Are you waiting for the “next thing” in your life? Is it the next season of social interaction with family and friends? Maybe it’s the next job, or maybe you’re waiting for COVID-19 to be past history. Are you waiting for improved physical or mental health? A new relationship? Waiting for the pain of loss to lessen? You are not alone. So many around the world are also waiting.
Let’s face it. Waiting is hard. It is not in our basic human nature to be patient or to enjoy waiting. I was reminded a few months ago about the stories of 9/11 where some New Yorkers were delayed going to work that morning – they missed the train, or they stopped to get something to eat, or drop off a child at school. Initially, some were annoyed at the delays, but later on, they saw it as God’s provision in their lives. He kept them out of harm’s way through delay or waiting.
That leads me to the next question: How well do we wait? We all have to wait for certain things, but how well do we spend the time? We have some choices. Do we ask God what He’s got planned with expectation? Or do we get irritated, fearful, and impatient like King Saul did in 1 Samuel 13:8-14? Saul was to wait for the prophet Samuel to come and make the offerings to God. Instead, he reasoned in his mind and created excuses. He did things his own way out of the fear of people rather than the fear of the Lord:
“Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, “Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the Lord. So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Recently, at a Spirit-led corporate prayer meeting, the pastor leading was waiting on what the Lord would have us do or pray next. After a minute or two, he got the word from the Lord that, “The “next thing” is Him!” How perfectly God is that? Here are some Scripture verses that speak about “waiting for the Lord” or “waiting on the Lord.” In all these passages, written by David (Saul’s replacement), the “man after God’s own heart,” God’s complete faithfulness. favor, and love shine through:
“Let integrity and uprightness protect me, for I wait for You.” Psalm 25;21
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He reached down to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud; and He set my feet on a rock, making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3
“My soul, wait in silence for God alone, for my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
So, no matter what you’re waiting for, to wait for Him is far better than anything or anyone else. His presence changes everything. He provides peace, hope, and patience (see the previous post, Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit). He gives us Himself, that firm Rock on which we can find our footing, and we can walk forward. In all your waiting, the “next thing” is Him.