People all over the world are learning to wait. First, it was the Chinese, then the Europeans, and now the Africans and Americans. Life, as we have known it, is at a standstill, and we are waiting. Waiting for things to open up; waiting to go back to work; waiting to see family and friends in person and in close proximity. For students graduating this month, waiting for the job market to re-open, and for those still in school and those of us working with them, waiting to see whether we’re back on campus or still staying in front of our computer screens.
It has been challenging for all of us because, truth be told, we are not very good at waiting. We are planners and doers. We are used to a rapid pace in life. We are used to things being in perpetual motion, moving forward without pause. Life has been speeding along and that, for most, is the norm.
Now we have to wait. Plans are on hold and the future is uncertain. This is not comfortable or familiar territory for us. None of us want to be here. Yet, the Scriptures remind us over and over the value of waiting. The problem of our always rushing ahead is often we lose sight of where the Lord actually wants us to go. We make decisions too quickly and without wisdom. We go left when we should have gone right. We stayed when we should have moved on. Of course, the Lord in his sovereignty and love can correct our course and get us to where we need to be. A wrong decision, thus, will not necessarily doom us, but waiting on the Lord can prevent much heartache and regret.
So this pandemic is a perfect opportunity to practice waiting. Recently, I have had several conversations with colleagues about what plans to make in preparation for the next school year. My answer has been that right now I am waiting on the Lord to reveal what he would have us do. The circumstances seem to change daily, making planning practically impossible. And right now, I don’t feel the need to plan. I am following David’s counsel: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) And I share in the prayer of the Israelites as they made their way to the Temple: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)
It is a spiritual discipline to wait on the Lord. It is a discipline because our flesh wants whatever it is now. In essence, we want control. Waiting is to give up control; yet whom better to be in control than the Lord? Thus, it is good to learn to wait on him, for his plans to unfold for us. He promises, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, to bring good to our lives. But rarely is that instantaneous. Most of the time, we have to wait. And now we have the opportunity. I think we should take advantage of it.
Whatever the Lord has planned will be worth the wait.
© Jim Musser 2020 All Scripture references are from the New International Version, 2011.