Will You Have Fries With That?
This morning I had a conversation with a friend who has been waiting for God to give clear direction in a specific area of his life. The challenge is that God hasn’t give that direction yet, and so my friend is feeling stressed. As we talked about it, he said, “This waiting is wearing me out!”
I could relate to his words, as I’ve also had times of waiting on God - and I know the weariness that can come with that waiting. As I’ve processed this over the years, it’s occurred to me that part of the problem is that we can often think of “waiting” as something that’s passive. So we end up waiting for God, all the while focusing on what we want God to do for us. But then maybe He doesn't do what we’ve asked, and it seems like nothing is actually happening. The result is that we get tired and worn out because we’ve been so focused on God doing a specific thing, and all of that "chomping at the bit" has worn us out.
A good example of what I'm talking about is having a flight delayed. If you’ve ever had that happen, then you know that all you can really do is sit and wait for the airline to do something about it. And the longer you wait, the more tired you get - as feelings of anxiety and frustration turn to lethargy and hopelessness because you realize you really aren't in control of the situation. All too often that’s the same mentality we have as we wait for God to answer prayers for specific situations.
However, when we do that, we miss out on all that God wants to do in our lives while we’re waiting. Here's what I mean by that: when the Bible talks about waiting on God, it’s referring to being still in God’s presence, with the confident knowledge that when His plans are revealed or carried out, they will be for our good. And as we do that, our strength is renewed. Isaiah 40:31 makes this clear as it tells us that, “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
So waiting on God is a completely different type of “waiting” than most of us are used to. It’s less about waiting for God to do what we want Him to do, and more about resting in His presence until He tells us what He has next for us. A great example of this is someone who serves tables at a restaurant. Have you ever wondered why they’re called “waiters”? Well, it originated from the similarity to how servants would wait at their master’s table, watching and listening for the slightest instruction from the master about what needed to be done for the meal.
That’s how we should be waiting on the Lord. Psalm 123:2 puts it this way, “As the eyes of a slave looks to the hand of his master, as the eyes of a maid looks to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God.” That’s how we’re called to wait on God. It’s not with a tiredness, or boredom because God isn’t working according to our timeline. Instead, it’s to be quiet in His presence, keeping an eye on His every movement, eagerly looking forward to His next command for our lives. Our focus should be on how we can serve our Master, not how we think He should be serving us.
So today, let’s be intentional about waiting on the Lord. Let’s get quiet before Him, focus on Him, and allow Him to give us instructions - according to His plans, and His timing. And then let’s continue that practice tomorrow, and the next day, until we’re standing before Him in Heaven.