What does it mean to wait on God?
What does it mean to wait?
What does wait even mean?
Right now I’m going through a part of life where I’m having to wait – A LOT, so those are the questions I’m asking. Some of you may know, but I’ve yet to learn what it really means to wait on God. I understand that we’re supposed too, but many times I feel like we confuse waiting with laziness, and I hate laziness, especially in myself so in turn, I really hate the idea of waiting. In case you’re wondering, here’s some of the background.
This past summer my wife and I traveled with a great ministry called Clear Camps. This was our second summer to travel with the organization and we absolutely wouldn’t have done anything else. We made some great friends and got to learn a lot of what it means to be leaders.
After the summer my wife was able to go back to her job, but I felt that the Lord wanted me to not go back to mine. I was fine with that as I felt that it was only a job for a season. I learned a great deal about myself. But coming back, knowing what the Lord had called me to, I expected to find a job quickly.
After we got back from the summer I did what most of us would do and start contacting people for opportunities and applying for jobs. In doing this though, and without including God in the decision making process, we can easily get ourselves into all sorts of problems. For me, it was pursuing an opportunity that I really didn’t know much about, but had heard some significant things about it from the amazing people I met within that organization. The more I got in, the more I realized how much it wasn’t for me.
Opportunity number two didn’t pose much success either as it didn’t go past the first meeting. I became extremely discouraged after this, as some of you can imagine. It was here that I really began to search for what the Lord was wanting me to do, and his answer was, Wait.
If you’re anything like me and grown up in church, then waiting on God is not a new concept as we hear it all the time. David wrote about waiting in the Psalms. Paul discussed waiting on Christ in his writings. So it’s not a new thing.
Despite that, I need a practical answer. I need action steps. A path to take. Something beyond, “Wait, because it’s in the Bible.” To me, that answer for any problem in life is useless. It gives nothing of value, at least not to me. Nevertheless here’s what I wound up doing, looking up the definition of wait.
Here’s what I found: Wait – to stay, to serve or attend to (like a waiter in a restaurant or nurse), to patiently anticipate, to look forward to eagerly, and to be available or in readiness.
The ones that caught me were “to patiently anticipate” and “to be available or in readiness.”
Now some of you may look at that and prefer the word wait. To patiently anticipate is no better of an explanation. I get that. It’s just a word thing for me. There’s more action involved in anticipation for me than waiting. I really like the action part, the one that gives some sort of movement. Let’s look at this verse.
Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
It really is a great verse. Wait on the Lord, and put our hope in his Word. But it doesn’t say too much to me. Consider this paraphrase with me
- I patiently anticipate the Lord, my soul stands in readiness, and in him all my expectations are centered.
So my conclusion is this. To wait on the Lord is to patiently anticipate his calling us to action. It is searching for Him. It is be ready to go when he says go and stop when he says stop. Waiting is the antithesis of laziness and idleness. Waiting is expecting.
So now, when the Lord tells me to wait I know, Waiting = Patiently Anticipate in Readiness.