Straight From a Waiting Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Waiting is challenging isn’t it? It’s especially problematic if your spiritual gift, like mine, is impatience. But in reality, most of our life is spent waiting. In fact, statistics tell us that on average a person will spend an estimated 45-62 minutes waiting every day. If you do the math, that means that if you live to the age of seventy, you will have spent up to three years of your life waiting!
Think about it, we spend countless hours waiting our turn, waiting in traffic, waiting for the light to turn green, waiting for appointments, waiting for certain circumstances in our lives to be over, waiting for direction. Some of us are waiting to get pregnant. Some are waiting for their prodigal to return. Others are waiting for test results or pending news. In some cases, we’re waiting for things that may never come!
We find ourselves waiting for the next season of our lives as if somehow the next one will be better than the one we’re in! Even when it comes to the seasons in a year, we can’t wait for Christmas. Once it’s behind us, we can’t wait for spring. Then we can’t wait for the warmth of summer. And when the summer heat hits, we can’t wait for cooler weather again.
My grandfather used to say, “As a rule man’s a fool. When it’s hot he wants it cool. When it’s cool he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.” Isn’t that the truth?
When my kids were little, I couldn’t wait for them to get back to school in the fall so that I could reclaim my territory and gain back a semblance of routine. Now that they’re grown, there are days when I can’t wait simply because if I do, I’ll forget what I was about to do! Most days I can’t wait to get to heaven!
So why are we in such a hurry? What is it that we are waiting for? Is there something we should or could be doing as we wait? Rather than wait? Why wait at all?
The fact is no one likes to wait. But sometimes that’s exactly what God wants us to do. And in fact, it’s what He requires us to do. Isaiah 40:31 says, “…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.” (ESV) Some versions replace “wait” with “trust”. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t that why we find it so challenging to wait? Because to do so, means to relinquish our control over circumstances in our lives—realizing that most circumstances are completely beyond our control. And who doesn’t want control?
God is more interested in the process than the product. Paul reminds us that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) And He’s apparently in no hurry to produce it!
So in the meantime—where we all live—hanging in the balance between where we are and where we’re going, like Jesus, we need to set joy before us and consider Him who endured the cross. Because in exchange for our weariness, God gives us His strength to endure and as we fix our gaze upon Him, He renews our perspective. And when we find that, there is nothing better. Take it from me, it’s worth the wait!
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org