Lately, we wait for guidance on re-openings. We wait for stimulus checks. We wait for good news in the fight against illness. These days I cannot even enter the vet with the dog. I wait in my car until someone calls me on the phone and meets me at the door to take the animal inside without me. Then I’m back to the car to wait again until the dog is returned to the door.
Other times we wait our turn in a drive-through line that seems endless. We wait for a chance to advance six feet closer to the cashier. We wait for cleaning supplies to be made available. Recently, many of us waited to learn if toilet paper would ever be stocked on store shelves again.
There are those who wait for the food bank to be open again. Some wait for a diagnosis from the doctor’s office or delivery of prescriptions. Others wait for a simple break in the rain. The wait itself might be scary or frustrating, pushing us beyond our comfort zones.
Waiting is not my strongest asset. My ordinary reaction to waiting is annoyance. Waiting conjures notions of delay, postponements, setbacks. In a world of go, go, go, waiting seems wasteful. Or is it?
What if I view waiting as helpful time? What if, instead of delay, I focus on expectation? Instead of setbacks, I concentrate on anticipation? Could I pay attention to blessings and prayers rather than difficulties and complaining? What if waiting is meant to be hopeful?
“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” (Psalm 33:20-22, CEB)
The hymn writer has just praised God and taken a very close look at everything awesome about God. Now that God’s greatness is recognized, it is simply time to wait – wait for guidance, wait for salvation, wait for God’s Word. With a secure dependence, we find ourselves happy and ready to ask that God revitalize us with Love. We have confidence in God, and we get to relax knowing that God acts in our best interest.
Maybe I need to view waiting as a server in a restaurant. Waiting doesn’t have to mean sitting around until something happens. Sometimes it means serving, and serving most definitely means action.
Perhaps waiting on God is more like a pregnant mother. Just like expecting a baby, maybe my waiting is to be spent actively preparing for the fulfilment of a promise. In that way, I think waiting isn’t supposed to be frustrating or scary. Waiting is love in action.
If I show patience and strength in my waiting, completely trusting God in all things, I believe I will enter a place that is closer to Jesus than I ever imagined. When I accept that I can’t run this show but can only lean on God (God’s thinking and ways are not my thinking and ways, right?), that’s when things happen. God uses waiting to change us. Listening, pondering, serving, preparing… hmmm… if I do this well, I think waiting will be worth it.