If I have thoughts on ‘waiting’ to share, it is usually about Christmas time that I share them. However, with regular trips to the hospital at the moment, it is intriguing me to see different reactions that people have to waiting. Both in the waiting areas and in traffic on the way you really see people at their best and worse.
There are some who would say that they do not know why they are given a time because when they arrive for that time they then have to wait, and therefore are impatient. Others come prepared to wait by bringing a book or newspaper. Some accept it patiently while other metaphorically pace up and down. Some can’t be quiet while others sit silently. Some want to know why they have to wait while others recognise that hiccups are part and parcel of working with people and technology.
My coping is to take a book. At the moment I am reading If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat by Joe Ortberg, which I think I would term as “light theology” but it is described on the cover as being “profound without being heavy”. I am sure it speaks somewhere – but as I write I couldn’t find it – about our impatience with other people as we are in a rush to get things done. “About time too”, “at last” or “couldn’t you have got a move on” may be some of our reactions when we have waited a long time and yet how long do we keep God waiting!
It is true that everything has to be done at the right time, God’s time, yet God has given us a calling and gifts to fulfil that calling. It is up to us to respond to the call and to use the gifts. I believe God patiently waits for us and if we ever get exasperated in the waiting time just imagine God’s exasperation with us as we do not use our gifts or answer our call.
Yet there is another form of waiting, “waiting for the Lord”. There is promise in the waiting “those 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 and “those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 49:23. The Psalmist often sings of his willingness to wait for the Lord. The Hebrew word wait can also be translated hope. I would suggest that our willingness to wait is also bound up with our hope, for example that a bus ( or 3 )will eventually come along and that the time spent will be rewarded by the results of what we wait for.
Yet waiting does not mean that we are inactive. As we wait for God we wait on God through prayer and Bible study, discerning His will for us. In doing this we show ourselves to be disciples.
May God bless you now and always,
PS. I must say the last two days at the hospital I haven’t read much of the book – I only waited while Mum was having her treatment.