Why Is Waiting So Hard?

Like most people, I struggle with waiting. I’m in a season of waiting for direction from God as to my next step vocationally, and it is not easy. Waiting is never easy. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives several definitions for wait. As a verb, it can mean “to remain stationary in readiness or expectation.” As a noun, to wait is “a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy.” It is interesting that wait is used as a synonym for serving, as in being a waiter in a restaurant who waits on tables. The dictionary definitions put a positive spin on waiting by emphasizing expectation, readiness, and anticipation. But that is not how I  think about waiting.

Stores seemingly have fewer open checkout lines causing longer wait times. Sometimes the wait is so long in the drive-thru line that we laugh, “Fast food? Really?” If you have ever endured rush hour traffic, you know the pain of waiting. In the fast pace of modern life, we have no choice but to “hurry up and wait.” 

All this waiting has set my heart on an emotional rollercoaster ride rising and falling between hope and despair. At times I feel like Esau begging his father Isaac for a blessing (Genesis 27:38) but fearing that no blessing will ever come. But as I continue to wait, I’m learning there’s purpose in waiting.

Discovering that waiting is a theme in the Bible, has really encouraged me. Through my word study of waiting, I found that, in the New King James Version, there are 144 verses that contain the words wait, waited, or waiting. Furthermore, these words appear in 36 of the Bible’s 66 books. Here are a few examples:

Jacob, at the end of his long life, looked back and declared, I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.
Genesis 49:18 NKJV

 King David’s life experiences taught him to wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
Psalm 27:14

 God spoke through Isaiah to a defeated and dispersed Israel, reminding them that those who wait on 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.
Isaiah 40:31

It was only after the apostles and disciples of Jesus obeyed His command to wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4) that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. The apostle Paul taught the Romans that waiting with perseverance is integral to Christian discipleship.
Romans 8:25

As I allowed the Bible to shed light on the importance of waiting, it drove away my dim, negative view of it, showing me how God works through our waiting. It reminds me of when I was a child and our local radio station would air an agricultural report each morning. The county farm agent who gave the report always closed with these words: “He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to raise the clod, he trusts in God.” This man understood how God works through waiting just as James did when he wrote: See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain (James 5:7). 

As I continue to wait on the Lord, He’s teaching me a vital life lesson: the LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD (Lamentations 3:25-26).

“Dear God, thank you for Your promises and for reminding us that our value and potential are not determined by the world’s standards, but by You. Help us to trust in Your perfect timing and remind us that even if we feel small or insignificant, we are part of Your mighty plan. Let us find peace in the unknown and joy in the journey. Remind us that You are making everything beautiful in its time, even when we cannot see it. Let our hearts remain steadfast in You, knowing that You are good, and Your plans for us are good. Guide us today as we step into the roles You have designed for us, trusting that You are transforming us and using us for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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