By Jamie Tisler
I have been waiting since the first hot humid day in late spring for the first morning of cool crisp air and it has arrived! Every year when this day arrives I am so thankful. Hot and humid weather is a foe to my MS and me, while cool weather is a friend. My time spent outside increases and I just seem to be able to get more accomplished. This change in the weather is always worth the wait and has caused me to think about the word “wait.”
The word wait means to stay or rest in expectation of someone or something. Further, this word implies attitudes of trust, hope, and patience. However, a good understanding of the word “waiting” does not prevent the great challenge of waiting when circumstances are difficult.
Today’s culture endorses a McDonald’s mentality, “I want it now!” The psalmist King David wrote of the “waiting” that should be embraced, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
In the verse above David notes that some essential components of waiting for the Lord are strength and courage. These components do not depend on one’s own ability but the Lord’s divine enabling. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Courage is a byproduct of knowing that God does not forsake His people (Psalm 97:14). Thus it is not possible for one to have adequate strength and courage, let alone to wait, apart from the Lord himself.
It is an acceptable question to ask, “How should I wait?” This is especially important when a tough situation is at hand, and it seems like things cannot get any worse. God’s word holds the answers including:
“Be still and know that I am God”(Ps. 46:10).
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).
“Wait for the Lord and keep His way” (Ps. 37:34).
“Behold God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid” (Isa. 12:2).
“The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:23).
Another question, and perhaps the hardest, is “Why?” The Apostle James offers this, “Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness [endurance]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:1-2). “Perfect and complete, lacking nothing” means a maturing of the heart and soul.
Thinking back to my waiting for the change in weather I realize it is usually only a four-month wait between the two conditions – not long in the scheme of time. The thing I am waiting the most for is the second coming of Jesus Christ, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of earth will wail on account of him Even so. Amen” (Revelation 1:7). “The Wait is Over!”
Yes to God’s Word!