Can we all agree that waiting is the worst?
I’m (barely) a Millennial. Waiting is not in my DNA. To quote Queen, I want it all, and I want it now. If a video buffers for more than 0.3 seconds, I’m gone. I don’t have time for all this nonsense. We’re past the days of dial-up, screeching banshee, “You’ve got mail!”, internet connections. I have broadband internet, for crying out loud.
I would rather be waterboarded with Axe Body Spray than go to the DMV. These days, waiting at a stoplight feels like an insufferable, Job-like trial.
This is why waiting on God is so hard for me. I have a finely tuned timeline for how my life is supposed to go. When God doesn’t meet my milestones, everything feels out of whack. I feel restless, impatient, irritated, bored. I want things to be fixed, resolved, repaired, moving forward. And I want these things now.
Waiting on God isn’t fun. I don’t like waiting for him to relieve suffering. Waiting for God to give me guidance is frustrating. Trusting him to fix problems in his timeline grates against my desire for total control.
But it’s good to wait. Really good.
Why is waiting on God so good for me? Here are 3 beautiful reasons.
1) Waiting On God Forces Me To Admit I’m Not In Control
I hate feeling like I’m not in control of my life.
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL! I CHART MY OWN COURSE!
Except I don’t. God is the one who directs my path. He is the one who shepherds me to green pastures and still waters. He is the one who has planned my days and knows the hairs on my head. The universe is wildly out of my control.
Waiting on God forces me to acknowledge that I am not the Sovereign One. That I’m not able to live apart from God. That I can’t just make things happen. That I’m under the very good rule and reign of God, and that he is directing my steps.
And let’s be honest. It’s a really good thing I’m not in control of my life. If I was responsible for pioneering my path, I would quickly run myself into the ground and probably end up dead and apostate. I would be like the, “Don’t drive angry,” scene in Groundhog Day.
When I can say, “God, I admit that I’m not in control and I submit to your plans for my life,” that’s a wonderful, Spirit-created thing.
2) Waiting On God Deepens My Trust In God
Waiting for God to work brings me face to face with one, hugely important question: Do I believe that God is good?
That question is at the heart of waiting. Who do I believe has the better plans, God or me? Whose timeline brings about the most good for me and the most glory for God? Who is wiser?
If you ask me these questions, I’ll always give you the right answer. But when you put the gun of waiting to my head, I start to vacillate.
“Maybe my way is better. Why is God moving so slowly? It’s obvious that the best thing for him to do now is to fix this.”
God allows me to wait because he wants to demonstrate his wisdom. He wants to teach me that his way is always the best. That I should trust in the Lord with all my heart and stop relying on my faulty, fickle, usually deluded understanding.
God wants me to trust him, and he’ll often make me wait to prove that he knows what he’s doing.
3) Waiting On God Teaches Me Faithful Obedience
As I read through Scripture, I see that God almost always makes his people wait. Joseph sat for 13 years in a dank prison. Moses waited until he was 80 to begin leading the people of Israel. Abraham didn’t have Isaac until he was in his 90’s. Israel waited in the dry, arid desert. Paul sat in prison, waiting to go to Rome.
And most importantly, God’s people waited for the Messiah.
Why does God make his people wait? Because he teaches them faithful obedience in the midst of waiting. He teaches them to obey him, even when they don’t understand why.
It’s easy to obey God when I know what he’s doing. When I can see where things are headed. When my headlights shine ahead on the road.
But most of the time, I have zero clue what God is up to. I’m driving blind (I’m resisting the urge to sing Jesus Take The Wheel). I don’t know where I’m headed or how long I’ll be on the road. Occasionally my headlights will blink on, briefly revealing where I’m headed, but then they go out again, leaving me in the dark.
God wants me to learn to obey him even when I don’t have all the answers. To step out on the water even though the storm is raging. To faithfully put one foot in front of the other, confident that he’s guiding my steps.
I don’t like the term, “Blind faith,” because it implies a faith devoid of reason. But most of the time, following God really does require absolute, blind trust in God and his promises. When I don’t have this faith, I try to jerk the steering wheel away from God, sending my life careening off the road.
God Is Good To Those Who Wait For Him
Lamentations 3:25-26 puts it beautifully:
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for me to wait on God. God is good to me when I wait for him.
God works uniquely through waiting, giving me blessings that I couldn’t get any other way. When I try to shortcut the waiting, I miss out on the blessings he wants to give me.