I’ts something we all must embrace in varying amounts at different times through life. But why do we find it so hard to do? Is there a way to view in a new and edifying light this most prosaic of disciplines? What am I talking about?
Yep. Waiting. Here is a picture of what that feels like sometimes, right? Looking down, staring at your firmly planted feet; not gazing too far on the horizon for fear that to hope might disappoint.
I came across this little quote scribbled in my notes the other day — unfortunately I don’t know who said it. Apparently not my best note-taking moment. 🙂
“Waiting faith is strong faith”.
I’m typing this as I sit on the sofa with my knee packed in ice … for the 6th day in a row. Pretty sure I have a slightly torn meniscus, an injury notoriously slow to heal. Hubby’s been out of town for the entire week and so, with lots of time on my hands, I’ve been propped on the sofa, tending my knee while reading and writing and doing a lot of thinking … thinking about this quote.
Truth is, there has been an awful amount of waiting to be done these last four years. Not the short-term kind of waiting, as with a knee injury, but the kind that has a way of moving in and overstaying its welcome. When life gets turned upside down and nothing fits into place like it used to, waiting seems to be the name of the game.
Can you relate? Waiting … to see where things will land … to know if life will level out long enough to begin making plans for the future … to find answers to a laundry list of big and seemingly unanswerable questions … for the Hand of God to move and direct and order all that we care so deeply about.
Here’s the thing. I’m a pretty patient person when I know what I’m waiting for. It’s in the midst of the unknown and uncertainty that my cage is rattled. And that right there, friends, is what walking by faith has been about of late for us — reevaluating what it is we are ultimately hoping and waiting for while knowing with absolute conviction what we believe about so much that we cannot see.
What is faith? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) These things hoped for are not our imaginings but rather have as their basis the Word of God. JI Packer said it like this: “For the christian, faith is hope resting on fact”.
Here are the big truths, the unchanging facts I keep coming back to day in and day out. If I’m sounding like a broken record, it’s not your imagination. I wasn’t kidding when I said you might see the same things repeated often around here! 🙂
These “things hoped for” encompass the
good work He has promised to faithfully
complete in us (Philippians 1:6) as we abide
“… the conviction of things not seen”
includes knowing everything that touches
our lives is working for our good and for His
glory even when we cannot see it (Romans
Both of these truths are guiding the journey of my heart right now. The waiting is teaching me about abiding in Him — living in a fixed and settled dependence upon Him. Not just anxiously hoping for the proverbial “life to get back to normal” scenario (what is that suppose to look like anyway?) but rather knowing that abiding in this place of dependence and continual trust is where I need to be even when plans do fall into place and questions are answered and we do see His Hand move and direct and order those things we care so deeply about. It’s as much about the becoming as we wait in hopeful expectancy for answered prayer.
I’m hopeful … hopeful that,
in this season which feels
so pedestrian at times,
such an abiding dependence
will be formed in me so,
even when life settles
into a more predictable rhythm,
I won’t stop clinging to Him.
Clinging, trusting, hoping,
and yes, waiting for Him.
Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” The waiting implies, of course, the expectant attitude of faith. The words “wait for the Lord” are also translated “hope in the Lord”. Waiting and hoping but not becoming weary. What a good place to be.
Clearly, this little quote isn’t to say only a faith stretched and tested through waiting is strong. In fact, how encouraging it is to our faith when we scarcely start trusting Him for something and see it come to pass right away! But there is something about hoping in Him for the long haul and not just the desired outcome that produces trust and patience and perseverance like no other discipline can.
It’s pretty basic but oh, so needful. Let’s pray for a faith whose strength is forged in waiting and whose rest is found in abiding. I don’t know about you, but I could do with plenty more of both.
Aren’t you thankful He delights in being our strength and rest always … no waiting required!