I’ve never been good at waiting. As a kid, Christmas nearly did me in every year. We always opened Christmas presents a family after church on Christmas Eve, then went to extended family on Christmas Day. My parents say I was always well behaved in church, with the exception of Christmas Eve. What’s interesting is that I’d typically sufficiently snooped at my presents that I already knew what they were, so my excitement was not based on discovering what I had received, but simply on receiving it.
An area where many of us often lack patience is waiting for responses to our prayers. One of the reasons I often hear people give for their relationships with God declining, or falling away altogether, is a feeling that their prayers were not answered. As someone who is impatient in all things, I have a lot of sympathy for those who feel this way. Today, I want to offer us encouragement as we wait upon God’s response. First, look at Isaiah 40:
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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 40:27-31
Here are a few key things about waiting for God’s response for us to grasp:
- God’s plan is greater than ours: I love the phrase: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the EVERLASTING God.” When we feel like we aren’t getting any sort of response from God we need to remember that God is so much greater then we can imagine, and so are His plans. I can clearly remember two times when I pleaded with God for weeks for a certain outcome, and never got the response I wanted. In the years that have followed its become crystal clear that God’s plan was significantly greater and better than mine.
- God is present while we wait: This passage tells us that God understands that even the best of us will grow tired of waiting. We will have moments of questioning God’s plan. Yet, we are reminded here that it is in those lowest moments of questioning and waiting that God is with us to love and support us.
- God’s response is eternally good: Remember, we think in terms of days, and God thinks in terms of eternity. This is a huge reason we struggle to understand His plans. When you struggle with this, remember that God’s plan for you, and the world, is eternal perfection. When and how that will all occur is beyond our comprehension, but it is God’s promise to us that He will someday make it happen, and THAT is something worth waiting for.