Did you know that on average, people spend six months in their lifetimes waiting in line? That’s roughly three days out of a year waiting in line. And that’s just the statistic on lines. It increases exponentially when you factor in waiting on the phone, waiting online, waiting in traffic. Currently, over 100,000 people are waiting on a giraffe to give birth. There always seems to be something to wait on.
But if waiting is such a huge part of our lives, why do we seem to be so lousy at it?
The word “wait” in some form or another occurs over 130 times in the Bible. But if you look deeper at the original Hebrew and Greek, the word wait is not a mindless passing of time. It is not an unnecessary and trivial matter. The verb “to wait” in Hebrew and Greek is one that implies eagerness and hope and trust. It is an action verb, not one designated for passiveness. When God is calling us to wait, He is not asking us to simply do nothing. He is asking us to trust in Him. He is asking us to eagerly watch and listen. He is asking us to trust.
It’s one of the hardest things to do because it take us out of control and calls us to trust in God’s plan. There is a purpose in the waiting. There is preparation and learning in times of waiting. Take Elijah’s 3-year drought, where he learned to wait on the Lord. Read about Moses and his 40-year stint in the desert as the Lord prepared Moses’ heart and the people’s heart for the trials to come. Times of waiting, whether we like it or not, are crucial moments in our Christian walk.
When we wait, we become still and quiet and strain our ear to hear the Lord. When we wait, we are preparing for the next stage, the next journey, the next call. When we wait, we put our hope and dependency on God alone.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! –Psalm 27:14