Are you currently waiting on the Lord? Maybe you’re waiting for a job, a spouse or a wayward child to return home. Maybe you’re waiting for wisdom for next steps or how to handle a hard situation. Waiting is hard because there is so little we have to wait on these days. We can microwave a meal in three minutes. We can journey across the globe in one day. We can google the answer to any question in three seconds. We can send a text in one second without waiting for the mail to arrive.
And in our fast-paced, instant-access society, when we suddenly don’t have what we want most, and we have to wait, we feel helpless, weak and powerless. Sometimes we even question God like David did in Psalm 13:1, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me for good? How long will you hide Your face from me?“
We wonder if God hears. We question in God cares. We doubt.
Have you ever doubted God? I have. Years ago, I felt God’s call to to adoption. I waited and prayed for seven years (without nagging!) for God to put the same call on John’s heart too. Then I waited two years as we did paperwork. And I waited another year after the paperwork was finished for a child. And the call never came. Instead, I was confronted with doors closing on the international path we’d chosen.
After 10 years of waiting, my heart was broken. Why, God? Why?
And in my brokenness I turned to God. Even in tears I told Him that I trusted Him. Verses like these resonate in my heart:
“I wait for the Lord, with bated breath I wait; I long for His Word! My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6).
“Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord” (Ps. 27:14).
And in my waiting and seeking, I realized I wasn’t alone. The Bible is filled with those who wait. One of my favorite waiting stories is about a man who waited his whole life for a glimpse of the promised Messiah.
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25-26).
As he took the child Jesus in his arms, Simeon proclaimed it was worth the wait.
“Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
In Simeon’s waiting, He saw the Lord. And in our waiting, we also discover Him too. Every minute Simeon waited made the joy of receiving even more precious.
Why does God ask us to wait? Waiting prepares your heart. Even when your mind feels ready for a task, your heart might not be there yet. Waiting allows God time to feel the gap between your head and your heart.
What to do while you wait:
1. Be thankful for who God is and what He’s done.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Ps. 103:8). Thank Him, knowing the waiting comes from His compassion, grace and love. Treasure Him for all who He is. Know that if you never receive what you’re waiting for God is enough.
2. Walk in obedience in what God has already called you to.
Living a righteous life happens one day at a time. Instead of trying to hurry God up, walk faithfully where He has you now.
3. Be honest in your struggle.
As I waited for adoption doors to open, I shared my struggle. I asked friends to pray for my family. I shared how I didn’t understand why we were having to wait for doors to open to adopt a child when it’s clearly God’s mandate in Scripture. The amazing thing is that a praying friend was the connection with our daughter’s birth mom. In my willingness to share my struggle (not with complaining but with humility), God opened the doors.
4. Seek God for strength.
Waiting is never easy, but when we are at the end of ourselves it’s then we turn to—and depend on—God’s strength. “But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint“ (Is. 40:31).