No one likes to wait, yet our lives are full of waiting experiences. We race to the store only to find no parking space. Once we have our purchases, we have to wait in line to pay. We hurry to keep a timed appointment, only to find ourselves sitting in a chair or on a table for what seems like hours. We may pray for patience and perseverance, but do not want to wait to receive these virtues.
It’s hard to wait in our microchip society. We are used to answers now – all one needs do is Google it on our smart phone. Some may even explode in impatience or rage if God doesn’t seem to hear, much less answer in our time frame. God, however, thinks on the eternal time clock, and He takes His time. He waits for the exact moment for the benefit of all those involved for He is constantly working on eternity’s plan.
Consider how long it took God to send His Son to the world. For hundreds of years people awaited the promised Messiah. Many Jewish girls hoped and dreamed of being the mother of the Christ child as they were taught by the prophets. The world was in tumult; the Romans ruled with an iron hand. The Jews wanted something to happen immediately. Taxes were high; tax collectors were unscrupulous. Religious leaders were corrupt; crime was rampant. Yet God waited. The plan was decided ages before. “...according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…” wrote Paul the Apostle (Ephesians 1:11- Emphasis mine).
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Galatians 4:4) Every prophecy had come to pass in God’s perfect timing. Solomon said, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Timing is everything; the process often means waiting.
Even Jesus had to learn to wait. The Eternal One knew the plan and yet subjected Himself to His Father. He was confined to a woman’s womb for nine months. He could have appeared in glorious majesty and swept all the Romans away. That was what His Jewish brothers expected and wanted. Instead, Christ waited for the the right time to come. He had to wait twelve more years under the care and instruction of his earthly father and mother before He could even enter the synagogue, His own Father’s house. Another 18 years passed before He began the real mission for which He came. When His ministry began at age 30, He was immediately led into the wilderness to wait another 40 days and nights to be tempted. Jesus willingly, obediently waited until God’s timing was right.
Jesus waited for three days before going to Lazarus – His dear friend who was sick. The family could not understand; why did Jesus wait until Lazarus was dead? God had a greater plan; a miracle was going to occur. Lazarus was going to raise from the dead.
Waiting is a maturing process. It is a time for endurance, growth, hardship, and perseverance. It is a time for learning. We cannot understand our waiting times. Questions, doubts and fear often plague our minds. “Why me?” we ask. Some situations may be on a ‘need-to-know’ basis – with God being the only One needing to know. He has a plan, and He is constantly working on our behalf, molding and making us into His image. In our waiting times we can listen – and grow in strength and character. We can develop compassion and gain grace through His Word. Faith is built; trust and assurance is gleaned.
Next time you find yourself in life’s waiting room, take a moment to think of God’s eternal plan. Submit, like Jesus did, in willing obedience. Wait for His timing. You may not understand, but in the fullness of time Christ will come for you. Just wait…and see.