Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
So many people I know are waiting on God just now – waiting for him to direct, to provide, to heal, to confirm. And almost everyone I know wishes God would hurry and arrive on the scene.
I wonder if Joseph felt that way as he waited on God to intervene in his unjust predicaments – first as slave, then as prisoner. He was sold by his own brothers; imprisoned because of deception; and forgotten even as he served his fellow prisoners. Did he ever wonder when God would break through and deliver him?
Then Abraham was told by God that he would have an heir and be the father of many nations. But Abraham got tired of waiting on God’s timing and tried to help God. He took Hagar (his wife’s servant) as a secondary wife and produced a son, but Ishmael wasn’t the child of promise. The strife that was initiated by Abraham’s impatience is with us still today.
In contrast, Hannah prayed faithfully for a child, and after many years of waiting, God answered with one who became that great man of God, Samuel. Hannah’s trust in God resulted in a child who would become Israel’s leader for many years and who would anoint Saul and David as their kings.
We may trust God’s working and sense affirmation about a calling or direction, but we find ourselves struggling with his interminable delays. That’s what happened when Israel’s King Saul waited for Samuel to show up to offer a sacrifice before the army went into battle. Only the priests were to sacrifice to the Lord, but when Saul saw his army deserting, he took matters into his own hands. Just as the sacrifice was done, Samuel arrived. Saul’s disobedience and lack of waiting cost him a kingdom.
Being still, waiting on God requires spiritual discipline and trust that even when we do not sense God’s presence or working, he will be faithful and will act at the right time. Faith presupposes a relationship with God and a desire to see him glorified. Feeling prefers tangible evidence of spiritual activity and a desire to see ourselves gratified. Imagine what we might lose if, after God has clearly spoken, we do not wait. On the other hand, think of the joy we will be to our Father if we sit quietly, actively expecting his arrival.
God is faithful. “They that 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” (Isa. 40:31).
Teach us, Lord, to wait. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.