Hurry Up and Wait

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Psalm 25:1-10 (NIV)

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever waited for that call from the doctor’s office with the results of a test? Have you ever waited for hours in miles of stalled traffic on the interstate? What about waiting in the checkout lines at the retail outlets within a week of Christmas? How about waiting for three entire minutes for a traffic light to turn? Have you ever waited for more than thirty seconds for a website to load on the Internet?

Why do we hate to wait? Is it that we are too busy or too important? Waiting takes us out of control of the situation. Waiting reminds us that someone else is in control. Waiting humbles us. What if the “paths of the Lord” are more about pace than destination? What if our days became exercises in waiting on the Lord, as in, “for you I wait all day long”? How about we take all those occasions in the coming days where we find ourselves waiting and we consider in the midst of it all that we are waiting on the Lord.

Think about it. The people of God waited for four hundred years to hear from God. That’s almost two times the age of the United States. It means multiple generations of people lived and died without any word from God beyond the prophet Malachi. They waited. They held on to the prophecies and passed the torch of the promises to their children’s children. Before that, the Israelites waited hundreds of years in Egypt for the deliverance of God. 

We live in the age of the Holy Spirit, the span of history between the two Advents of Jesus. It has been more than two thousand years on our clocks; only a few days in the Lord’s time as noted earlier. We are waiting. In the age of the Spirit, he is actively speaking and moving and bringing the firstfruits of the kingdom of heaven among us. We don’t wait passively but actively. This season of Advent offers the wake-up call to reactivate our waiting muscles, to lift our eyes to the horizon and put our hands to the plow. Don’t worry if you have drifted off a bit or lost your footing and traction. The time has come to get back up, dust off, and get back in the game. It sounds wrong, but the old adage “hurry up and wait” is exactly right. There is perhaps no more biblical call to the people of God than to wait for the Lord. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Ps. 27:14 NIV).

THE PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, nearer than my breath, thank you for these days of Advent and this new year in Christ. I confess I do not like to wait. Turn the everyday occurrences of waiting on this or that into holy reminders to work out the spiritual muscles of my soul. I need heart-level transformation. Train my spirit to shift from anxiety to anticipation. Come, Holy Spirit, infuse me with the patience of God Almighty, whose timing is always perfect. In the name of Jesus Messiah—the one who came, is here, and is coming again—for his glory and our good, amen. 

THE QUESTIONS

What is it about you that is put off by having to wait for someone? Do you get angry when someone is late? What is going on underneath these feelings?