Waiting is never fun, but life is filled with waiting. We wait for our next birthday, wait to get our first car and driver’s license, and anxiously await college, jobs, marriage, and families. There is also daily waiting, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting to get over sickness, and waiting in traffic. On a couple of recent trips that I and my family have taken, we have been stuck at the airport. We have had flights delayed, and even cancelled. Even now as I write this . . . you guessed it, I’m waiting. These everyday life experiences of having unmet wants and desires if meditated on can develop in us an anxiety and restlessness. We long for the day when our dreams will be realized, when our fears will vanish, our stresses will ease, and failure will be rectified. The stress of such rumination can be overwhelming.
While our lives are filled with anticipating something we want done or changed, God himself has instructed us that waiting can be good. In waiting we realize how helpless we truly are. We come face to face with our weaknesses and struggles, we stare at our inability and brokenness, but we also are brought to our rescuer and salvation.
In Psalm 37:7, in the middle of trouble from the prosperity experienced by the wicked oppressor, the Psalmist encourages us to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” In Hebrews 6, Abraham is held up as a model for us in persevering in his life of faith as he waited for the completion of God’s promise of a son, and the creation of a great nation, when his age was progressing and his time for such an heir seemed to be impossible. “And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”
These texts don’t inform us of a magical deliverance that removes us from all waiting or all trouble, but rather they inform us of the need for humble hearts and dependence on God Himself. The trouble and waiting can be used for a glorious purpose, for what we truly wait for is not the fulfilling relationship, completion of our dream, or escape from our difficulty, but we are truly in need of God Himself.
In Psalm 46, in the middle of earth shattering trouble, the music group of the temple sang of their hope. They answered the questions of life shattering trouble with words of hope from God Himself. They reminded each other of the works of God and then God Himself speaks to their longing and fear.
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
To which the musicians replied, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
For those who have repented and embraced the Son of God, they too have this assurance, God truly is with us. His Spirit abides in us and confirms to us that the God is on our side and He is truly enough.
This is a God truly worth waiting for.