A scripture in Romans summarizes a few important paradoxes regarding waiting on the Lord.
“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy” (Rom. 8:22-25, MSG).
The human perspective on waiting varies from person to person. Some people view waiting as lost time—for example, waiting to get married, start a job or receive a promotion. Others see waiting as the reason why they fall behind in life; such people do not like waiting. Some also view waiting as due to the unpreparedness or unwillingness of another party. People get impatient or irritated, and blame others.
However, today, I want to give you a fresh perspective on waiting. The kind of waiting I refer to is rich in value and virtue—it is waiting on the Lord.
Why should we engage in this kind of waiting?
Waiting on the Lord ushers us into experiencing His presence, which shapes our being, equipping us for who He wants us to become and what He wants us to do. It also signifies our dependence on God. The story of Moses regarding his relationship with God and his leadership role teaches us about waiting in various ways. Moses would rather have waited for the presence of God to go with them, than to proceed without Him.
“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ ‘Then Moses said to Him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?'” (Exod. 33:14-16, NIV).
What are some benefits of waiting on the Lord?
When we wait upon the Lord, we receive His:
- Affirmation (Lam. 3:22-26)
- Power (Acts 1:8)
- Recognition (Jas. 5:11)
- Direction (Ps. 25:5)
- Strength (Isa. 40:31)
- Support (Ps. 33:20)
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name'” (Exod. 33:17).
However, with all the benefits of waiting, I know that we can get tired of it. It is encouraging to know that when this happens, the Holy Spirit comes alongside to help us:
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Rom. 8:26-28, MSG).
Today, as you go about your schedule, remember that waiting does not diminish you. Rather, you are enlarged in the waiting. Waiting on the Lord is empowering!
- Pray that God will give you the grace to cultivate a lifestyle of waiting on Him for you to experience His presence, power and purpose.
- Pray that your waiting will make you enjoy a partnership with the Holy Spirit as He comes alongside you for your living and leading.
- Pray that the benefits of waiting on the Lord will manifest in your life, family and ministry for your good and for God’s glory as you continue to proclaim the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.