“But for you O LORD do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” Psalm 38:15 (ESV)
I was a weird kid. I always wanted to know the ending even before I finished reading a story. All that mattered to me was the final chapter and whether the characters lived happily ever after or not. I hated suspense. I couldn’t stand not knowing. And I confess that there were more than a few times, when I opted to take a peek at the last pages of a Nancy Drew mystery just to “check” if my suspicions were right about who the real villain was. All because I couldn’t wait.
Fast forward to adulthood and it became apparent that my dislike of waiting was and is true in most real life situations. Whether standing at a cash register line or during a season of unanswered prayer – waiting always feels unsettling.
In the story of Ruth, when Boaz came into the picture and Ruth found favor in his eyes, Naomi said ” Sit still my daughter until thou know how the matter will fall.” Ruth 3:18a (KJV)
We all know what Ruth had been doing before this. She was working hard caring for Naomi. Now there’s nothing for her to do but wait and see how God unfolds his glorious plan through Boaz, their kinsman-redeemer. Naomi’s advice to sit still was not given out of resignation but out of hope! She knew that Boaz will follow through. “For the man will not be in rest until he have finished the thing this day.” Ruth 3:18b (KJV)
Such waiting is not passive or useless. It is based on faith, lived out in trust and bears fruit, which is strength. “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.” Isaiah 40:31
By God’s mercy, he has shown me what I’ve been missing by refusing to wait. When I desire to arrive at the conclusion or get results right away, I deprive myself of seeing how he thoughtfully and powerfully works in our lives moment by moment or page by page. I miss out on marveling at the meticulous details of how he weaves time, people, and circumstances, even the most unpleasant ones, into the fabric of his perfect will. I fail to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of his sovereignty – sometimes allowing, sometimes withholding, all the time loving.
Right now I am sitting at my spiritual porch, waiting on God about something. I know that I have brothers and sisters sitting on the same bench. It’s an uncomfortable bench, but it is a seat of grace and is perhaps the most secure place for us, for such a time as this. Waiting deepens our intimacy with God and our covenant with one another. Life is never on hold when Christ, the ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer, is holding it . He is working as we wait, in ways that are more important than we can ever understand. Praise him who calls us to wait.
For God alone my soul waits in silence, from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1-2