Though the flesh fights against us in wanting what we want immediately, waiting on the Lord can equip our hearts and call to our minds that our status in this life is only temporary. To wait on the Lord is a wonderful and helpful weapon in our arsenal to fight against sin. We are not yet what we will be, and waiting patiently for God to renew all things, especially ourselves, fuels our joy. The best is truly yet to come, and it is more than worth waiting for.
Anyone who has seen the original “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” film from the 1970’s undoubtedly remembers the spoiled Veruca Salt who whines in song to her enabling father,
“I want the whole works
presents and prizes and sweets and surprises,
of all shapes and sizes,
and now don’t care how
I want it now,
don’t care how
I want it now.”
While such behavior and attitude is blatantly odious to the the viewing audience, what is often much more subtle to recognize or admit in ourselves is our own inability to wait and have patience.
As a society and culture we don’t like to wait. Like Ms. Salt, we want what we want, and we typically want it sooner rather than later. Yet, we miss surprising spiritual benefits and blessings when we fail to head God’s imperatives and call to wait on Him. The word in Hebrew “Qavah” (Isaiah 40:31) means much more than merely sitting idle or with our thumbs twisting, like passively waiting for an Uber ride or the toaster to be done. It denotes waiting with activity, waiting with great hope to watch for God to act. The fact that God commands us to wait on Him ought to be enough rationale for obedience. However, in this very brief post, I’d like to remind us of three surprising joys that belong to the believer when they wait on the Lord.
Waiting on the Lord fosters dependance rather than entitlement– Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. Psalm 123:2
When I don’t get what I want in life, in relationships, vocations and jobs, or even in ministry, I am forced to lean on something (or rather someone) else to attain satisfaction and hope. If the Lord “spoiled” us, and simply gave us whatever we desire (given our fallen nature, such gifts would be cruel) we would cherish the gifts rather than the giver. We would remain spiritually atrophied, for we would not look as much to the giver of all good things. He gave us His only Son, Paul reminds us in his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 8:32), how also will he not give us all things in their providential timing? Waiting on the Lord protects us from a sense of spiritual entitlement.