A Piece of My Mind: Waiting on God
by Pastor Brad Hill
We spend a lot of life just waiting, don’t we? We wait in lines for groceries (and I know you evaluate all the lines to pick the shortest and fastest one, right?). I spend a lot of time waiting in traffic. We wait for life’s milestones: graduation, marriage, job, children, and so on. We wait for wayward children to return. We wait for the pain to pass. Together at SCC we wait for the calling of a new pastor. We wait for this interminable “transitional season” to end!
Many scriptures reference the need to wait on the Lord. “I waited for the Lord, he inclined to me and heard my cry…” (Ps. 40:1). Or “Those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength…” (Is. 40:31). Every scripture that talks about patience or endurance is implying the need to wait. We are not born with the waiting gene. Waiting well comes both as a grace and gift from God and our own disciplines of the soul.
Ruth and I have become fans of Caesar Millan’s “Dog Whisperer.” One of the constant themes is how to inculcate a posture of “calm-assertive” (as pack leader) so your dog will become “calm-submissive.” “Calm-submissive” describes a state of attentive waiting for direction, of being non-anxious, of being serenely patient while still alert.
That is how I desire to be in my walk with the Lord. My ears are up and I am watching for the Lord’s cues, I am ready for directions but on His timetable, not mine.
In the Spirit, we can do all this waiting with calm-submission. It will make us humble, as we relinquish our preferred and presumed chronology. Waiting deepens our longing, refines our priorities, and whets our appetites (“to whet” means to sharpen) for the riches of God. Waiting recalibrates our routes in life.
Waiting is not wasted time. God is working while we are waiting. Something is happening while it seems nothing is happening. God, his will, his way, his time…it’s worth the wait.