|By Tim Severance, Associate Minister|
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14
“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:5
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” – Psalm 37:7
|Bella waits late into the night.|
Our family dog, Bella, doesn’t usually come into the house until everyone in the family is home and inside. She’s been known to stay outside late into the night waiting for a family member to return. She isn’t preoccupied with television or playing games on her smartphone. She just lays in the driveway or sometimes sits in a chair on the porch, laser-focused, staring at the road and waiting for the moment we return.
Waiting for something is not a highly valued trait in our world today. We have surrounded ourselves with fast-food restaurants, microwave ovens, instapots, high-speed Internet, and streaming media. To be delayed is disturbing. Waiting at airline security, a doctor’s office or on-hold can irritate us like a cat meowing at 3 am in the morning. How we have come to expect things to happen so quickly? Why do we think faster is always better?
It’s impressive how patiently my dog waits. She is still and quietly waits for the return of her master. There’s no clock. No deadline. She just waits.
The Bible verses above all correlate waiting with the LORD. We are told to “wait for the LORD” and put our hope in His word. Why is this important? Because God’s timing is not the same as our timing. We may ask for something now, but God says “wait” for a better time. Part of the reason God’s timing is better than ours is that He can see the big picture. He has an overview of our entire life. We don’t have that luxury. Another reason it is important to wait on the LORD, is that God is wiser than we are. He knows everything. Our knowledge is limited by our education and experiences. Since God loves us, He has in mind for us what is best.
So how do we wait on the LORD? Here are some thoughts from the same verses.
- Be still – Quit running after what isn’t happening now. Stop pursuing it. In basketball, the coach will often say, “let the game come to you.” Slow down. Stop. Let life come to you.
- Be Strong – How does one get strong? Exercise. Work out. Strengthen your patience muscle. When you find yourself waiting for something, when it finally occurs, stretch your wait out a little longer. If you’re waiting for someone, when they finally come, linger a little longer. Take a few more minutes whenever you find the opportunity to stretch your patience muscle.
- Take Heart – This means to “take courage.” As a warrior or a soldier, we are to be courageous and ready for battle. This goes right along with being strong, but this is more of a mental exercise. Being courageous implies having the faith to believe the wait is not just a good thing, but the best thing, and worth waiting for.
Patience is not easy. And it’s even harder when those around you don’t practice it. But waiting, especially “waiting on the LORD” is powerful and it pays off. Whatever you may be waiting on today – a relationship to appear or move forward, a job, children, marriage – know that God’s timing is always best. Place your hope in God’s word and Be still. Wait on the LORD.