To arrive at his high school, my son must drive a route that passes over train tracks. We often wait impatiently while trains inch forward and backward to change tracks at this frequently crossed intersection. One morning last week, Gabe's impatience got the best of him. He began turning around in an effort to get to school by a different route. However, the shoulder gave way under his tires, and the car careened into a ditch. Luckily, Gabe is safe, but the car is in sad condition.
We wait for trains, for healing and for direction; we frustratedly hold the phone waiting to speak with customer service representatives or change grocery story lines to get more quickly out of the store. We tap our fingers and chew our nails in our impatience. Sometimes waiting results in angry outbursts.
Scripture often reminds us to "wait on the Lord." Yet, like Gabe who was not willing to wait for the train, we opt not to wait, but rather take matters into our own hands.
Why is waiting so difficult? It requires that we stop the momentum and trust that something will take place. Similarly, waiting on the Lord entails the ability to pause, submit to a higher authority and trust with confidence in God's action.
As Gabe found out, an inability to wait may actually hinder our progress. We can mess things up when we take matters into our hands rather than trust in God's understanding.
What are you waiting for? Perhaps you are waiting for your child to learn obedience or for your spouse to see things your way. Maybe you're waiting for just the right job to come along or to save enough money so that you can take a vacation. You could be waiting for your body to heal so that you can exercise again, or you might be waiting to see if a new medication will help you feel better. Life is full of waiting...so how do we deal with it?
We can use times of waiting to grow in our walk with God. In Psalm 130: 5-8, the psalmist wrote,
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
When we wait with hopeful expectation that the Lord will answer, we are confident that He will make something happen when it is the right time. We anticipate His answer and rely on His guidance and His unfailing love.
Help me in my impatience to place my hope in Your Word and Your unfailing love.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.