The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
The prophetess Anna impresses me so much. For 84 years she waited with confidence and conviction that God would deliver on His promise to her to see the Messiah. Her faith in this promise was akin to that of Abraham, David and Elijah. Waiting can be hard for anyone, but waiting for 84 years is both a testament to her faith and, moreso, to God’s faithfulness.
We live in an instant culture where waiting is something of a lost art. Far too often waiting is seen as a curse rather than the blessing it was designed to be. Romans 5:4-6 reminds us that it is patience that develops character, and character that develops hope.
Yet if we are really honest, waiting makes us chafe. It feels so useless. Yet, true waiting is not a waste of time. It is the confidence in Isaiah 60:22 that at just the right time and in just the right way God will act according to His great plans and purposes.
I hold great esteem for author and theologian, Andrew Murray. In his book, Waiting on God, he writes in speaking of God’s goodness, grace and work in our lives, “We hinder Him either by our indifference or our self-effort, so He cannot do what He would like to do. What He asks of us in way of surrender, obedience, desire, and trust is all included in this one word: waiting-waiting on Him and waiting for His salvation. It combines the deep sense of our entire helplessness to work what is divinely good and our perfect confidence that our God will work it all in His divine power.”
Waiting is not useless. It is aimless, numb, debilitating wandering that is truly useless. Wandering has no direction and can leave us feeling stuck in a whirlpool vortex of hopelessness. But true and blessed waiting is to keep our eyes solely fixed on our blessed Savior and follow Him into the unknown, with the confidence that He alone will provide in ways we can’t imagine at just the right time.
Whether you are young, or advanced in years, we are all waiting for something. The wait doesn’t come any easier with age, but our confidence in God’s faithfulness should grow. Is there something in your life that you have given up hope on? How can you rekindle that flame and begin to wait on God again to fulfil His promise in your life this week? Confess it before Him today and start again.
By Sheila Rennau