Waiting on God vs. Waiting for God
School-day mornings around our house just bring out the best in everyone (insert ample sarcasm). We’re often waiting on one person or another. The right outfit isn’t clean, we can’t get the pony tail just so, the sleep just wasn’t enough. So, there we are. Waiting. Very, impatiently.
It seems like this life is full of waiting. In fact, you might be waiting this very moment. I can almost guarantee it. Waiting to use the bathroom, waiting on someone to complete a project, waiting on your favorite show to start or a ballgame to begin, waiting on test results, waiting on a phone call, the list could be extensive. The more our society as a whole is conditioned to immediacy, waiting-well seems to become like an extinct dinosaur. Impatience runs rampant, and even blind-sides us at times.
When we’re in relationship, it often includes waiting. Our relationship with the Lord is no different. How often have you waited on an answer to prayer? There are some prayers, I’ve whispered for years, that I’m still waiting for answers to. How many times do Christians say, “I’m just waiting on God,” with a hint of sarcasm and impatience?
Isaiah 30:18 tells us, “Therefore, the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for him.” (ESV, emphasis mine)
Have you ever thought of the All Mighty, powerful God, as having to wait? I believe that God’s timing is perfect, and sometimes waiting is involved. We don’t have the big picture, and typically, we have to wait for our pieces to fall into place with everyone else’s.
This verse is so exciting to me because it lays out a win / win situation! The Lord is waiting to be gracious to us, he desires to do that. Sometimes, it’s all about timing. In our waiting for Him, we will be blessed. So not only is the Lord going to be gracious to us – we’re going to be blessed in our waiting.
I want to offer a thought, and it may just be splitting hairs – but I think it could be powerful. It’s my desire that this may just help us to ‘wait well’. When we’re waiting on the Lord, it carries a sense of impatience. (Like me, tapping an impatient foot with kids on a school-day morning.) When you’re waiting on God to act, how often do you catch yourself impatient, arms crossed?
When we’re waiting for the Lord, it carries an expectancy and hopeful anticipation. Waiting for God requires us to exercise trust in Him.
The word in Isaiah 30:18, wait, is châkâh in Hebrew. It means to await: – long, tarry, wait; to be patient.[i] To me, this word carries a sense of abiding, drawing near and tarrying.
In my life right now, there are a lot of things up in the air. A lot that requires me to wait. It’s an active waiting, but I’m still waiting. I’m anticipating that a hopeful attitude in waiting, rather than impatience, will alter my experience in the process. What would be different if you chose to patiently wait for your Creator? What would it be like to draw near with hopeful anticipation? Would you be more open for the next step? Surrendered?
When we wait for the Lord, we will be blessed. God is gracious.
[i] Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 2, p. 39). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.