No matter how patient you are, an extended wait time is not easy to endure. More and more often, we want things to happen sooner and more quickly. We pay more for faster internet speeds, buy the latest technology that is ten times faster than the model from five years ago, and we microwave our daily intake of leftovers and highly processed foods. The more accustomed to quick and/or instant gratification we get, the harder it gets to wait for anything. Even twenty miles per hour over the speed limit on the highway makes you one of the slowest people on the road. Waiting is hard no matter how you look at it, especially when we are waiting on God.
As I started the housekeeping project, I read an old post from over five years ago. In The Middle Child of Ministry, I looked at the differences between experience levels in ministry. As the middle child in my family, I understand that my older sister has more life experience than I and my younger brother has less. I can look to my sister for guidance and help and I am available to my brother in the same way. People with more experience should be mentoring the and helping to develop those who are new to ministry. When I wrote that post I saw myself as the middle child: I still had a lot to learn, but I had enough experience to step up and start mentoring others. But I ended on a different note:
I am in a great position, but it is ultimately not where I want to be. I know I have to be patient, but it’s tough to depend on God’s timing rather than my own.
Little did I know that I would be in the same place five years later, still waiting on God. As I’ve been thinking about that this week, The Lord has continually brought me to the Psalms. Waiting on God is peppered throughout the Psalms and it is obvious that David was experienced in waiting on God. Just look at the time it took for him to become king after being anointed for the job. God has perfect timing. He also has the only sure plan because He is the only one who never fails.
Waiting on God is nothing new to our age. Here is just a small sample of verses regarding waiting on the LORD:
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. – Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. – Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. – Psalm 33:20 (NIV)
LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. – Psalm 38:15 (NIV)
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
I wait for your salvation, LORD, and I follow your commands. – Psalm 119:166 (NIV)
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. – Psalm 130:5 (NIV)
We tend to want to know what lies ahead. I am one of those people who feel that to plan the details of what to do on vacation defeats the purpose of taking a vacation, but even I want to have an idea of what is to come. It is so hard to wait though, whether we know what we are headed for or not. Don’t worry about the future, but rather seek God first. Seek the persons of God,—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—rather than just His plan for your future.
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:25-34 (HCSB)