A wife waits for her failing marriage to improve.
The unemployed father waits for a decent-paying job.
Patients wait for healing from unexpected illnesses.
A single woman waits for a godly husband.
Our Weariness in Waiting
Who likes to wait? Whether it’s for something trivial like a seat at a restaurant, or something more serious like the examples above, waiting is never an easy process.
To wait is especially difficult for us Westerners, amidst this technological boom of our current generation. Advances in technology enable most aspects of life to run quickly, conveniently, according to our every whim. We connect with friends by the touch of a button on Facebook. We use our phone not only to make phone calls, but also as a GPS, a camera, a computer and a boom box all rolled into one. We shop online, read books on tablets, deposit money into ATM machines, and drive cars with keyless entries. In a world like this, why would anyone ever need to wait for anything?
Yet life does bid us to wait. Sometimes it forces us, in fact, to wait for things that seem unbearable to wait for. So we grow weary. Sometimes we grow angry. Maybe, if we are honest, we can even become angry at God. “Where are you while I wait?” we question as we look above. “Can He hear me, or am I actually alone?” we wonder in the quiet of our prayers.
Our generation is not the first to experience this hardship of waiting. For many years the Israelites toiled in slavery at the hands of abusive Egyptians. In Exodus 14 we read of the Israelites fleeing from this slavery, and they are hotly pursued by Pharoah and his minions. In the midst of the chaos and panic of this moment, Moses tells them something very strange:
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 14).
Still? At a time like this? Is Moses crazy?! The Israelites can literally see the Egyptians en route to them, weapons readied. They can taste their imminent death, or—at best case scenario—their recapture into a life of violent oppression. Surely they should run, or fight, or hide, or something!
But Moses urges them to wait for the Lord’s hand to move on their behalf.
Did they make the right decision? Was it a worthwhile wait?
Well, we all know the end to this story. It is only one of the most famous rescues in history! Just when it seems that all is lost, God shifts the waters of the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to walk through, while simultaneously swallowing up the Egyptians. The Israelites are finally freed from a life of slavery and death. Their wait was indeed a worthwhile wait.
Scripture is such a blessing to us. Stories like this one…true stories from God’s Word…encourage us with true facts about our Lord. Here we rejoice to see that our God is a concerned God, and He is active and powerful.
The Greatest Rescue Mission
Of course, the crossing of the Red Sea is only a foretaste of God’s greatest rescue mission of all. While we were still sinners, God sent Christ to die for us. With this in mind, the wise Apostle Paul encourages us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
If we can trust God to save us from the greatest slavery of all—sin and death, then how much more so can we wait upon Him for help with the lesser trials of this world.
Sometimes I think about the Israelites and I wonder, did they suspect that God had this miraculous plan in place for their rescue? Perhaps some sensed it in their prayers. Others certainly must have been tempted to grow weary and angry amidst the years of captivity. Their faith decayed as the time passed and they sat, waiting. Through the lens of Scripture we have the benefit to be able to see that—regardless of how they felt about God during this horrendous trial, the truth is that God did have a plan to help them.
Chapters before the crossing of the Red Sea, we read about the Lord appearing to Moses in the burning bush. God says, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering” (Exodus 3:7). He directs Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10).
God’s hand is not always visible to us in the midst of our trial, but that doesn’t mean He’s not up to something good. This concerned, active and powerful God promises us that good things come to those who wait on Him.
“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 walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25).
“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14).
Join the Conversation
Shall we trust Him as we wait on Him? What are some practical ways that you’ve found helpful in your own life to wait on the Lord?