In the Waiting

I am currently sitting here, pondering the verse of the day that lines the top of my screen:

“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” — Psalm 27:14

I am going to be completely honest, I don’t understand waiting. My goal in writing this is that, by the end, I would come to a conclusion of why God has us wait.

You who are reading this are probably thinking the obvious, that growth is a part of the journey, and growth happens in the waiting. I agree, growth is so important. I am wondering, though, why do we have to go through such a long waiting process when the destination is in plain view? Why can’t the growth happen quickly and we can get on with the adventure?

I think about a trip I took a few months back. We boarded the plane and were ready to take off for the beautiful Pacific Coast. My bags were packed in, my headphones were in my ears, and I was as comfortable as one can be in an airplane seat. The plane should be taking off any minute, when over head a voice rang out “Hello ladies and gentlemen. We should be taking off soon, we are just checking on a few things on the plane and then we should be in the air. Thank you for waiting.” I thought to myself “No problem, I can wait a few minutes.” Long story short, I was not thinking those thoughts as we remained on the square of tarmac two hours later. By the groans and sighs coming from the man next to me, it was evident that he was not having those thoughts either. I decided to ask him some general questions while we waited. I can assume his answers also matched his temper: short. A collective cheer roared through the plane when the pilot announced we were finally ready to take off. The reason for the wait was due to a technological issue in the cockpit, and the entire computer had to be replaced.

So why was the plane not taking off right away? I was completely ready to go, as was everyone else on the plane (except the pilots of course). The answer is obvious: It would not have been safe to take off without the computer of the plane working. We would have been flying in a direction that was a complete guess from the pilot. We could have landed in Timbuktu, which would have caused travelers to be even more upset than they were with the waiting! Waiting caused us to fly in safety.

How does this apply to God having us wait instead of flying us straight to our mountaintop moment? I think the main thing to remember is this: Waiting isn’t always about us. Crazy, right? God could take us straight to the destination, but we would lose the opportunities to meet incredible (and possibly impatient) people during our wait. They can witness our patience and joyful spirit while we are in the waiting, and it can give them hope while they are in their waiting.

I think about where I was two years ago. I was so ready to move. I begged God, telling him there was no way for me to grow while I was in North Dakota, because all my friends at the time had been called to other cities or states. I assumed I was supposed to go as well. I never moved. I waited, and didn’t understand why I was still here. Even my siblings were moving away. One of my siblings that was still nearby was addicted to drugs, so everyday was a struggle to be in a town with someone who only wanted to steal from me. And my amazing boyfriend was just that, my boyfriend. We weren’t married yet, so I couldn’t move somewhere with him yet. I just had to wait, and the wait was never-ending.

Flash forward to today. I love North Dakota! Because I waited, I came to know new people that moved here from out of town, and it is weird if I go longer than a week without seeing them. They have become so dear to me and have helped shape who I am. I also got married to the man of my dreams, and he sharpens me everyday and has truly become my best friend. And my siblings? most are still out of town, but when they visit, our times together are so much more special. And my sibling that was addicted to drugs? She accepted Jesus and we see each other nearly every day. God has redeemed the waiting. Let me say that again, God has redeemed the waiting!

The waiting wasn’t to torture me. It wasn’t about me at all. God was working in other lives, and all the while the waiting was working in me. I cried out deeper to God then I ever had before, wondering how I could ever have friendships when all my friends had moved on. Now, I am rejoicing for the waiting, because I have found new friendships, restored relationships with family, and discovered I am stronger and more courageous than I had ever believed.

Wow! I am glad I typed out my thoughts, because God is faithful and revealed to me the reason for waiting. My prayer for myself, for you, for us, is that we would thank God for the waiting. That we would see it not as a punishment or test, but as a refining moment where God is preparing others as well as ourselves for what is to come. Because what’s to come is bigger than we can imagine. Let your prayers be full of dreams and expectation of what’s to come, and watch God exceed those expectations.

Wait just a little longer. It’s going to be worth it. I promise.

“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” — Isaiah 30:18

Final thought: God waits for us way longer than we will ever have to wait for Him. If He is patient and waits for us, we can gladly wait for Him.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
— 2 Peter 3:9

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