Word of the Week: Waiting

The other day Norma Jean and I  were discussing our travel plans for May and the rest of the summer.

“Do you think “sheltering in place” restrictions will be lifted by May 1st?” she wondered.

“I don’t know.”

“When you do think the Canadian border will open?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where are we going if the border doesn’t open in May?”

“I don’t know.”

“What are we going to do?” she further pressed.

“Just wait.” I replied. “Just wait.”

Waiting is not natural for me. I don’t like to wait in line. Or at a fast food restaurant. And I definitely don’t like waiting in backed up traffic. But sometimes all you can do is wait.

Currently our country and the world is in a waiting mode. We wait wondering when this shut down will end. Some are waiting to see if they still have a job or business when this is over. Many are waiting on their stimulus checks from the IRS. Some are anxiously waiting to see if their loved one will recover from this terrible virus.

We’re waiting to hear the decision from our national, state or local leaders about returning back to our lives. Returning to work. Returning to ball games, theaters, and restaurants. And returning to collective worship in our church buildings.

In the meantime, we wait.

As the Psalmist David faced trouble and trial in his life, he often wrote about waiting. He equated his confidence, courage and trust in the Lord with waiting.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
(Ps 27:14).

This is good advice when we are dealing with sickness and suffering. Or personal problems. And during this time of national and international distress.

We wait on the Lord because He is the everlasting God. He is our Creator. And He is all powerful. We wait, believing that God is not just a mere spectator of our pain, but a loving, merciful and compassionate benefactor who hears our cries. Knows our hurts. And will relieve our suffering.

So, we wait. But how do we wait.

I don’t agree with all of her theology, but Joyce Meyer’s observation is appropriate. “Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”

1. We humbly wait.

Pride gets in the way of waiting. When we think we’re too important, too busy, or too smart to wait, then we get into trouble. David reminds us, “Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart (Ps. 10:17).

2. We patiently wait.

Too often we put a time limit on the Lord. We want answers now. Not later. We want relief now. Not next week. David’s wise counsel is helpful. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry”(Ps. 40:1).

3. We persistently wait.

Waiting on the Lord is not an off and on again thing. It’s something in which we must persist and persevere. Psalm 69 speaks of David holding on. Hanging on. And doggedly determined to wait on the Lord.

4. We actively wait.

To “wait on the Lord” is not be passive, inactive or lethargic. Waiting is active. Aware and alert. “Faith without works is dead.”

The evangelist and expositor G. Campbell Morgan expressed it this way. “Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.”

5. We expectantly wait.

Hebrew scholars suggest that the phrase “to wait on Yahweh” means “to wait for help.” That is, to trust in him. To put our hope and confidence in Him.

We are not waiting with “our fingers crossed.” Or waiting for a stroke of luck. Or for fate to direct our destiny. We wait with expectation and anticipation that God will provide a favorable outcome. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope” (Ps 130:5).

6. We prayerfully wait.

Prayerful waiting, is waiting with a purpose. With hope for divine help. And with assurance that God cares. Hears. And answers. David’s call to “wait on the Lord” is always connected with prayer. “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You” (Ps. 39:7).

Don’t give in to discouragement.  Despair.  Or depression.

Wait.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(Isa 40:31)

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

6 Comments

Filed under COVID-19, Word of the Week

6 responses to “Word of the Week: Waiting

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus Lessons To Learn | Bible Study Page

  2. John N

    Ken,
    Thank you for your reminder, it brought to mind the contrast in the apostles waiting in the garden in Mark 14 and their waiting in Acts 1:12 and following.

  3. Steven Moore

    Thanks Ken, I needed that reminder on how I should wait. I’m with Norma Jean, I hope it’s sooner than later. Stay safe.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Recap: April 12-18 | ThePreachersWord

  5. Nancy

    One thing for sure, this is a time for waiting. A time for trial and definitely let’s me know where I stand in my faith towards God. I found that this pandemic gave me blessings within it. Without out it, I would of not found out how much difficulty my youngest son has in school. There are behaviors that needed to be attended for a while now.

    Most of his behaviour are caused by his difficulty in learning, this has had an effect on his social life. My son never accepted that he has a learning difficulty he wants to be like others. This lead him into some bad choices with the wrong crowd and lost some of his good friends.

    This time quarantine at home with my son although quite difficult, with many dispute. Allows me to at least help him through the realization that he does need to deal with his learning disability and accept it for what it is. That he can not continuesly run from it or manipulate others to do his work for him. He always push me away when it came to help him with his homework, I new he needed help, but I also never made it easy for him.
    I have caught him having his friends searching and typing his work for him. I myselff grew up with learning disabilitand and know the importance of persisting and to never give up. No matter what one day he will be on his own and no one will be around to do his work for him he has to face This problem. In this time of waiting, while the world is on pause Allows me to put my affairs at home in this time given to me. Something that I would of never be able to do in a world that never stops.
    Also during my trials and tribulations with my son; My God Jesus provided every financial need necessary to keep my home running giving me no worries. I also know although my son has been going down the wrong path and insist to continue in this path. I know if I keep the same faith that I had through in dealing with this coronavirus and apply it towards my son. God will do wonders to help him and save his soul.

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