When my Dad was in the army in World War II, waiting in line was a way of life.
Waiting in line to get your paycheck, waiting in line for dinner, waiting to see the movies, waiting to get clothing and equipment. He waited in so many lines he promised himself that after the war he’d never wait in line again. Until he found himself back home, once again waiting in line, with my mother to see a movie.
We can’t escape waiting, much as we’d like to. Murphy’s law says that no matter what lane of traffic we switch to, the other goes faster. And how is it that the cashier who’s never touched a cash register takes over as soon as I get in line? And I don’t even want to mention waiting in airports. Waiting is part of our lives.
Waiting is part of our spiritual lives. Waiting isn’t Murphy’s Law but God’s law. I’m waiting for him to heal family members. Waiting for him to change me and help me. Waiting for God to work in my children. Waiting for guidance.
Lamentations 3:24-26 says, “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him,to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Waiting is an act of faith. Because in waiting for the Lord, we are saying, Lord I trust in you. I hope in you. I have confidence that as I wait, you are being good to me and you are acting on my behalf. I’m trusting you for grace to come. Faith waits confidently for the Lord to fulfill his promises.
God’s word is filled with promises of future blessings. Promises we must wait for. Promises for our children. Promises to give us all we need to glorify him. Promises to protect us and keep us. Promises we wait for in faith.
James exhorts us, Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains (5:7). Farmers wait in patient faith. They don’t go out and dig up the seeds every day to check if they’re growing. They trust that the rains have activated them underground and they’re growing. There will be a harvest. That’s how we wait for the promise of the Lord’s coming. We don’t see it, but something is happening. The Lord will come.
That’s how we wait in faith for God. God is at work in my children. At work in me. Like the rain at work in the seeds in the ground. And someday there will be a harvest. While we are waiting, keep watering God’s promises by prayer and thanksgiving. Ask God to fulfill his promises. And thank him that he will. Thank him for the grace that is coming.
Waiting is an act of faith. While we are waiting and trusting, God is working.
(Originally published October 24, 2007)