Learning to Wait

The drive between Banff and Calgary can be pretty slow during peak seasons. Such was the case a couple of years ago when my wife and I were on our way back from a conference. There was road construction ahead and what should have taken less than 5 minutes actually took 45 minutes to get through.

Then there are those so-and-sos that have no problem breaking the unwritten rules about staying in line. They don’t want to wait so they drive on the shoulder so that they can cut in ahead of you! Ugh!!! It’s usually about that time I need to start confessing my anger and impatience with those who refuse to wait. Perhaps God is trying to teach me patience!

The truth is, like it or not, waiting is a part of life. We don’t like waiting very much but still we have to wait. We wait for the doctor, for spring, for hunting season to open, for the fish to bite, or for our kids to brush their teeth so we won’t be late for church. We wait to pay for our groceries and we wait for our prayers to be answered (which will be answered in God’s time and not ours).

In Acts chapter 1 Luke tells about how Jesus met with his disciples before his ascension. He told them to stay in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise” of the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that they had already spent 3 years with Jesus. 70 of them had already been sent out on a missions trip where they came back all excited because even the demons were subject to them in Jesus’ name (Luke 10:17).

They had the training. They had the experience. They were committed and yet Jesus asks them to wait! It was important that they wait. There was purpose in their waiting.

What if they hadn’t waited?

In the book of 1st Samuel, chapter 13, Israel was at war with the Philistines. Samuel was on his way to make a sacrifice before they committed to doing battle. Then it happened that those in Saul’s army began to be afraid and some began to leave. The king just couldn’t wait so he took matters into his own hands and performed Samuel’s priestly duties. As a result Saul’s reign would end and God would look for another man to take his place. All because he couldn’t wait!

There is always a good reason why God asks us to wait. I’m glad to say that the disciples did wait and their waiting was rewarded. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. The world had no idea what was about to be unleashed. God’s love was coming like a flood!

Is God asking you to wait? Perhaps a relationship needs healing? Or maybe you feel that you’re stuck, in need of a new direction? It could be that you’ve sent out resumes and you’ve heard nothing? Don’t be discouraged! None of us like to wait but you can be sure of this: God has a purpose and a reward for our waiting. “...but they who wait for 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” (Isa. 40:31).