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Waiting on God



One of my favorite songs, indeed my theme song for a long, long time, was a song from  John Waller called “While I’m Waiting”.  

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on you Lord and I am hopeful

I’m waiting on you , Lord though it is painful

But patiently, I will wait.

I will move ahead, bold and confident, 

taking every step in obedience.

While I’m waiting

I will serve you

While I’m waiting

I will worship 

While I’m waiting

I will not faint

I’ll be running the race

Even while I wait.

Waiting on The Lord is never an easy thing, especially when I have my own timetable tucked neatly away in the back of my mind. Jeff and I spent much time in this waiting stance over the last few years as we waited, knowing the Lord was calling us out of ministry in a traditional parish setting and into a new mission start. It was all about timing, God’s timing, that is, not ours. I have discovered that I don’t wait very well. I plan well, and I prepare well, and I perform well under pressure. But wait well – not so much.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I plugged in my phone and played that song, while turning to the Scriptures to discover what’s to be said about waiting. The Psalms have much to say in the present moments of waiting. “We wait in hope for the Lord, he is our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:20). “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (PS. 40:1). 

And how exactly should one wait? Again, according to the Psalms,I read; “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart” (Ps. 27:14). Be strong. Take heart, I found that a crucial key for me in being able to wait, was to remain faithful to staying in the presence of God through his Word. That is where I drew my strength, and that it what gave me hope in the midst of the waiting, because waiting is often hard work.

Wait – in Hebrew comes from a root word meaning to be taut – kind of like a rubber band stretched to its tightest. Isn’t it like that when we wait – in a hospital waiting room….or by the phone for news of a loved one,,,,,or for a child who is late coming home……or for the doctor to call with a diagnosis……or for an interviewer to call with a job offer….or to see if we passed an important exam,,,,or got into the college of our dreams?

Waiting is about uncertainty, about relinquishing control. It’s about the unknown about to be revealed and we are holding our breath until it is. Waiting is often a time of stress because we don’t know what is coming next. Nowhere do we see so clearly the difference between God’s timing and ours as when we are waiting on him. His timing is not our timing. His ways are not our ways. 

And so back to this song – while we wait, worship is very helpful. To keep expressing trust  and praise in the midst of waiting is to forget about me and my circumstances for just a bit and focus on God – totally and completely, surrendering myself and my circumstance into his capable hands. There comes a blessed release when we truly let go for awhile in trust and praise.

The song also talks about serving while waiting – again, it is amazing how, when I take the focus off myself for awhile and turn it toward the needs of others, my own needs diminish greatly. I find that when I serve others, I am less antsy, less agitated in the midst of my own waiting, and in a funny way, more focused and calm. 

Finally, while I wait on the Lord, I go back to what I know is true about God. He is a God of faithfulness, a God of wisdom, a God of kindness and a God of power. Waiting on God has led us to know him in more intimate ways, to trust him more completely and to serve him in humble gratitude, all the while knowing that as I wait on him, he is using this time to stretch and grow me into his image and likeness.

After much prayer and waiting, discernment and stretching, listening and letting go, we were called to start a new mission on the east side of Columbus. And lest we think we have arrived, a whole slew of new challenges await. But armed with God’s Word and a deepening faith that comes from trusting his ways, we are ready for what comes.

“Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not grow weary” (Isaiah  40:31).


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