We live in the day of the unprecedented instant. The world has never known instant like we do.
We have Google (which in a search for “instant” renders “About 1,610,000,000 results” in 0.24 seconds). We have mobile phones, digital photography, instant messaging, texting, and broadband Internet connectivity. We have access to books, music, news, weather, stats, and movies on demand. We have fast-acting medications, instant food, and instant drinks.
And do we honestly think that these things will have no meaningful effect on the way we process life?
The more we become accustomed to the “instant” the more impatient, inattentive, and discontent we become in the whole of life. Perhaps more than ever we are people who “hate” to wait on anything. We hate lines, traffic, and slow connections.
These trends have a tendency to foster spiritual impatience, inattentiveness, and discontentment. Discipline in the various means of grace that the Lord has so lovingly given us becomes more and more difficult when existential gratification can be known so instantly.
One of my most self-recited Psalms is 25:4-5:
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
The phrase that arrested my attention this morning is found in the last line, “for you I wait all the day long.” One simple concept, which appears so foreign to my world.
This is not an isolated reflection of those who love the Lord. We are told in Ps 27:14: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Again, “Wait for the LORD and keep his way” (Ps 37:34). “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Ps 130:5). The Proverbs remind us, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.” (Pr 20:22).
Our waiting on the Lord speaks of our resting, trusting, and looking for His answers and will in our life. It speaks of our contentment in Christ, of our attentiveness to Christ, of our satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ that yields patience and perseverance to live for Him. Those who wait on the Lord in true faith are renewed in spiritual strength to do His will while they eagerly look forward to His work (Is 40:31). Waiting involves the inner essence of our being, our very soul. This ought to be the response of our heart when answers are wanting, feelings are lacking, and circumstances are troubling.
Too many in our fast-paced life, becoming more and more instant, struggle with feelings and seemingly lack the desire of the Lord in their life. We would do well to remember David’s testimony: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Ps 40:1). We should remember Jeremiah’s cry, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (La 3:25). And Micah’s resolve, “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Mic 7:7). May we say with Isaiah, “In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.” (Is 26:8).
Waiting on the Lord is worship. The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’” (Ps 46:10). May we this day, be more deliberate, more intentional, more purposeful in our thoughts, actions, reactions, words, attitudes, and overall stewardship of life on earth. In all that we do, may we “be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Ps 37:7).