“What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?” (Job 6:11)
Show me a person who loves waiting and I’ll give you a million bucks. I don’t think you can. Whether you love it or hate it, it is part of the journey we’re on. But those who wait on Jesus have hope. The waiting becomes part of what shapes us into His image and likeness. We must learn to embrace the waiting and use that time for His glory, no matter how hard it gets. We must all wait, so let’s consider how God might use our waiting for the highest good of His glory.
Waiting can be an expression of faith, but it can also reveal the wickedness of our flesh. I pray for the former. Waiting becomes fruitful when we wait with our eyes on Jesus and on His faithfulness.
When I’m waiting, whether it’s for a particular prayer to be answered or for my kids to hurry up so we can leave, I have to make some decisions. I need to be asking myself some questions, and so should you. Is the waiting itself a curse, or is waiting for an opportunity to glorify God with a life that knows nothing is wasted with Him? Waiting is actually intended to do something in me that no other struggle can. It reveals my humanity. Because I am neither infinite or all-knowing, the good things that come are never instant. But as the sinfulness of impatience is revealed in us we have the opportunity to see God more clearly and desire Him more deeply.
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)
Waiting is not always simple, though, and at times, it is mingled with suffering. Much of our waiting in this life is due to the curse of sin. We wait for things that have been destroyed to be repaired. We wait for lost souls to come to Christ. Even waiting for our own maturity in Christ is a long and winding road. Yes, there is pain and suffering in much of the waiting but it is for our good and to His glory that He allows it. The Scriptures tell us that the heat from trials can both purify the soul and strengthen the Church. So with that knowledge we learn, somehow, to cherish the fire. These trials of varying kinds and degrees are working to produce passion, patience and the kind of faith that endures to the very end if we let them.
You may not love waiting. But if you love Jesus, you can learn to see that waiting, though in many ways part of the curse, can be redeemed for Him. It can be a joy killer, but it can also be an offering and a sacrifice of love. It can drag us all down at times, but each of us must choose to embrace it as part of our lot in life and cherish it as being among the highest and most glorious of all our works of faith. Think about it out of all the things, we will do from now till death, the time we spend waiting on something will likely exceed everything else. Let’s not waste that time, but allow God to use our waiting to produce fruitfulness and the holiness He desires.
Charles Spurgeon, “So, being himself a waiting God, he loves a waiting people; he loves a man who can take the promise, and say, ‘I believe it; it may never be fulfilled to me in this life, but I do not want that it should be. I am perfectly willing that it should be fulfilled when God intends that it should be.’”