Waiting is tough. When Nate and I first got married, we waited for a year until we felt it was wise to apply for missionary service, though we were eager to start. Then, we waited to get accepted. Then we spent 18 months raising support, waiting for the day when we would be ready to launch. Now that we are here in Austria, we are waiting to apply for our visas and, eventually, be able to stay here and find a place to live. It is hard to wait.
No matter our life circumstance, we are always waiting for something. Whether it is the next stage of life, the next stage of ministry, our next competency level in German...we (especially I!) have a tendency to look forward and impatiently wait for the next phase to come. And we have many other people in our life right now that are waiting for important things - friends waiting and hoping to get pregnant, teammates waiting on important documents from the Austrian government, others waiting for acceptance letters...the list goes on. So lately, my thoughts have drifted to the idea of waiting...and what it means to wait well.
I struggle to wait, but I also believe that God does some special things in the hearts of His people when they wait. In times of waiting, we learn to trust in the Lord's timing. We learn to be patient. We are reminded that life is truly not in our control. I depend on God more when I wait then when everything "goes my way" and "according to plan".
Yesterday, we were studying Isaiah 42 in our WorldVenture team prayer time. For centuries, the Israelites were waiting for a savior to come and make things right between God and man. They heard prophesies and waited expectantly for them to be fulfilled. They also waited for the Promised Land, wandering for 40 years in the desert. How much harder must it have been for them to endure these long periods of waiting, sometimes for things that would not come to pass in their lifetime?
As I contemplate the arrival of Christ, the savior of the world, during this Christmas season, I hope I can continue to meditate on the work God is doing in my heart as I wait on Him. May I learn to trust in God's ultimate plan, rather than impatiently demanding my own. God is true to His promises and He sent His Son at just the perfect time. Our plans may not happen in my timing, but they will happen in His.
What are you waiting for? What is God doing in your heart while you wait?
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law."
- Isaiah 42:1 - 4
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