“But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (Psalm 38:15 ESV).
Waiting is difficult. I should be good at waiting. I have experience. I spent fifty-four months—4 ½ years—being pregnant. It was difficult every time, even though there was a terminus, a line drawn in the sand, a light at the end of the tunnel (literally). This pregnancy stops here! It does not go on indefinitely.
Our lives are gobbled up by waiting. We can’t wait to be 10, then 13, then 18, then 21, then 25. (Our anticipation isn’t so eager after that.) We wait in line. We hope for spring, summer, fall, and winter. We are excited for school to start and then for it to end. As we sit in slow traffic, we search in vain for progress on the never-ending road construction, so our commute isn’t so miserable. We wait for spouses to come home from faraway lands. We wait for loved ones to return. We wait for Christmas.
We long for Christ’s return.
I am now engaged in a variety of literary waiting. An agent has my revised manuscript. What will she think? We’ve been bouncing it back and forth for a year now. I’m prepping my bible-study material to sell on this site—waiting for copyright permission, straining toward the completion of the project, working hard to get there. I’m looking forward to my first formally published writing to hit the presses in September. I’ve been anticipating these events for several decades. Restless agitation disrupts my dreams.
We often miss large chunks of life, because our gaze is focused on the distant horizon.
If we can detach our gaze from the faraway event and focus right in front of us, it helps with the waiting. To fully live in the moment, enjoying it to the full, mind and attention focused on what is occurring now—that is the challenge. Anticipating Christ’s return seems to be the only exception to the rule. Longing for his coming makes our daily living more bearable and joy-filled. Awareness of him gives us the motivation to move forward.
I am my best at waiting when my eyes and heart are fixed on him. When I keep in mind that he is the author of my circumstances, the designer of my talents, and the fulfiller of my dreams, my waiting takes on a new consistency. It is then faith.
It’s easy to trust him when the longed-for goal is in my hand. That is not faith; that is sight. But when I am confident in him while I’m waiting, when the waiting stretches me to my limit and beyond, putting me on my face before him, causing my faith to grow, that is what delights his heart. Then I’m walking in faith.
Then I can give alert attention to the work he has given me to do now, while I’m waiting—the growth in knowledge of him from his word, the articles and manuscripts to be written and revised, the brokenhearted who need encouragement, the small children who must be held and cherished, the sister in Christ who needs assistance, the son who needs a phone call. While completing all the tasks the Lord has given me at this moment, eager expectancy percolates in my mind.
Master, I trust in you.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:13, 14).