Wait not, Want not

W e are all familiar with the expression, “all good things are worth waiting for.” I have been hanging out in the waiting room for some time now waiting for the fulfillment of that good thing. In my deluded mind I think that I have become an expert in the arena of waiting and I am able to deal with “it” when “it shows up. The interesting thing is we will never graduate from the school of waiting. We will always be in waiting for something, someone.

Have I learned anything form the school of waiting? When I want to acknowledge the reality of growth through pain, I am able to answer yes with reticence, waiting is a good thing. But I have those moments when I scream loudly, No, I have not learned a thing and I do not want to wait any longer.

Recently I have been pondering the word wait and during my time of devotion I came across the following scriptures that speak on that very topic. I was astounded at the number of passages that talk about waiting on God. The wonderfulness of the scriptures is that the pain had been replaced with pleasure. It was not just one biblical writer who speaks of waiting on God, the blessing of waiting are inscribed throughout the entire Word of God, i.e., Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 30:18, Lamentations 3:24-26, Hosea 12:6, Micah 7:7, Romans 8:25, 1 Corinthians 1:7, James 5:7, Jude 1:21 are just the beginning.

Recently I have been wondering why God so often sends us to the School of Waiting. Does He send us there so that we will learn our lesson and never have to wait again? Or does He send us there to learn to savor times of waiting, which are, inevitably, to learn to look at them as opportunities to draw close to the heart of God? In his book, Waiting on God, Andrew Murray makes these observations:
    At our first entrance into the school of waiting upon God, the heart is mainly set on the blessings which we wait for. God graciously uses our needs and desires for help to educate us for something higher than we were thinking of. We were seeking gifts; He, the Giver, longs to give Himself and to satisfy the soul with His goodness. It is just for this reason that He often withholds the gifts, and that the time of waiting is made so long. He is constantly seeking to win the heart of His child for Himself. He wishes that we would not only say, when He bestows the gift, 'How good is God!' but that long before it comes, and even if it never comes, we should all the time be experiencing: it is good that a man should quietly wait. 'The Lord is good to them that wait for him.'
What a blessed life this life of waiting. It becomes the continual worship of faith, and trusting His goodness. As the heart learns its secret, every act or exercise of waiting becomes just a quiet inflowing into the goodness of God, to let it do its holy and blessed work and gratify our every need. Waiting becomes the practice and character, the very second nature and breath of our essence.

We will all have times of waiting, whether we like it or not. Our choice is either to pursue the behavior of quiet waiting or scratch in frustration against the covering we've been given to wear. And though waiting quietly may go against every tendency in us to fix and control circumstances and people, waiting allows us to step back and watch God do what we cannot. In stark contrast to the adage "God helps those who help themselves," the prophet Isaiah tells us:

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).

This is the God we serve, the God who asks us to wait while He works. The waiting will not last forever, but it is not to be avoided or short-circuited. There is not some level of blessing that, when reached, makes waiting uncalled for. Let us not desire to move beyond waiting; let us seek to know God in our waiting.
No eye has seen and no ear has perceived any God like Him.

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