I wrote my latest article for our local paper about waiting, since it’s something I’ve been doing quite a bit of lately. We all spend so much of our lives waiting; we should be used to it by now. We wait for repairmen to show up (always later than they say), we wait at the doctor’s office (in a Waiting Room), and we wait for the phone – whether we’re buying a house, applying for college, or hoping to be asked to the prom. Expectant parents wait for the baby to come; then for sleep to come; much later, for the teenaged baby to come home.
We all wait for something. Why is it so hard to do when we’ve had so much practice doing it? Waiting highlights our impatience. The process can feel excruciating because we’ve come to expect, demand even, that things happen instantly.
Biblical waiting is different. The term “wait on God” carries elements of hope and even faith. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5). We don’t wait on God with a defeated attitude, wondering whether he’ll answer or not. We don’t merely wish for something that we doubt will happen. We can wait eagerly and expectantly because of the character of the one in whom we trust, believing that God is faithful and his promises come true. The journey, while difficult, can elevate us.
The word “wait” is an important one to me since the title of my book, We Wait You, hinges on its meaning. In Romania in 1990, I met people who had waited for 45 years, hoping for Americans to come and free them from their oppressive regimes. The underground churches’ hope went even deeper. They waited on God, not Americans, and so their faith grew. They were convinced that, whether they remained behind their invisible bars or were liberated, God would provide all they needed. Their circumstances didn’t dissuade them because they’d placed their hope in a trustworthy object.
The Bible is a story of people waiting with hope in God. Jews still wait for the Messiah. Abraham waited for the promised seed. We who are Christ-followers wait for the Promise to return.
Meanwhile, I wait for a job interview – convinced that whatever the outcome and however long the journey, God has promised to take care of me. I wait with hope.