This morning I had an interesting conversation with a woman from our church. She wanted to talk to me about a challenge she’s having in waiting for God to give clear direction in a specific area of her life. The challenge is that God hasn’t give that direction yet, and so she’s getting restless. At one point in the conversation, she said “Pastor, I’m just so tired of all this waiting - and not doing anything! It’s wearing me out!”
I knew my friend was talking about being worn out spiritually, and not physically. Part of the reason I could tell that was because she was physically animated in telling me about her situation - but even more than that, I knew because it’s something I’ve experienced myself. There have been times in my life when waiting on God has worn me out spiritually. But the good news is that God has used those times to help me understand that “waiting” on God doesn’t always mean we have to be passive. And actually, being passive usually tires us out more!
A good example of what I’m talking about can be found in the world of air travel. Most of us have experienced having a flight cancelled, or delayed. We’ve also experienced the result of those cancellations and delays - which is having to sit and wait for the airlines to do something about it. And the longer we wait, the more tired we get. Some of that tiredness can be physical, as airline waiting areas are not the most comfortable. But another significant factor in getting tired is the feeling of hopelessness that takes over, as we realize we can’t control the situation. And all too often, that’s the same mentality we slip into as we wait for God to work in our lives.
However, if we do that, we’re missing out on all that God wants to do in our lives while we wait. Here’s what I mean - when the Bible talks about waiting on God, it’s referring to a completely different type of “waiting”. Usually, the waiting the Bible talks about is being still in God’s presence, expectantly looking to Him for His plans. And the interesting thing is that, if we do - if we wait expectantly in God’s presence - our strength is actually renewed. Isaiah 40:31 puts it like this: “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
This passage reminds us that there’s an excitement and eagerness that comes from waiting to see what God’s going to do. And it comes from resting in His presence - keeping our focus on what He’s doing, rather than focusing on our own time-lines or expectations. Think of it like this: someone who serves tables at a restaurant is known as a “waiter”. It’s a title that originated from the similarity to how servants would wait at their master’s table - watching and listening for the slightest instruction from the master about what needed to be done for the meal.
That’s how we should be waiting on the Lord. Psalm 123:2 puts it this way, “As the eyes of a slave looks to the hand of his master, as the eyes of a maid looks to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God.” This is how we’re called to wait on God. It’s not with a tiredness, or boredom because God isn’t working according to our timeline. Instead, it’s to be quiet in His presence, keeping an eye on His every movement - eagerly looking forward to His next command for our lives.
So today, let’s take time to wait on the Lord. Let’s get quiet with Him, focus on Him, and eagerly await His instructions on when and how to best serve Him in all areas of our lives.