I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
— Psalm 130:5-6 —
We don’t like to wait. Waiting has a bad reputation. Whether it’s waiting in line, waiting for food, sitting in a “waiting room” or waiting for the copy machine to warm up so the “please wait” message will go off. Whatever the cause we don’t like to wait. And so, we often choose the alternative to waiting …
“What have you been doing lately?”
“Trying to keep busy.”
Is it really a good guideline for our time, or measurement of our worth? The fact is, busyness smothers stillness. And stillness … waiting … resting in God’s presence … is praised in scripture.
But what is waiting? Is it leaning back in your rocking chair wondering if anything is going to happen? Do you accidentally fall into waiting when you run out of other things to do?
No, according to scripture, you choose to wait. You consciously give God a yielded moment. In this psalm there is neither a skeptical hope that wonders if the dawn will ever come, nor a domineering spirit that tries to drag the sun over the horizon. No, this waiting is filled with confidence and patience.
And then, once the sun up and the world is illuminated, all you have to do is look around at God’s creation. Waiting is everywhere. Creation knows how to wait.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
— Mark 4:26-29
You see, plants don’t mind waiting. They wait for the sun. They wait for the rain. And the point of Jesus’ story is that God grows in our lives when, like the plants, we learn to wait. He grows powerfully through small beginnings and gradual growth. He grows constantly through patient waiting and confident trusting. He grows in our lives when we are willing to wait. Are you willing to wait?
Take a few moments today and give God that yielded moment. Find a place to be quiet and still. Tell the world you’ll be out a bit later, but that right now, you’re learning to wait.