We live in a society that’s accustomed to instant gratification. Take fast food or Netflix, for example. We want what we want when we want it. And advertisers know it. They appeal to consumers on the basis of ease and speed, and our culture eats it up.
It’s no surprise, then, that in a culture such as ours waiting on God can be incredibly difficult. Waiting challenges the impatient and controlling tendencies of our humanness, and the difficulty is amplified when we’re used to immediate results. As I’ve contemplated this topic recently, I started to wonder what it really means to wait on God. Here’s what came to mind:
Waiting on God is living with a settled confidence that God will do the right thing at the right time.
When we truly wait for God to answer specific prayers or guide our decision making, we aren’t just letting time lapse as we look for opportunities to take matters into our own hands. True waiting on God means having a deep, abiding assurance that God’s timing and ways are perfect. Waiting on God acknowledges His goodness, power, and wisdom.
Inability to wait on God reveals a lack of trust. Sometimes we doubt His goodness, other times we doubt His power or wisdom. Often it’s a combination of the three. Our impatience brings our heart’s questions to the surface: Will God actually get this right? Will He come through in time?
Psalm 145 answers these questions and more. God doesn’t just do things well; He does them perfectly. As you read through the Psalm, notice the all-encompassing nature of David’s statements: The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Ps. 145:9). The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does (145:13).
God is good, powerful, and wise. As we wait for Him to act, we can go on with life trusting that all His ways are perfect. We don’t know more than Him, and we can’t do better than He can. Waiting on God is an affirmation that God is God.
God knows what He’s doing, and He is able to use our waiting to accomplish His purposes for His glory and our good. As Aaron Keyes sings, “You are working in our waiting, sanctifying us, when beyond our understanding, you’re teaching us to trust.”
Your waiting will never be wasted.
Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry