One day, I had taken my kids out to run errands. We were gone for quite a while and they were ready to be done with it. As we drove back home, they said, “It’ll take forever until we get there!” I decided to time how long “forever” was. It was seven minutes and fourteen seconds.
Waiting isn’t only hard for our children, we too dislike waiting. We all know that sense of urgency and impatience as we wait for elevator doors to open, our computer to load, or someone to respond to a text. But it’s not only the small, everyday inconveniences we struggle in waiting for, we also don’t like waiting for the big things in life. Whether it’s waiting for graduation day, a new job, a first date, a positive pregnancy test, healing from sickness, restoration to a relationship, a trial to end, or an answer to prayer, waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do.
When we are in a season of waiting, it is tempting to doubt God’s goodness and faithfulness and attempt to take things under our control. This is what the Israelite’s did in Exodus 32 when Moses was on the mountain receiving the law of God. They waited at the base of the mountain, wondering when Moses would return.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Exodus 32:1).
So Aaron gathered gold from all the people and created a golden calf for them to worship.
My own heart has done the same thing in times of waiting. I’ve doubted God’s promises. I’ve grumbled and complained. I’ve turned from trusting him and instead trusted in myself to fulfill what only he can give me, even worshipping substitute idols.
Have you ever been in a season of waiting and felt like giving up on God? Have you found yourself attempting to take things under your control?
When we are waiting on the Lord, and find ourselves complaining, doubting, and thinking that God has left us on our own, we need to remember these truths:
1. God does not make us wait because He is out to get us.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God already emptied His wrath on Christ at the cross. He is not out to get us. He may use a season of waiting our discipline or for training, but it is not out of anger.
2. Waiting is good for us.
Lamentations 3:26 says that it is good to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Romans 8:28 promises that God uses all things — including waiting — for our spiritual good. He is conforming us into the image of Christ and it is often during seasons of waiting where we grow in deeper faith, trust, and reliance upon God.
3. Glorify God in waiting.
Seasons of waiting are not times where we sit around and wait for God to write an answer in the sky, showing us where to go. We are to actively live out our faith, even while we wait. God can use us even as we stand at a crossroads in our life. Scripture tells us to glorify God in all that we do. So even in our waiting, we ought to seek to bring him glory.
When Moses returned from the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets etched with the words of God, he found the Israelites singing and dancing around a golden calf. May we not be found wasting time in our own seasons of waiting. Instead, may we trust in God’s good intentions toward us, knowing that He is faithfully at work in us, changing us into the likeness of Christ.