It is safe to say that no one likes waiting. From the youngest to the oldest among us, waiting does not come easy. It often requires planning and more than a little patience. Anyone who has had to negotiate getting out of the house on time with an independent pre-schooler (and all the things in tow) knows this to be true.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories of waiting. The first kind of waiting is associated with events that we know will eventually take place, such as for example, waiting for the kettle to boil (water), waiting for the traffic light to change from red to green or waiting for doctors to see us in their rooms.
Then there is the kind of waiting that is associated with something that may or may not happen but we are hoping will take place. We may not even know what it looks like yet but that doesn’t stop us from hoping for it. This is the kind of waiting that can not only excite us but also cause us to toss and turn at night.
It is the waiting for positive change in a difficult relationship, for the alleviation of our long-term financial stress, for a better paying or more fulfilling job, for signs of improvement in our medical condition. It is the waiting for that special someone to come along or a child to call our own — and dare I say it, the waiting for Covid -19 to be eradicated so that we can all go back to life, if not how we knew it then at least without lockdowns and all that they entail.
I am reminded of a song out of Bethel Church in the United States titled, Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco. The lyrics are an encouragement for those times when we find ourselves waiting either for something specific to happen or simply, just something, anything, to change so that we can move on from our current situation that is causing us some form of pain or discomfort or stress. Here is the chorus:
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing
The song is inspired by the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah and his response to the news that his life and his kingdom were about to be attacked, likely destroyed by his enemies who had formed a great coalition against him (2 Chronicles 20).
Jehoshaphat may have panicked, he may even have been angry at God for allowing the enemy to invade his kingdom but still he called a national day of prayer and encouraged his people to trust God in the midst of the crisis they faced. As a result, God moved on their behalf and they didn’t even need to lift a sword against their enemy! They simply worshiped their God and watched their enemies turn on themselves.
The second verse of the song describes what this kind of waiting looks like in more detail:
Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun
Waiting (read: praying and trusting in God to intervene in our situation) is not always our automatic response to the difficulties we face in life but when we do wait, our hope is restored and we find the strength and courage that we need to keep going until our situation changes.
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