The Power of Waiting

Growing up, I often heard the expression, “as slow as molasses in January.” Molasses flows slower when it is cold. By nature, “waiting” is also a slow process. It seems in life when we are most eager for God to take action, He moves slowly.

Maybe from His perspective, when God requires us to wait, He is setting things up for a display of His power. If we are powerless over a situation, then we and other interested parties are likely to engage in some form of focus on Him while we are forced to wait.

Waiting on God just might be THE spiritual exercise that builds immense power.

The Bible teaches in Isaiah 40:29-31, “…to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

The potential found in waiting is that it can bring us closer to God and His power.

In his book, Overrated,  Eugene Cho poses this question.

“With so much noise and the ever-present temptation to go, move, act, and do something, how important is it for us to wait and listen to God?

I am beginning to believe that “timing,” especially God’s timing, is EVERYTHING and THE MOST IMPORTANT event we can participate in within our lifetime.

If I really believe God’s timing is everything, then WAITING on God should be my primary strategy for tackling ALL that is thrown on me.

Sadly, this is not completely true in my life. I don’t wait on God. Oh sure, as a “good” Christian, I am in the habit of mumbling a quick prayer before taking a new direction.

“God bless this wonderful cause that I have already begun for You and plan to finish for You (with Your help or not) because I am really smart about fixing the problems of this world and You seem a bit slow, so I think You might be waiting on me. I’m going to get started now, God, because I am very busy and I need to accomplish a lot for You. Thanks for the idea, God. I know you have given me the skills to take it from here, so I’ll check back in later if I get into some problems. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Whew! A minute and a half and I’m all prayed up for my new project! God bless me. Here I come.

Crash and burn.

In our elite country, we are a highly functioning society that is losing the sense of what it means to wait and even why waiting might be important. From a kingdom perspective, a person’s habit of waiting on God just might be THE all-important accomplishment of a lifetime. Conversely, the inability to wait on God becomes THE most often missed power connection that hinders God’s kingdom.

Eugene Cho summarizes examples from another society.

Consider some of the significant characters in the Bible. Recall all the broken and flawed women and men whom God chose to use for His purposes and glory. Many of them learned the discipline of waiting and listening before responding to God’s call.

Joseph waited thirteen years.

Abraham waited twenty-five years.

Moses waited forty years.

Rahab waited forty years.

Some speculate that Noah waited more than one hundred years to complete the building of the ark. Joseph waited in prison. Job waited in mourning. And Paul waited and waited for an answer for his prayer that God remove his thorn in the flesh. Even Jesus waited thirty years to begin His ministry, and then He waited another forty days in the desert.”

Waiting on God to lead me should be my primary mode of operation in everything and for every minute of every day. Waiting on God can diminish my belief in my own power and cause me to focus more of my attention on Him. If I have to wait any length of time, I am in the right position to exercise my “faithfulness-to Him” muscle or become bitter, fearful, sad, or angry over my waiting experience.

Such an exercise of faith permits a grand display of God’s power.

Now that’s real power!

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