In a day and age when just about anything can happen instantaneously, we often have a hard time waiting. We want same-day shipping. We download our music and movies so that we can listen to or watch them immediately. We have express lines, one-click shopping, and will someday even have drones delivering our packages in less than half an hour. We really do have a hard time waiting!
I count myself among those who hate to wait. At the start of this year (2017), I received a clear word from the Lord. In that still, small voice, I heard Him say, “This year will be a year of change, a year of growth, a year filled with challenges. It will take you into things outside your comfort zone, things that you can only do with My help.” It was a challenging but exciting message. But, because of my dislike of waiting, my initial response was, “Okay, Lord, let’s get started!” I wanted to move into His plan for me right away. No waiting for this guy!
God’s Word stresses the need for and importance of being patient and waiting on the Lord. Psalm 37:7 tells us that we should rest in the Lord and wait patiently on Him. We should not move until He moves. That is what the Israelites did as they wandered in the wilderness. Any time they made camp and set up the tabernacle, a cloud would come down and rest over the tabernacle. The cloud was God’s presence and, as long as His presence remained in that particular place, they would stay put and wait. It might be for a day, for a week, for a month or more, but as long as the cloud remained, the Israelites waited (Numbers 9:22). They only moved when God moved.
As we walk with the Lord, following the path he has set for us, if we try to move ahead on our own rather than wait for the Lord, we set ourselves up for failure. In our own strength, we will become weary. But, when we wait on Him to move, He gives us all the strength that we need to succeed as we walk in the plans He has for us (Isaiah 40:31). When we try to walk our own path rather than waiting for Him to show us His path, we will inevitably get “stuck in the mud,” unable to move forward. But, when we wait for Him to move and guide us, He sets us on solid ground, on a path that we are able to walk on.
Waiting patiently on the Lord is sometimes hard but, in the end, it is the best thing that we can possibly do.