A four-letter word.
Its silence isn’t so golden.
The one thing that separates today and tomorrow . . . Wait.
We all know how it feels to wait. Our faith seems to wither like the crusty brown leaves in autumn, and fear of the unknown seems to weigh down our thoughts like the dew bows blades of grass. We cling desperately to the crisp air of hope as we wait for God to move like the brisk wind, invigorating our unwanted season of waiting.
Can I let you in on a secret? Everyone is waiting on something.
We’re waiting for that special person to come along.
We’re waiting for fulfilling friendships.
We’re waiting for freedom from sin.
We’re waiting to heal.
We’re waiting for an answer to prayer.
Whatever makes your list, the question shouldn’t be “What are you waiting for?” but rather “How will you choose to wait?”
My Unexpected Waiting
Not long ago, I applied for a full-time ministry position at a church I had admired from a distance for years. If I had to write a dream job description, this particular role would be it!
A week after submitting my application, I received a call to set up an interview. I was giddy, floating on cloud nine (It might have even been cloud ten, I was so excited!). After the initial interview, days went by, then weeks, and finally I got the call stating that the job would be placed on hold indefinitely. The door wasn’t closed necessarily, but I was forced to wait.
I was crushed and confused. As I hung up the phone, the emotional roller coaster began. I had gone from feeling the anticipated highs of a future possibility to quickly plunging down the tracks of fear, thinking, What if I wait on a job that may never happen?
A Waiting Not Wasted
As I wait, here’s what I know to be true: When we wait on God, we will be used by God in the way that brings ultimate glory to Him. The entire Bible proves this to be true! From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we see a common thread of waiting woven through the pages of Scripture. Some characters waited well and others did not.
As I wait, I am encouraged by the story of Simeon found in the book of Luke. It’s transforming how I choose to wait.
Here is Simeon’s story:
And there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law (Luke 2:25–27).
As I read these words, I’m encouraged to find three new ways to wait.
1. Wait in action.
Wait but don’t waste. Simeon was where he needed to be physically (in the temple, the place of worship) and spiritually (he was devoted and righteous) to receive what God had promised. Simeon did not allow the absence of God’s fulfillment to stop him from pursuing the Promiser.
Position yourself in obedience to God now. Here are some questions to help you know if you are waiting in action.
- Are you positioned spiritually (attending church, reading His Word, in community with God’s people) to see God move (James 1:22)?
- Are you obeying His known will (1 Thess. 4:3) while waiting on that which is unknown?
- Do you refrain from saying, “When I get ______, then I will be more disciplined”?
2. Wait in faith.
As you wait, stand firm on God’s promises (Isa. 40:31). Our actions should always be driven by faith. Simeon’s actions were driven by His faith in God’s Word. Similarly, God has given us His Word, and it is filled with promises. Are you waiting on God’s unchanging promise or your perceived need? Here are a few promises to take to the bank:
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11).
They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31).
3. Wait in remembrance.
When we remember what God has done in our past and look forward to what He has promised to do for our future, this allows for healthy present living. Stop and think. Are there blessings in your current season that you once prayed for? What if you began to thank God daily for those things—praise Him aloud, write it down in your journal, and proclaim His faithfulness to others? What’s stopping you from believing God to do it again?
Consider Simeon. He believed what God had promised in the past (Luke 2:29), and he stood convinced and praised God for what he would do in the future (vv. 30–32). This is what allowed Simeon to live in hope.
Whatever you are waiting on today, the question is not will you wait (we’re all waiting for something), but rather how will you choose to wait? I want to wait well.
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).