesn’t God know that you’re working hard to support your family? He has to understand that your impatience has more to do with the circumstance and what you’re trying to accomplish for Him and your family than it does with what selfishly is going on in your heart or any kind of “me first” mentality, right? Weeeeeeeeell…
It should come as no surprise that the discipline of waiting is part of God’s overall plan for the believer’s life. In fact, the Lord desires that we wait for Him with great expectancy and fullness of faith. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him and seek Him (Lam. 3:24-26). As Jacob was blessing his sons in Genesis 49, he proclaimed, “I wait for Your salvation, Lord.” In one of King David’s most known Psalms, Psalm 27, David implores the reader to, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord (vs 14).” Again, the Psalmist states, “I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word (Ps. 130:5).” And the most famous of all scriptures on waiting comes from the prophet Isaiah, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint (Is. 40:31).” This kind of waiting is certainly not passive. Many times, it most certainly calls for trust and obedient action to God’s Word. It is a patient, expectant kind of waiting that clearly calls us to put our full dependence on the Lord in all circumstances.
Here’s the question that I think we need to take some time to ask ourselves: How are we to wait on the Lord? This is not merely a question of God’s perfect timing. Instead, it must, in some respects, become a state of being that we exercise. Being dependent on the Lord, being conscious of what He’s teaching us, being able to listen intently as we pray and seek His will, being able to make Christ our treasure instead of treasuring worldly things. Being able to understand our own sinful, desire laden heart of impatience, immediate self-gratification, and egocentricism. Where is the focal point on this principle of waiting? On the idea of the waiting itself? No! The focal point is Christ and our intimate relationship with Him. In a world that “waits for no man,” the only way to understand and live out this peace-giving attribute is looking to Jesus (Heb. 12:2). As we do this more and more, impatience, irritability, and thinking we can only depend on ourselves dissolves as Christ increases and we decrease (Jn. 3:30).
Father, teach me how to wait on You more and more with each passing day. Amen.
What situation/item in your life is the Lord continuously reminding you of that you need to trust and wait for Him? Offer up full dependence to the Lord this week for that situation
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer