I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty crummy when it comes to waiting. I loathe long lines, protracted cooking times, or any type of extensive wait, truthfully. And, our “Amazon Prime” society hasn’t helped me out in this area. It likely hasn’t helped you, either.
Unfortunately, waiting plays a starring role in the faith life. Following Jesus can oftentimes be described as a “hurry up and wait” kind of walk. The process of refining hearts and capturing minds is a slow one. One that occurs incrementally, every day that we live and breathe.
It’s funny how God often works: so much of my Bible study lately focuses on how to walk faithfully and patiently with God—day by day, hour by hour—when the path ahead is lit just enough to see the next step.
Jesus says follow me—but not to where or to what purpose. He asks us simply to rely on Him for guidance in the day ahead, not worrying about tomorrow or borrowing trouble from future days (see Matthew 6:34).
When I’m reading and meditating, it all makes perfect, lovely sense. It spreads out before me like a mesmerizing dance of Jesus and follower. My heart cheers out yes!
But when the rubber hits the road? Not so much. I find this slow dance excruciating at times and downright maddening at others, as I squint my eyes to see past the step in front of me … is there a sign in the darkness ahead? Can I figure out a way through the fog?
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I’ve shared some in this space about our son’s journey with speech delay and eventual autism diagnosis. What a journey it’s been. And he’s only 7!
In those early days of constant speech therapy, I found myself longing for a “quick fix.” After about 6 months, I thought, ok, shouldn’t this problem just **poof** go away by now?
What my aching mama heart didn’t know then (thank goodness) is that there would be no quick fixes—just daily, faithful hard word. And more hard days before any good would come.
Maybe you, too, are waiting for something or someone. Every fiber in your being wants to know the answer and the outcome. Every cell cries out for assurance that all will be okay.
The soft, small flame lighting the step ahead seems woefully inadequate. You’d nearly crawl out of your skin in search of something to speed up the process!
In these moments, the wait feels like it may break us apart, right? I convince myself that my here and now isn’t possibly as good as my there (wherever “there” may be).
Yet the truth, dear one, is that God is always, always working. In the waiting seasons, He moves in us, through us, around us, for us, and for the benefit of others.
Waiting well builds a solid foundation in our faith walks. We grow, stretch, and learn in the present, that God might equip and prepare us for His work in the future.
In our waiting, let us take comfort in a familiar and beautiful passage out of Isaiah:
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV).
In the tedious game of waiting, these verses hold the key: hope in the Lord.
This hope—this choosing to hope—paves the path to the supernatural strength required to continue waiting until the story is told. Until the answer comes. Until the Lord’s work in us is complete.
By hanging our hope on Him, we can soar. We can run, skip, and walk calmly while we wait, knowing that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV).
What are you waiting for today?
A job? A spouse? A child? Physical healing? Relational healing? A better season of life overall?
Let me challenge you, as I challenge myself, to wait with hope and assurance that God is faithful, even when we don’t have the answer. Even when there is no roadmap or plan of action. Even when all is pitch black beyond the one step in front of us.
We have no idea what hangs in the balance while we wait, what lessons must be learned, or what character must be forged in us.
But there is so much good to be gleaned in the here while we’re waiting to arrive there.
So practice waiting well, my friend—and enjoy the eagle’s view.