Don’t like waiting? Don’t worry. There’s an app for that! You can actually hire someone in Uber-like fashion to wait in line for you at the store. No joke. It’s a real thing.
True confession: I don’t like waiting and I know that sometimes my own impatience robs me of all the strength that could be mine if I were to flex my faith muscle by waiting on the Lord.
We know that Scripture has much to say about waiting on the Lord, but what does that look like in our everyday lives? It doesn’t look like cloistering yourself off in a cave somewhere, sitting in meditative contemplation day and night, wearing brown sackcloth. No, waiting on the Lord has different looks:
Sitting in the waiting room, strategically wearing two gowns for maximum coverage, I begin mentally rehearsing the Scripture verses on which I chose to focus on this day of testing, uncertainty, and… waiting. This is my second brain scan in six weeks. The first MRI may have revealed something we weren’t even looking for, and so now, we are taking a closer look with a second MRI… and waiting.
We often mistakenly think of waiting as doing nothing. The truth is quite the contrary. The heart that is waiting on the LORD and trusting in His character will actively praise Him, and live life accordingly.
Sitting at the table in the crowded restaurant, I’m still reeling from the emotion of breaking off our engagement. At 34 years of age, I know what it is to wait for marriage on God’s terms. I came to this moment after much prayer and a definite conviction from God’s Word and God’s Spirit, but… the pain is real… and so is the waiting.
Sitting across the desk from the boss, still processing the recent tour of the factory with other hopeful interviewees, I try to make myself believe that any job is better than no job. I had recently moved out to Washington and had been without work for three months. Feeling rather desperate for income, I agreed to work long, hard hours in a smelly, underground mushroom plant. Then, he told me I would have to work every Sunday. I asked if Sunday could be my one day off. He said, “no.” So I said, “Thank you, goodbye.” Church was priority. The wait for employment would have to continue.
“Wait on the Lᴏʀᴅ: Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Psalm 27:14).
Have you ever looked real closely at a strong rope? A strong rope is really a collection of weaker single strands twisted or bound together. The Hebrew word translated wait, twice-mentioned in this verse, is qavah. Qavah carries with it the idea of being collected or bound together in strength.
Qavah also conveys a confident expectation, a hope. What am I binding my heart to? Am I wrapped up in my physical health? Personal relationships? Financial stability? Am I hoping and setting my expectations on lesser things, in my circumstances? Or am I binding my heart to the LORD’s in this time of waiting? Am I looking expectantly toward heaven? Am I waiting on the LORD, abiding in Him, learning of His character, trusting in His loving-kindness? Our heart’s strength is determined by what or who we wait on.
“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise Thee forever because Thou hast done it, and I will wait on Thy name for it is good before Thy saints” (Psalm 52:8–9).
We often mistakenly think of waiting as doing nothing. The truth is quite the contrary. The heart that is waiting on the LORD and trusting in His character will actively praise Him, and live life accordingly. This heart seeks to know Him and to make Him known. In that place of holy worship, God will strengthen this heart and cause this heart to flourish and bear fruit. When we abide in Him, that is when we produce fruit (John 15:5). The fruit of the olive tree provided oil for ancient oil lamps. And so, we also should let our lights shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
“I waited patiently (qavah, qavah) for the Lᴏʀᴅ; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:1–3).
“The Lᴏʀᴅ is good unto them that wait (qavah) for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him” (Lamentations 3:25).
No matter what the circumstances you find yourself sitting in, may your heart continually wait on the LORD! There’s no app for that… just faith.