The point in waiting is
To love and worship God
In act of your life
Including the waiting.
And in the waiting
Remember His nature
That He is the Giver of every perfect gift
That He desires to lavish on you with such treasures
Treasures that are worth the wait
Solely because He is in them.
Rest in this:
He is going to give you
Exactly what you need
At exactly the time you need it.
That is reason to smile.
That is reason to breathe easy
And rest in Him.
Let go of “when” and “if”
Because His ways
Are so much higher than yours.
Beyond what you could ever fathom
Because He loves you.
Oh, how He loves you.
And that is the point
of your entire existence
To experience His presence
Inside every moment.
Especially in the waiting.
I came across this poem recently and was struck by it, simply because I am in a season of waiting. As I contemplate why God wants us to wait, this poem serves as a reminder of what is important to God. It reminds us that His ways are higher than our ways, that He wants us to learn to enjoy and worship Him. He wants us to learn faith as we wait. He wants us to understand that what He promises He will do…even if it seems like it takes a long time!
For the last two years, I have tried some different activities with my kids at Christmas. You know how difficult it is for kids to wait for Christmas. Well, I have taken it a step further. In 2011, I allowed the kids to open all their presents under the tree. As usual, after all the gifts were opened, they scattered to enjoy the day. But, I called them back together. I announced that I had one more gift, but it would require some thinking and teamwork. I handed them a piece of paper with a clue, and sent them on a scavenger hunt. They were sent to neighbors’ houses to sing Christmas carols. They went to a teacher’s house and read her the Christmas story. They went through neighbors’ yard decorations looking for clues. They whined and complained the whole time! Finally, they found a small box wrapped and neatly tucked away. When it was opened, they found…A PUZZLE!! Oh, they were so upset! All that work for a puzzle?
I encouraged them to begin putting the puzzle together. As the picture of Mickey Mouse began to come into focus, they noticed writing on the puzzle: “We are going to Disney World!” Suddenly, the complaining was gone and excitement filled the air…except that the trip was still a month away! More waiting. But, the days crept by until finally all of their hopes were fulfilled. We boarded the plane early in the morning and spent five wonderful, busy days in sunny Florida! They survived the wait, and everything they went through was completely worth it!
This year, my children woke to find three strands of yarn twisted and tied all through the house. The strands were woven between each other, around the house, over lights, under furniture. We could not move through the house without crawling over and under yarn! I explained that they each had a piece of yarn, and somewhere along the yarn was a gift. As they started at their stockings and began to unwind the web, the excitement grew. It took an hour or so, but they each eventually found a ticket to an Oklahoma City Thunder game! I honestly think they were as excited about seeing the Thunder as they were their trip to Disney World the previous year! They had to work and they had to wait, but the gift at the end was worth it!
Our Heavenly Father is even better at giving gifts! Every year at Christmas, I look forward to seeing my kids’ joy and excitement. I love to plan gifts that I know my kids will enjoy. I delight in watching the joy on their faces so much more than opening any gift for myself. Matthew 7:11 says, So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. You see, as much as I delight in giving good gifts to my kids, my heavenly Father takes even greater joy in lavishing great gifts on us! James 1:17 says, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
I believe that waiting is an experience to enhance our faith. We have to learn to cling to the promises that He has made us. We begin to dig into His word and His character in an effort to make it through the waiting. We find promises, such as the one in Jeremiah 29:11 where we read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” God promises that whatever He has for our future is amazing! And, we learn to trust that His promises will come true. In Joshua 23:14, Moses tells the Israelites, “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord you God gave you has failed.” I am so thankful that I serve a God whose promises never fail! It is definitely worth waiting for the good gifts God has planned for me. The excitement is building!
Waiting also develops patience and perseverance and peace. It teaches us not to worry when we see His promises come true. We realize that our anxiety is worthless, and it is much better to bring our concerns to God. Philippians 4:6-7 tell us “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” The more we see God come through for us, the more we are able to release our anxieties to Him, to trust Him, to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.
In John 11, we find the story of three siblings: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As Jesus was out working for His father, Mary and Martha send a message to their friend.
“Jesus, please come quickly. Lazarus, our brother and your friend, is very sick. Please come now so that you can heal him,” the ladies plead.
Jesus heard their plea, and—although He loved them deeply—He opted to stay where He was for two more days. As Mary and Martha waited for Jesus to come to the rescue, their beloved brother died of His illness. He told his disciples that Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this (v. 4).
As Jesus made His way back to Mary and Martha, He knew that Lazarus had passed away. He told his disciples, “for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe” (v. 15). He then proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Because Jesus made them wait, their faith was strengthened. They saw something happen that could only be explained by the power of God. They could walk in complete confidence that they had experienced a miracle—that no human could have made this event happen.
God wants the same for us. As we wait, He arranges circumstances as only He can. When we don’t interfere but choose to wait, the results can only be explained by the hand of God reaching down and arranging circumstances. The confidence we gain by knowing God stepped in for us gives us the ability to walk with faith and endure much. The end result of waiting is a faith that has been tested and tried, a faith that is real, a faith that is strong.
I have a plaque on my wall that reads Faith is not believing that God can; it is knowing that He will. As we wait and see God come through, we realize that He will do what He says He will do. That is true faith!