You’re on a long queue at a fast food chain, waiting to finally have your order taken. Your stomach grumbles and you wish for nothing but to sit on one of those chairs and satisfy your hunger. You also grumble, thinking why the moment you came in to that restaurant is when people also came flooding in. It sucks.
You’re at the airport. A long line of passengers are in front you, all wanting to beat the check-in queue. You’re getting anxious and the thought of missing your flight within an hour is starting to creep in. Good grief.
None of us wants to wait. We may associate waiting with unnecessary delays, wasted time or money, or even psychological or emotional torture. To some, waiting is like a senseless moment of time, only to throw anxiety, confusion, discomfort, and hopelessness into our mind. But what is it in waiting that it seems to be inevitable in our lives?
Abraham and Sarah waited until they had a son. Abraham was 100 years old and his wife was 99 when Isaac was born. How did that happen? Like normal people, we would scoff at the idea that a couple so old could still bear a child, and Abraham and Sarah were not exempted from this madness.
Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?” -Genesis 17:17
So she (Sarah) laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?” -Genesis 18:12
If we will look at an earlier event in Genesis 15, when the Lord told Abram (Abraham’s old name before the Lord changed it) that he will have descendants as many as the stars in the sky (v. 5), Abram believed (v. 6) and he was counted as righteous because of his faith.
The old couple must have been so crazy to believe something that is impossible to happen, but they still chose to believe and wait. As they waited, though they came to a point that they thought it was hilarious to do so, Sarah became pregnant and soon they had Isaac through whom a descendant of Jesus the Messiah came (Matthew 1:17).
Notice how waiting became an absolute thing in the story of Abraham and Sarah. Not only did they wait, but they received the reward for their patience and faith.
It seems futile for us to wait for something that we cannot see or even conceive in our mind, but waiting is just a part of a season before we become ready to receive something that is wonderful. Waiting is actually the amount of time wherein we realize that we cannot have the things we want all at the same time. If it weren’t so, we may not be able to handle everything so well and we will end up devastated more than if we waited to have it little by little or soon.
Waiting can also be a form of God’s protection over you or your loved ones. Standing on a massive check-in queue at the airport may mean having you miss your flight but you never knew that a couple of hours later, that plane you’re supposed to board will crash and tragically kill the people in it.
You may have a long-awaited job that you so anticipated but your hopes came crashing down when the employer told you you weren’t shortlisted. Little did you know that the company was close to bankruptcy and laying off and you were spared because you waited for that rejection.
After multiple attempts, you just can’t pass that certification examination. You have studied enough, spent considerably for the examination fees, and you have waited a great deal of time already. And yet that sweet taste of success seems to be too elusive for you to reach, and you ask why.
Three years have passed and you are still hoping that your old flame will come back to you with a love stronger and better than you had before you broke up. But in those three years you heard nothing from him. So you continued to pray and wait for the right man to come along… until another man whom God destined for you unexpectedly turns up and now he is your husband.
You see, divine waiting does not mean harm or misery; it is just one of the instruments that God can use for you to be safe or for you to be able to get to your destination. Though at times you are left clueless why you have to wait, but perhaps you just need to open your eyes and see beyond what is in front of you. God may be telling you something that, for years, you have always disregarded and escaped from. Perhaps it is His way to call your attention and make you realize something that you need to get right with Him. It is not His nature to confuse you or get you lost in your track, but that He only wants you to learn how to prioritize, or declutter your life, or just know which are the most important ones that need to be valued and kept.
Like in the story of Abraham and Sarah, they needed to understand God’s sovereignty and all-powerfulness before they could have what they were praying for. They might have laughed at the idea that it will happen, but their faith accounted for the thought that it will happen. God showed them His nature and right before their eyes, they saw the things that are impossible to man became possible to God.
This waiting game entails a lot of frustrations and disappointments, but in the end, we are never losers in this “game”. God orchestrates our lives, including the pauses and the pitfalls, but alongside them are the victories that we will attain if we remain faithful to Him while we’re waiting.
God wants to see your faithfulness in this wait. He does not want you to just wait, but He wants you to be active, hopeful, and expectant. He wants your heart and your submission to His will so He can move greatly in your life. He wants you to experience His love through Jesus, as He also waited for this moment to be with you because He loves you with the kind of love that waits for His child to come back to Him and live with Him for all eternity. Jesus painfully waited for that day that He would be crucified and ultimately fulfill God’s will. He also waited for three days before He could come back to life and be with the Father. And now, He is also waiting for you to come to Him and so that He can make His dwelling in your heart and strengthen you and bless you as you go through the waiting season.
So, what are you waiting for?