Waiting and Wanting
“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4 (NIV)
I don’t know anyone who likes to wait.
Life in our technologically-advanced world has taught us that waiting does not have to be an option. Let’s face it: Within seconds of posting to social media, everyone can see pictures of your lunch with your best friend.
We can instantly picture chat with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Text messaging is faster than a telephone call, and email is quicker than the postal service. Our dinner can be paid for, cooked and placed in our hands in a matter of minutes without us even leaving our car. Yes, the message we’ve received from our have-it-your-way world is this: “You don’t have to wait.”
But friend, we have been deceived.
We might want our food served quickly; however, by waiting we are more likely to get healthier food that’s better for us. I am sure we all have burned with an urgency to express our thoughts in an email, text message or Facebook update concerning something that made us angry. On the other hand, if we push through the want with a timely wait, we have the opportunity to thoughtfully respond so others will see Christ in us. Can we collectively agree things usually turn out better when we wait?
When I was young, my family had one television. My brother and I had to take turns watching our favorite television shows. This got old fast, so I decided it would be nice for me to have my very own television in my bedroom. I took this bright idea to my parents. To my surprise, they said yes, but they wisely turned my want into a wait.
Instead of buying the television for me, they made me earn the money. After months of babysitting and doing extra chores, I finally saved the $89 needed to purchase the 13-inch, black-and-white set. While sitting on my bed, watching my favorite shows, without my older brother pestering me, I determined that small television I’d wanted so much was worth the wait.
Our key verse offers encouragement for the long waits we face: “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 64:4). Although this verse is about Israel’s return to Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity, we can probably identify with “those who wait.” We share in the hope that the perfect ending to our wait is something no ear has perceived, no eye has seen when we wait on God.
As adults, the value of what we wait for is far greater than the cost of a black-and-white television. We wait for the salvation of a loved one, the healing of our friend, the end of our own long-term health issue, deliverance from addictions, a positive result on a pregnancy test, or the end of unemployment. The value of what we wait for is so great that we can easily become derailed from life.
These things are important to pray about, for sure. But when they become all-consuming, their value is magnified — especially the longer we wait. Some carry greater weight than we originally thought, while some carry less. As the days, months and years pass, we can put more energy, effort, prayer, conversations, and yes, sometimes manipulation and guilt trips, into making these things come to pass. Without realizing it, we exchange the Person of our faith for the object of our wait.
Waiting well means staying peaceful in the present while looking forward to the future. Our wait may not be as quick as a social media post, but we can trust God to work while we wait and bring about an ending for our good and His glory.
Dear God, waiting is hard, and waiting well seems impossible. Help me see the good around me as I wait, rather than feeling neglected and dismissed. You are trustworthy and have my best interest in mind. Thank You for the good plans You have prepared for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Lamentations 3:25, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (ESV)
Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.” (NKJV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are your biggest obstacles to waiting? Conquer the power of waiting today by simple acts of kindness such as allowing someone to pull in front of you in traffic or order before you at a restaurant.