With desire, there comes a point in your life when you’ve been waiting for something so long that you grow increasingly, out and out weary of anticipation.
How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you have a desire you really, really want to come into being?
To finally receive an outcome that you are really hopeful will (or won’t) happen?
Maybe awaiting the results from a recent test or trial you just went through? Or are still facing?
Or hoping against hope that you’ll find your recent disappointment isn’t really the end of the story, but, dear God, there must be an alternate ending with something of redemption, something good?
WHAT DO YOU WAIT FOR?
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” –Proverbs 13:12
There seems to be no end to our scenarios of waiting. Consider your own life experience. What are you currently waiting for that is significant to you?
To finally get a lead on one of those countless resumes you’ve sent “out there” into the job-hunting abyss somewhere? I mean, good gravies, why can’t they just call you back already?! Don’t they know you have dreams? Passion? Vision? Bills?!
Or how about that ruling from the judge you’ve been in court for months over? Won’t he/she finally realize the clear injustice of the situation and rule in your favor?
Or for some great, Spirit-led, rooted in Jesus gal to finally respond to all your subtle (and not so subtle) attempts to catch her attention? To start on a road leading to a serious, God-honoring commitment and covenant? (And ladies, how about those of us waiting for such initiation from a Spirit-led, rooted in Jesus guy?)
Or what about that business idea that’s been slow cooking in your mind? Now that you’re putting yourself out there, will it finally take off without anymore hesitation, stressful interactions, or funding getting pulled at the last minute?
Or still awaiting the analysis from a doctor’s evaluation of your latest tests? Hoping for a prognosis that means getting further out of these deep, dark, scary woods of uncertainty?
Or for the moment when will that phone call finally comes through from that old friend you had a relational hiccup (or, maybe, outright explosion!) with? Although you’ve apologized and saw a little sign of life stirring, there’s still no real effort made to meet you in the middle?
Or how about waiting to finally get over this
painfully arid desert rough patch with your finances and not have to battle fear over where your rent or medicine or even just the specific foods you need to maintain and manage your health needs? You know, extravagant things…like rice or some eggs?
Or perhaps is your longing to just get out of this dark hole you somehow seem to find yourself in day in and day out? This fear-inducing, lonely dark place in your life without a beam of sunshine making its way to your vision?
See, whether big or small, deeply meaningful or perhaps less so, we’re all waiting for something to come through. You might even see something of your own experience (or maybe someone you know) in any one of the above scenarios. And Christ-followers, we’re not only waiting for some-thing to come through, but some-One.
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice, how blessed are all those who long for Him.” –Isaiah 30:18, emphasis mine*
*Note: Good ol’ Merriam Webster defines the verb “long” as “feel a strong desire or craving especially for something not likely to be attained.” Some translations of this passage, such as the New Living Translation and New International Version, use the term “wait” instead of “long.”
In the U.S. Church today, you don’t hear too many people talking about waiting. I mean, when’s the last time the leaders of your local church taught a 4-part series on waiting in the Christian life?
And if you have, then praise the Lord for that blessing!
To be fair, it’s not that there isn’t anyone talking about waiting. In fact, Charles Stanley is an Atlanta-based pastor who talks extensively on the topic of waiting. But even so, there’s still an alarmingly significant gap when it comes to Christian teaching concerning the believer and waiting, especially when to live in the manner that pleases God, waiting and patience (waiting while enduring suffering) are big components of that faith journey. (See these portions of Hebrews 10-12 and James 4-5 to see what I mean.)
And to clarify, I don’t just mean waiting until you get married to have sex within that specific covenantal relationship (although that is true and definitely one we need to keep talking about as that is a key feature of Christian marriage!)…
I mean, waiting.
Like, waiting as it applies to our lives in general to our real presently-felt needs, and as it applies to situations ranging across the multi-generational lines, socioeconomic backgrounds, life experiences, cultural variations, and marital statuses we represent in the church.
Boring, unexciting, yawn-inducing, who wants to do that…
Like the pain-inducing, heart-wrenching, joy-testing, heavy-hearted…
Just plain, simple…
And not just any kind of waiting…
Waiting on God.
And how in the world do we wait on God for the desires on our heart, especially when the delay in response or seeming denial of what we truly want seems to be ever before us?
Wait for part 2 of this series coming soon:
“Anticipating His Arrival: Living the Now and Not Yet”
(Oh the irony!)