The Weight of Waiting

weightActs 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”

Wasted time. Irritation. Helplessness. Impatience. Ever have any of these responses when you have to wait?  Most of us hate to wait. And our fast-paced culture doesn’t help matters. It reinforces the idea we should have what we want and have it now. Waiting bears a hefty weight.

Yet from a scriptural view, waiting is good. Waiting on God—essential. It makes us stronger (Isaiah 40:31). It protects us from shame (Psalm 25:3-5). It brings us great blessing (Isaiah 30:18). In fact, we can’t even conceive what God has in store for those who wait on him (Isaiah 64:4).

All the patriarchs of our faith endured waiting periods before God used them. Noah. Abraham. Joseph. Moses. David. The times of waiting purified them and taught them to trust in God more than themselves. It prepared them when they didn’t even know they needed to be prepared.

Waiting releases power. One of the last commands Jesus gave his disciples was to wait. So they gathered in that upper room and waited. As they did, the Holy Spirit came on them with power. Enough power to change the course of human history.

The day after I began working on this devotional, I was confronted with being stuck in a long line of slowly moving traffic, a tardy doctor whose lateness caused my mom’s appointment to be extended far more than it should have been, and a post office worker who couldn’t figure out how to send my package media mail. Small incidents in a day where I was already concerned I wouldn’t get everything accomplished I’d hoped to.

But rather than giving into my typical frustration, I started looking at each of the incidents as “practice times.” God was giving me opportunity to live out his perspective on waiting in these small ordinary instances. As I shifted from the urgency of my agenda to the freedom of his, the weight of waiting started to shift….

Maybe the Lord has been giving you some practice times too.  Don’t miss the opportunity to work those “weights of waiting.” Let the waiting—whether for a single incidence or a season—build up muscles of trust that prepare you for more than you can conceive.

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