You’re reading a health and wellness magazine and you’re thinking: that guy can’t spell. But the truth is that you read it correctly: I have a wait problem: I don’t like to wait. But who does?
Think about it… do you like to wait? Do you love sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office? Do you look for the longest line at the grocery store so you can spend more time waiting? When the light turns green, does it make you happy when the car in front of you just sits there? Do you keep your fingers crossed that wait times are an hour at the amusement park? If you answered “no” to the questions above, then you have a wait problem too.
It’s been estimated that we spend ten percent of our lives waiting. That comes out to be over two hours of everyday. I have a wait problem: I’m not very good at it. But I don’t have a choice. Waiting is a part of our lives.
And waiting isn’t just a part of everyday menial tasks, but big things in life too. Things like waiting for Mr. Right or Miss Perfect; waiting for your first grandchild; waiting for retirement; waiting on test results; waiting to hear back about the interview; waiting…
From a spiritual perspective, waiting is very important. So important, in fact, that God talks about it including these words: “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV)
Waiting is expected by God.
Notice what he says… “…they who wait for the LORD…” Isaiah doesn’t single out an individual or use the word “if”. God – the creator and controller of time and all circumstances – knows we will have seasons of waiting. And He expects us to wait on Him.
God uses waiting to build our character.
Look at the different stages of development: flying high (wings), running, and walking. Waiting gets us to a place where we learn to take in the highest highs, but at the same time realize that slow and steady gets us where we need to go. Waiting helps us grow into constant and consistent forward movement in our lives… even when we are waiting.
Waiting is rewarded by God.
Isaiah shows us that waiting has its rewards. Tired of being tired? Close to giving up? Don’t want to wait anymore? Read the passage again: “…and not be weary…” “…and not faint…” God honors us when we wait. God rewards our faithfulness in the midst of our waiting.
Waiting is the fruit of our faith.
Finally look at this: “…but they who wait for the LORD…” When we learn to trust our circumstances to God, we show that we really believe that He is in control. We demonstrate that we actually believe that He knows best and that He works all things together for good. When we wait on the LORD, we show the depth of our faith. So… how do I get better at waiting? The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing. It sounds simple – and it is – but simple is not the same as easy (because it’s not).
But look at it like this… I heard the other day, “there are no problems, only opportunities”. So at least now I know I don’t have a wait problem after all – just a wait opportunity (and lots of them)!