When I hear the word “wait,” I think of something terrible – like sitting in a dentist’s office or the DMV. Waiting is the worst.
Most of us are conditioned to avoid waiting at all costs. I have trouble waiting for my email to load and my Instagram to refresh.
Most of us try to cut in line or order ahead of time to avoid the wait because it symbolizes boredom, agitation, and waste.
Most of us have to wait a lot in life. And we don’t like this.
I recently went fishing on Pyramid Lake in Nevada. We were trolling for trout, letting our lines run along behind the boat and watching the poles, intently waiting for one to jerk with a nibble or a bite.
As we sat in the cold watching the poles, our waiting went through three stages:
- Boredom – will the fish ever come?
- Agitation – nothing is happening.
- And waste – This is stupid. I’m never going to catch a fish. I shouldn’t even be here.
I quickly likened this to life’s waiting experiences:
- Boredom – will something ever happen, God?
- Agitation – nothing is happening, God.
- And waste – This is stupid. I’m never going to go anywhere. Your plan sucks, God. I shouldn’t even be here.
It’s easy to forget that God is looking out for us when nothing appears to be happening on the surface.
If God is like a fishing pole – our source of sustenance – we easily avert our gaze from the source out of boredom, agitation, and sense of waste.
When I took my eyes off my fishing pole because of one of these reasons, sometimes a fish would bite and get away. But because I was distracted, my eyes weren’t on the source, and I missed the opportunity to do something, catch something, and go somewhere.
It really reminded me that God’s timing is perfect and, no matter how bored, agitated, or wasted I feel waiting, I have to keep my eyes on Him so I don’t miss what He’s trying to show me.
Admittedly, waiting can really hurt. When we started out our morning on Pyramid Lake, it was below freezing. The wind cut across the surface of the lake, numbing my toes and ears. It was really uncomfortable, frustrating, and anxiety inducing. But after a couple hours, the sun came up and the lake grew warm, allowing me to shed my layers.
Sometimes God asks us to wait and it’s hard and painful. The spiritual season feels like winter. We’re surrounded in darkness and we feel trapped – just like I was trapped on that boat. But I think it’s in the waiting that we’re strengthened and our minds are renewed.
Through the pain, discomfort, and suffering of waiting comes perseverance, perseverance brings character, and character yields hope. And hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:3-5).
It’s that hope that allows us to believe the sun will rise, spring will come, and God does have a plan beneath the surface – revealed to us perfectly as we wait with our eyes fixed on Christ.
Isaiah 40:31 says:
“But those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”
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