Worth of Waiting
I don’t know about you, but I’m really impatient.
If you were to ask someone close to me to name my worst quality, that’s usually the first thing that would come up.
Of course, I’m not proud of my impatience. Thinking about it, though, begs the question, “Why am I like this?”
Sometimes it’s something simple like waiting in line for coffee or it could be something big like waiting for God to make a “move” in my life.
Because here’s the thing, I know that God’s ways are better than mine. I know His plans are better than mine, but sometimes I don’t like it.
So, why do I have such a hard time waiting? Why do I have the constant feeling of longing for something more?
Oh wait, isn’t that the whole point of Genesis 3? When God created the earth, He gave everything to mankind. Adam and Eve were given all the plants and animals, and then they were called to subdue and fill it. But, even with all the earth at their fingertips, Adam and Eve questioned God’s commands. When the enemy tempted them, they did exactly what God has asked them not to do. That’s when sin entered the world and broke everything good.
This one act broke communion with God, and with it, brought many consequences. There’s a pretty long list, but one of the consequences of broken communion with God is a continual waiting or longing.
Of course, waiting isn’t new. We see back in the Old Testament countless stories of people of God waiting on Him. Sometimes the season of waiting was brought on by sin and sometimes God had a plan for the season of waiting.
- Noah was called to build a massive ark which took an insane amount of time, but then had to wait for the flood waters to come (Genesis 7).
- Abraham was promised that a multitude of people would call him father, but he had to wait for his son Isaac to be born (Genesis 21).
- Joseph had to wait for redemption, while being sold into slavery and imprisoned (Genesis 37).
- Israel waited over 400 years to be freed from slavery under Egypt (Genesis 15:13).
- Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land (Numbers 13).
All of these events mirrored the waiting and anticipation of a coming Savior.
And that’s exactly what happened. At the perfect time, God sent His son to be the ransom for many and to restore communion with God. Because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we now have communion with God. And yet, we still live in a broken world.
So, why do we still wrestle with waiting?
The communion that Adam and Eve experienced was completely untouched by sin. They didn’t know what sin was until it was introduced by the serpent. When we enter into a relationship with Jesus, we experience the transformation from being dead in sin to being brought to life in Him. But since we still live in a broken world, we still wrestle with the sin nature.
This longing we have is to be with Jesus, fully perfect and without sin.
We see this in the life of Paul. Even after Paul lived life with Jesus and knew Jesus, he still experienced seasons of waiting. Specifically, in 2 Corinthians 12:7–10, we see that Paul was given a thorn that kept him from becoming conceited. Paul asked God three times to take it away, but God’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Even Paul longed for the day when this thorn would be taken from him, but it never was. Instead, it was a reminder of the grace and power of God in his life.
Even in the waiting, we can be assured that God is doing something for our gain and His glory. Maybe we will see the waiting come to an end or like Paul, maybe not.
But, it’s still hard. To wait and not know the outcome or time frame is hard.
And yet, we have hope in and through Jesus. This leads us to remain faithful in the waiting, to be diligent in the longing, to be content in the unknown.
Weight of Waiting
Jesus keeps us and cares for us.
Even in seasons of waiting, we are reminded of the hope found in Him. This hope leads us to remain faithful in the waiting, to be diligent in the longing, to be content in the unknown.
The amazing thing is that even in our waiting, God is still at work. He is producing something in us that only He can.
- God is strengthening us. As we wait upon God, He gives us a strength that only He can provide to help us endure. It’s not through self-care or a long vacation, but through waiting upon the Lord that we can run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31).
- God is providing for us. Not only did God create you, but He sustains you. The very breath you breathe comes from God. So many times, we look at God and say, “It’s cool, I got this.” We quickly realize we don’t. As we wait upon God, we start to see the beautiful things that God provides for those who patiently wait on Him. Our souls wait for the Lord, because He is our help and we can do nothing apart from Him (Psalm 33:18–22).
- God has a plan and we see it being worked out in us. We don’t always see or even understand the vastness of God’s knowledge and ability to care for His creation. Sometimes, we think God isn’t moving in our lives because we don’t “see’ anything happening. However, God calls us to be strong and to wait upon Him, trusting that His ways are best (Psalm 27:14).
Our God is a good God. He knows our needs before we can even pinpoint them in our own hearts. God, in His wisdom, allows seasons of waiting to remind of us of our dependency on Him. This is usually worked out in two ways:
- The resolution to our season of waiting is fulfilled in a greater way than we could ever imagine or plan ourselves.
- There are times where our waiting doesn’t come to an end, but during those times we are brought into a deeper and stronger relationship with God.
In both situations, we are reminded that our longing never fully goes away. Even when waiting comes to an end, another season will eventually come. This longing and anticipation is built into every person because we live in a broken and sinful world.
Our longing can only be satisfied when we see Jesus.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20–21
So, the impatience you experience while waiting at the stop light or for that cup of coffee, shadows the deep longing we have in our hearts for Jesus. That doesn’t mean we can justify our impatience because of this longing. Instead, we are called to practice self-control. And by using self-control, we can allow any impatience to be a reminder of all of the good things yet to come.
One day, our broken and mortal body will be made new (1 Corinthians 15:53–54) in the presence of Jesus. What a beautiful day that will be! On that day, our longing will be found complete and the weight of waiting will no longer hang around our necks.
The same power that makes all things new is the same power that protects and plans out our steps here on earth. God knows you and sees you.
Even in the waiting, in the longing, in the pain — God has not left you alone.
Ultimately, we are waiting for Jesus.
Let that be a reminder the next time impatience sets in. Whatever discontentment you may be experiencing will one day be fulfilled in Jesus alone.