COLUMN: What are you waiting for?

Published 7:30 am Sunday, July 7, 2024

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Time seems to stand still when the red light turns green and the person in front of you doesn’t realize it. Who wants to wait when you’ve got places to go and things to do?

Having to wait in traffic can teach us patience. No one likes to wait, but waiting is a fact of life. Make an appointment to see your doctor and where do you sit until your name is called? The waiting room.

Do you remember “call waiting” on phones? It was frustrating when the beeps interrupt your conversation. One of my relatives would hang up and let me call her back rather than for me to put her on hold to take an incoming call.

The farmer plants his seed and must wait for the harvest. A high school diploma requires waiting and working through twelve years of schooling. Like all mothers know, there’s a nine month wait before we hold a newborn in our arms. (I waited nine months and two weeks to hold my daughter!)

Waiting is most difficult when you are standing by the bedside of a loved one waiting to see what’s going to happen to them.

In “The Path of Waiting,” Henri Nouwen writes, “The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted and something has begun.” Nouwen goes on to say that most people think waiting is a waste of time, but waiting is an act of obedience. It requires a trusting heart. “It is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life.”

A Jewish writer, Simone Weil, has said, “Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation for spiritual life.” Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand why God doesn’t answer my prayers on my time table. That’s when I must tell the Lord, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You” (Psalm 39:7 NKJ).

I’m thankful for promises in the Bible – like Isaiah 40:31 – that says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV).

According to quadriplegic artist Joni Eareckson Tada, “The times we find ourselves having to wait on others may be the perfect opportunities to train ourselves to wait on the Lord.” Charles Stanley once said, “When we surrender to His timing, He does mighty things in and for us, according to His will and His timing. God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”

What are you waiting for? Is it a bank loan to buy a house? A job interview? I know several people waiting to hear the doctor’s diagnosis. Their future is unknown and uncertain. All they can do is wait.

Often, all we can do is trust God and wait. The Bible says, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen (your) heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 KJV)

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”