I’ve sat in waiting rooms
… busied my hands with needlework
… filled my mind with worry
… walked hallways
… startled at a phone ring
… cried, journaled, prayed
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Micah 7:7
We’ve all been there. In the waiting. Most of us do not enjoy it, viewing it negatively, involving difficulties and even sorrow. We also value busyness, while waiting often implies inactivity. Even by definition to wait is “to allow time to go by, especially while staying in one place without doing very much, until someone comes, until something that you are expecting happens or until you can do something” -The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary. Waiting is so uncertain, so unknowing, so unplanned. Doing something (anything!) diverts our attention from the uneasiness – the unpredictability of it.
But waiting, though uncertain, does not fundamentally involve inactivity, nor necessitate passivity. Neither does it inevitably negate joy! Merriam-Webster Dictionary reveals a more active description of waiting: “to stay in place in expectation of, to remain stationary in readiness or expectation, to look forward expectantly, to hold back expectantly, to be ready and available”. Waiting not only buys preparation time, it provides room for joy. We can waste it with worry, or we can prepare, strengthen, and lay the groundwork for what is to come.
But, if the uncertainty of waiting is inevitable, how do we prepare when we do not know what we are preparing for? We turn to what we do know for certain. God’s Word. We fill our minds with scripture, replacing worry with God’s truths. We adjust our plans with doing the next right thing we know to do in line with God’s Word, no matter how small of a step it may seem. We pray believing God honors His Word and keeps His promise to be with us through it all. We do what we know to do, all the while watching expectantly as God works through the waiting. We can wait with joy and excitement, eagerly looking for God in the midst of it all.
It is a matter of shifting our perspective, our attitude, and using our time wisely. It is fighting through disappointment with joy and thankfulness. It is living through the waiting with worship, instead of worry. And it is enjoying our gift of abundant life in the midst of uncertainty, instead of passing time and simply surviving.
No, I am not a stellar example of waiting. In all honesty, I don’t push through disappointment with joy, or choose worship over passivity every single time. I’ve been known to put on a smile, say all the right words, while with my inside doesn’t line up with my outside at all.
But, God knows all this and loves me anyway. After all, He created me! And He created you too. He loves you no matter how you wait. He has created a way for you to experience joy and hope in the midst of waiting. He is always there, just a breath away, ready to realign your attitude with His, and show you how to wait expectantly in Him!
What does waiting look like in this season of your life?
What is one thing you can do this week to shift your waiting-attitude from passivity to active joy?
Until next time,