Living is about waiting
Everybody is waiting for something! Whether it’s a new job, a favorable outcome, or a different significant other. We all are waiting.
There are different ways to wait. Many of us pray. Some of us worry. And still others, attempt to lessen the wait time by “helping” move it forward more quickly. Have you ever been in “standstill” traffic and the person behind you continues to beat on their horn?
21st century waiting
Americans spend roughly 37 billion hours each year waiting in line. The dominant cost of waiting is an emotional one: stress, boredom, that nagging sensation that one’s life is slipping away.
I think it’s comical that this century, that was to be man’s crowning achievement of knowledge and technology, has done little to reduce waiting time. Of course the pandemic, global warming, and other challenges of this decade have had a major impact on waiting.
Businesses and institutions will continue to make financial decisions that, in most cases, personally increase our wait time for their product. When are you sending your Christmas cards out this year?
Waiting extends to every area of our life. Whether it’s service at our favorite restaurant or scheduling a critical appointment with our physician. This is a season of waiting.
Resistance to waiting
There are many reasons we may have a problem with waiting. Our resistance often stems from our “flesh-based” needs: impatience, pride, independence, and stubbornness.
With impatience, “we want what we want now”. It reflects our inability to control our desire for action (Numbers 20:10-12). Pride operates with an inflated opinion of what’s the best answer or solution to our problem or situation. It is the conceited sense of one’s superiority (Hosea 7:8-10).
Independence cries out, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” It stems from our need to control our affairs apart from outside influences, even God (Luke 15:12-16). What can we say about stubbornness? Who can talk a fool out of his folly? Stubbornness is characterized by our being difficult to handle or overcome (Proverbs 26:3-5).
God and time
If we are waiting for God’s intervention or direction, we will need to reset our watches. God does not exist in the confines of human time but in eternity where there is no time (Is. 57:15).
Time expresses “duration”. Our earthly time pieces mark change in duration that indicate the passage of time. Eternity, in contrast, expresses the concept of something that has no end nor beginning. God has no beginning or end. He is outside the realm of our time (2 Pet. 3:8).
Reasons for waiting
From a Christian perspective, why should we embrace waiting?
Waiting embraces God’s sovereignty. (Acts 17:28). God’s sovereignty is defined as His preeminent power and authority. It is a natural consequence of His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. While God has given man “free-will”, it is critical for believers to “choose God” and trust Him unconditionally.
Waiting strengthens our spiritual muscles. (1 Peter 1:13-15). Believers in Christ must be able to remain faithful during this postmodern era. We can expect that our tenets of faith will continue to be under attack. We must be patient as we listen for God’s instructions on where we are to serve.
Waiting transforms our lives. (1 John 3:3). While waiting we draw near to God and listen for His voice through prayer and reading His Word. We taste the wonders of His transforming power and His future rewards. Therefore, we are willing to accept delays and interruptions rather than demand “instant gratification” based on fleshly lusts and worldly influence.
Time to rethink waiting
The thing about waiting for God is that there is no set or agreed upon time when an answer might be forthcoming. You can move ahead of God, but you risk missing or delaying the desired purpose God has for your life (Eph. 2:10).
Waiting for God is where our faith comes into play. We must believe and trust that God loves us and will always do what is best for us. What we see as a delay is really God’s “best timing” for our life. Waiting for God is always worth the wait (Lam. 3:26).
2 thoughts on “Rethinking Waiting”
After reading all of the advice about how to wait patiently I must confess I don’t think any of it will help me. First of all I’ll have trouble memorizing the various suggestions when I need them. The fact that I’ll be 80 years old in a couple of months doesn’t help. My memory is just shot! It seems like all of my life I’ve been impatient! I’ve prayed to God to help me in this area with my weakness. It’ll work for a short time and then I go back to being impatient. I just pray that God forgives me for my shortcomings and doesn’t make me wait too long at the gate.
Amen sister! In eternity you won’t worry about waiting