In today’s culture of instant gratification, “waiting” takes on a whole new meaning. Technology and, specifically, the internet have totally transformed our culture. What only a few years ago seemed to be lightening fast, is now seen as being cumbersomely slow.
Seriously, how many of you remember the days when dial-up first came out. The thought that I could remotely connect my laptop computer to this thing called the “internet” was simply amazing. Then, to send and receive emails that would take a matter of minutes at 50 kbit/sec to download was so awesome. Oh, and remember the sounds it use to make as you connected! If you’re too young, Google it!
Now, less than 20 years later, if my internet speed drops below 10 Mbps, I notice it and start to become impatient. Worse yet, is to see my teenagers wrestle with such a slow internet speed. We all can be so impatient at times! It’s a wonderful tool, however, I wonder how it’s affecting us negatively along the way at times.
So, when it comes to “waiting on the Lord” in today’s world, I question as to whether or not we even understand the concept. Recently, I’ve been studying the life of David as an example in the Bible. Most of you likely know the story of his being anointed King, striking down Goliath, and then being crowned King of Judah. (His story is primarily told through 1 & 2 Samuel). What many don’t realize in reading David’s story is that it was a period of 13 years from the time Samuel anointed David as King and his actually becoming King of Judah. Additionally, during this period of waiting, he was under great persecution from King Saul who was jealous of David’s anointing.
As you read through the Psalms, you get an appreciation for the times of David’s waiting throughout life. As an example, simple read through a portion of Psalms 40:1-8
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
In this passage, we get a glimpse of David’s desire to do God’s will; yet, wrestling with “waiting upon the Lord” for guidance and direction. In verse 4, we get an appreciation of his hearing to “trust in the Lord” and not man’s wisdom. Then, in verse 6, we get an appreciation for God’s desire for David’s obedience in waiting versus sacrifice and offerings.
Yes, David is simply one example of a leader in scriptures where the waiting wasn’t for just a few Mbps’, but a period of years. And, during these years of waiting God tested their obedience. Would they wait on the Lord’s timing or have to take things into their own hand to solve a particular problem?
Talking with a friend yesterday, he said, “You know Chris, we have this all wrong. Who’s problem is this? “ In our case we’ve intellectually surrendered to trusting and walking in obedience to God’s will in our lives. He continues, “We think this is our problem to solve! However, whose problem is it?” My friend was pointing out that it was “God’s problem to solve” and our challenge is simply in waiting His timing. You see, I want to be able to click a few buttons on my electronic device and have all the answers. I don’t want to sit still and wait on God’s timing most of the time. Can you relate at all? Better yet, is the concept of God’s timing even a consideration in your life?
Well, in my particular case, I’ve had clear communication from multiple sources over the past few weeks that God continues to desire my “waiting on His timing”. So, that is what I’m committed to doing in this particular situation. It isn’t easy, however, following Jesus never was promised to be easy, just worth it!
Can I help you in the process of discernment? Don’t hesitate to reach out!