So there is this thing I have been waiting for.
The “thing” isn’t as important as what we humans do while waiting for our “things” to happen. My thing is a thing I have been praying about — begging for really — like a red-faced toddler before a holy God. I may or may not have thrown myself on the living room floor, and then stiffened my limbs.
I also have demonstrated more rational, grown-up responses, like daily surrendering it to God, reading Scripture and asking trusted friends to pray.
Just the other day, a friend, who knows about my thing, sent me a text with a Spurgeon quote: “Stand still—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long before God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, ‘Go forward!'”
My friend knew it. Spurgeon knew it. Scriptures are super-clear about it: Wait on the Lord.
Wait. Not run ahead, manage outcomes for God, set an alarm on the Lord’s iPhone to remind Him of your deadline. He is not in a hurry like we are.
Elisabeth Elliott once said that waiting on God is a “willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question.”
Waiting is a persistent, but sometimes painful, expectancy. It makes your soul itch. And you swear, the clock ticks slower. It really does feel like the watched pot never boils, the stalked phone never rings, the traffic never moves, the prodigal tarries.
Except that the wait will end. One way or another, the wait will end with an answer — maybe not the answer you want, but an answer. Watched pots actually do boil.
I don’t know what your “thing” is. But I’m guessing there’s a thing: an unreturned phone call, a job application being reviewed, an uncomfortable silence between you and a good friend.
But maybe, like my friend said, the best thing to do is to stand still until you sense God saying: “Go forward.”
I messaged my friend back:
“OK. I will ‘stand still.’ Though He may have to tie me to a tree. With really good knots.”
And she responded: “And maybe a padlock or two. I’m standing with you.”
Today, may you be granted sturdy padlocks and a good friend who’s willing to wait with you.
The water will boil.