Time really is on our side, but we often have to wait for the right time to come. Faith turns waiting into our secret weapon. Waiting doesn’t feel like much of a weapon; oh, but it is. It breaks down many a hidden obstacle. Israel waited a long time for their Messiah to come to them (a thousand years from the promise given to King David). But His coming was well worth the wait. That should tell us something: Jesus will seem to us at times to be the slowest Person we ever could hope to have coming to our rescue.
I read that thought in a book as a young Christian and it really scared me. I needed immediate results from my Rescuer. I wanted out of my troubles—pronto! I have learned since then that His timing is rarely “right now.” I have also learned that delays are not due to Jesus needing more time to get His act together. Having to wait is usually about me and my need for the delay.
The truth is that waiting spooks us. Not only does it raise our obvious fears that the much needed deliverance won’t come in time; it also raises our secret doubts that we don’t deserve to be rescued, that perhaps we are being punished, or that we have somehow lost favor with God. These unsettling thoughts don’t come from outside ourselves: they come from deep within our hearts.
Having to wait draws these unwanted fears up to the surface where they can eventually be refined away. Being set free from such hidden doubts is powerful! Even so, this comes on the other side of the trial that waiting represents. There is something even more powerful that shows up while we are waiting. What a difference it makes as you grow eyes to see this secret work of God working for you as you wait.
Consider these negatives which require us to “wait upon the Lord” for Him to remedy (and which can cause us to lose confidence in His favor towards us): our tiredness, weakness, brokenness, woundedness, or emptiness. What could possibly be good about them? A lot as it turns out—these are our secret weapons!
Don’t believe me? Where for instance does the Lord say He desires to dwell? That’s right. With the ones in touch with their brokenness, the ones who have been humbled by their emptiness, weakness and powerlessness.
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15
These passages show us that the Lord has a very strange desire. Unlike us, when He sees someone brought low by weakness, tiredness and other limitations, He wants to dwell with them. He genuinely wants to renew our strength and even increase it! He actually draws even closer to us in these times than we ever imagined. Know this for a fact—and take great courage from it.
1) You have to be without strength. OK, we’ve got that.
2) You also have to wait upon the Lord. Oops!
That means no complaining! It means depression is not allowed,either. Take all your complaints, discouragement and anxiety directly to Him and give it to Him. Cast those cares on Him! He wants you to unload on Him, even if it’s not pretty. Just let Him have it! Then lay hold of a promise that will float your heart like Romans 8:28 (“All thing work together for good for those who love God”). In this way you will settle down into a in position for Him to raise you up.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV
Waiting upon the Lord means that we are actually looking to God with eager and undeterred expectancy because we know He is surely coming to strengthen us. Waiting on God means we realize we have no other hope and that we are looking for no other champion to come to our rescue. But we also know (by faith) He is coming, so we refuse to get an attitude that would close us off from grace and shut us down spiritually. We intentionally stay open and expectant. That’s the spirit of Biblical waiting.
Consider Jesus with the woman at the well (John 4). He was tired, yet He became completely refreshed because He stayed open to the Father’s leading, did the next right thing (talked with the woman and shared faith with her) and received the refreshing! Consider Paul and his thorn: “My [the Lord’s] strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul actually tells us that he is glad now to “boast” about his weaknesses—once the Lord showed Him this truth (see 2 Corinthians 12:1-8).
If you are chasing an agenda or being chased by the clock, you are probably running ahead of God and His grace. Burn out or break down is just around the corner, unless you reign it in. Waiting helps us slow down so the Lord can catch up with us. 🙂 When you find yourself having to wait on God, take the time to re-center, re-surrender and become re-freshed.
All in all, it’s an amazing offer that Jesus would be willing to meet us at the very place we least desire to be. I’d say its high time we learned to meet our Great Physician in the Waiting Room.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on 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 40:28-31
Since waiting on God and the inward surrender of our hearts go hand in hand, read more on Surrender: Spiritual Healing at our website.