In this season of waiting, I have been reflecting on the purpose of waiting in the life of a believer.
You see, in 21st century America, we are taught that we should not have to wait, that we don't deserve to wait, that waiting is uncomfortable and therefore bad. And if you have enough money or power, you don't have to wait for a lot of things.
But God says, "No, things will happen in My time". And I think He (in love) brings seasons of waiting into the lives of believers to bring about many good things.
Here is a list (certainly not exhaustive) of the benefits of waiting in the life of a believer.
Waiting gives us an eternal perspective. When we get exactly what we want when we want it, it is easy to keep our focus on earthly matters. But waiting causes us to lift our eyes to God, and in so doing he reminds us of eternity. Our time on earth is very, very short. Our time in eternity is very, very long. It is far better to live for eternity than to live for now (especially when you have no idea how many more years or days you have left on Earth).
"According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... in this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials" 1 Peter 1:3, 6
Waiting for temporal things reminds us that we are really waiting for the return of Christ. Just as the hunger we feel while fasting is a reminder of our deeper hunger for Christ, the pain of waiting for earthly things reminds us of our deeper pain of waiting for Christ to return. Life is hard because Jesus hasn't returned yet.
"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" Romans 8:23
Waiting renews our strength. When things are going as we want them to, we can easily start to rely on our own strength (which is actually weakness). Waiting reminds us of how powerless we are, and how powerful God is, and helps us to depend on Him.
"They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up on wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
Waiting is humbling. Waiting is a humbling reminder of how little we can do and accomplish on our own. Being humbled is not fun. But it is by far the best place for us to be, and much better than the opposite.
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" James 4:6
So, let us wait well in seasons of waiting. Let us wait with joy, knowing that God is working so much good through our wait.