How to Wait Well
Do you ever feel like you spend a lot of your time waiting on something or someone? Research compiled by a study for Timex found that the average person living in a city will spend about 20 minutes per day waiting for public transportation. Urban commuters spend about 50 hours annually waiting in traffic. We spend an average of 28 minutes in a waiting room during each appointment. If we were to add up all the time we spend in lines, on hold on the phone, or waiting on a friend or family member, it's safe to say that a good chunk of our lives are literally spent waiting! We really have a lot of practice in this area and yet almost no one is actually really good at waiting in ALL circumstances.
Most often what we are waiting for is completely out of our control to do or change. We can't make a train come sooner any more than we can make an always late friend arrive at the coffee shop on time. Sadly, I am often that "always late friend''. I think therein lies the issue with waiting.
What if we take this into the aspect of our relationship with the God of the Universe? Do we wait on Him well? I can say that for many times in my life the answer has been "not really". Why is that? God is the most dependable one that I can ever trust with my dreams, desires and troubles. Have you ever felt this way too?
I have to believe that we feel this way because there are times we feel God is silent or inactive in times of waiting. Oh friend, we can rest assured that He is not inactive at all in our circumstances. Psalms 121:1-4 reminds us "I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you WILL NOT slumber." Our God is at work constantly whether we see it or feel it or not. However, He is working in His own time. One of the incommunicable attributes of God (attributes of God that only He has and we will never have) is that He is eternal and exists outside of time. God can see the past, present and future equally vividly. So while we may feel like nothing is happening or that God is silent, He is in fact busy at work despite our timing. God knows how our past circumstances are uniquely woven together with our present and future circumstances. He allows us to wait for a reason.
Furthermore, God is not the only one who needs to be active in our seasons of waiting. We have a job to do too! Psalms 27:14 says "Wait for the Lord; be strong, take heart and wait for the Lord.". I did a word study of the word wait. In Hebrew the word for wait means "to bind together". The word wait in Greek means "to gather". So really waiting is not passive on our parts either. We can actively bind ourselves to Christ and gather His strength and courage for the present moment and the moments ahead.
How do we do this? I think one way we can bind ourselves to Christ is in the reading of God's Word and memorizing His scriptures. Psalms 119:105 tell us "Your word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.". When we hide scriptures in our hearts, they can be easily recalled in our minds. Another way to gather on God's strength is by continual prayer and conversation with Him. God will fill our hearts with hope in Him as Isaiah 40:31 reminds us " But those who hope in 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.". We can embrace the waiting and learn to wait well because God IS active on our behalf and we can be too!