What does it mean to “wait”? The Bible says “wait on the Lord.” Right now, I am listening to the wind hum through the window sashes, making a sound like a pitch pipe. I am waiting for spring, which comes in May here in Chicago.
I’m waiting to see what publishers think of my latest proposal, I’m waiting for a check from a magazine I wrote for, and I’m waiting God to provide enough light for the next step in my journey.
Such waiting is not passive, but active. It required me to write the proposal, to secure the magazine assignment and write the article, and it is understood that I must listen and seek God’s wisdom if I am ever to apply it to my life. We take action, then wait for God to respond.
And this is the hard part—while waiting for the unresolved things to be resolved, I must continue to stir up other things. To send another query, to write another article, or chapter. To call another editor, even though she may reject me. To ask God for what I need, even though asking requires me to risk that answers may not match expectations. To pray yet again before I know how my last prayer will be answered.
We’re in the last couple of weeks of Lent–waiting for Easter. Easter commemorates Jesus’ resurrection. But for the disciples, it was a weekend of excruciating waiting–after Jesus died, but before he arose.
Waiting implies hoping, and looking forward, as well. I’m hoping that the conference I’ll speak at later this month will glorify God, that it will inspire and help people. I’m looking forward to it. And as I wait, I prepare. I craft messages to deliver, I review my notes. I keep in touch with the conference organizers to be sure everything is set up. I’m waiting, but active in that waiting.
Waiting on the Lord has to do with faith. The Bible says this kind of waiting is hoping. We hope for things we have not seen, but we trust that God will keep promises. God will be faithful.
The economy and all its scary repercussions have some of us in a “wait and see” mode. But this is a different sort of waiting—the waiting that immobilizes us with fear. Waiting on the Lord means trusting, with confidence, that God will provide, and lead, and that grace is sufficient.
Psalm 130 says:
“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.”
What are you waiting for?