Wait. What comes to mind when you think of that word? See, the word “wait” and I don’t get along. In fact, having to wait may be my least favorite thing ever. It’s very possibly the thing I’m the worst at. I thrive off of immediacy, results, and things I can check off of a checklist quickly. I enjoy goals that are tangible, easy to reach and in my control. The problem is that life doesn’t always work in my favor. I don’t always get the quick results I want. I don’t always get immediate answers. In life, we wait…and we don’t always do it well.
Back to my earlier question. What do you think of when you think of the word “wait”? For me, I think of impatiently fidgeting until I get the answer or result I’m seeking. I think of irritability, anxiety and annoyance. For me, in this last year, waiting has come with emotions of not just anxiety, but unrelenting agony. There are some things in life that we have to wait for that can cause deep pain. Waiting for healing of an illness or broken relationship, waiting for a major life change like finding a new house or a new job, or months of negative pregnancy tests. Waiting can truly, deeply hurt. And I do not wait well.
In preparation for this blog post, I looked up the dictionary definition of the word “wait” and I was genuinely confused by the answer. For real, I had to refresh the page and rewrite what I was searching for because I was confident that I somehow messed up my question based off of the search result. I kid you not, I genuinely believed that the definition of “wait” would include something like, “Forcing upon a person a delayed result or response”…but that’s not what I found at all. One of the dictionary definitions of “wait” is, “To pause or rest”. What? That doesn’t make sense. To me waiting is the opposite of resting. Sure enough, when I looked up synonyms of the word “waiting”, the words were delay, expect, remain, linger, and abide. Every one of those words have an underlying theme of peace and trust. Maybe my issues are not my constant need for immediate results, but my continual doubt and self-reliance.
The Bible is full of stories of waiting. The most prominent example is the theme of the Old Testament—the Jews waiting for the Deliverer. My favorite passages of peace, trust, and patiently waiting on the Lord are in the Psalms. Here are just a few:
“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him…” – Psalm 37:7
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” – Psalm 25:5
“We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my trust.” – Psalm 130:5
How powerful are the words of David who always seemed to face so much uncertainty. He was always honest about the agony he felt, but he always came back to trusting the Lord and His faithfulness. Telling God about what we feel is all part of abiding in Jesus. He does not expect us to be emotionless while we wait. He wants us to talk to Him and come to Him with what’s troubling us. How blessed are we to have a God like that.
This Christmas season I am reminded of the joy of Jesus coming to earth. After years of waiting, God’s people were given their long awaited Deliverer. He did not come in the way they expected, but He came. In my waiting I want to choose to trust, rest, and abide in the Lord, no matter what the outcome may be. My prayer is that you will find peace in the Lord as you wait as well. Come to the Lord with your troubles. He loves to listen to you. May you trust in the Lord and His faithfulness.
“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD” – Psalm 27:14
Written by Charissa Wines