Today is a day of waiting. I don’t like waiting.
In fact, I don’t think any of us like waiting very much. Just look around next time you are in line at the supermarket and observe how uncomfortable people are with waiting… incessantly checking their smart phones, fidgeting with items in their cart, glancing at pointless magazines.
Right now I am in a season of waiting. I finished seminary in May and enjoyed a nice summer of relaxing and visiting friends and family. Now I am waiting for the right opportunity to serve in pastoral ministry. It is certainly not an idle waiting, but waiting nonetheless. Did I mention I don’t like waiting? There are certainly more job boards to check, contacts to be made, emails to be sent, and lines of the resume and cover letter that could be tweaked. But today I pause for a moment to reflect on waiting.
Sometimes I wonder why it seems that we have to wait on God so much. If God is all-knowing and all-powerful and present everywhere, then it seems that He should be busy all the time and we should never feel bored because we are constantly trying to keep up with Him. Deep down I know that he is always acting redemptively in the world, and that he never slumbers nor sleeps (Ps. 121:4), but even in that he sometimes calls his people to a time of waiting. I think of the Israelites wondering in the wilderness for an entire generation, waiting for God to act on their behalf. I think of Israel waiting for hundreds of years of (relative) prophetic silence for the arrival of Messiah. I think of the disciples waiting for three long days, wondering what went wrong.
Throughout the Scriptures, the people of God have been called to seasons of waiting. I take comfort in the fact that many of them engaged that calling as poorly as I am. They wavered in their trust in God. They acted impulsively because they tried to take matters into their own hands. They struggled to find joy and were restless and discontent. I am like those people; I am one of those people.
The good news is that God is faithful even when his people are not. God has demonstrated his faithfulness time and time again. He is at work in the world and he is at work in my life. Again I resonate with a line from Scripture, “Lord I believe, but help my unbelief!” (Mk. 9:24)