Tired of Waiting
We think lightly of those things that cost us very little, but we prize those things for which we must work and wait.
by Stephen Yuille on February 01, 2021
“I'm tired of waiting.” Does this statement resonate with you?
Why does God make us wait? I’ve wrestled with this question on many occasions. I've come to the conclusion that there are four main reasons (which, by the way, I'm still learning) why God makes us wait. I offer them to you, praying that “by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope” (Rom. 15:13).
First, God makes us wait, in order to prepare us to receive what He’s going to give. “The baker watches when the oven is hot, and then puts in the bread” (Thomas Manton). Similarly, God must prepare our hearts to receive what He gives. This means He makes us wait, in order to heighten our sense of anticipation. If our hearts aren’t prepared in this way, we won’t appreciate what God gives. We think lightly of those things that cost us very little, but we prize those things for which we must work and wait.
Second, God makes us wait, in order to make us more fervent in prayer. When a child is in need, he cries out to his parents. In that cry, he acknowledges his absolute dependence upon them. Likewise, when we cry out to God in prayer, we experience a most wonderful reality: God is our Father. “All those that are justified … enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have His name put upon them; receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba, Father” (WCF). Waiting for God forces us to cry out to God.
Third, God makes us wait, in order to prove our faith and perfect our patience. I’ve never understood the appeal of competitive weight-lifting. The athlete must hold the weights above his head for three seconds. On some level, I suppose that’s an accomplishment. I have far greater admiration for the Angolan woman who’s able to carry a load of firewood on her head, a baby on her back, and a bucket of water in each hand, as she returns from the well, located a two-hour walk from her home. That’s strength. Endurance magnifies strength. Similarly, waiting magnifies faith and patience. Waiting a day or two is one thing; waiting a year or two is another thing entirely. It’s a more perfect thing, because it requires both faith and patience.
Fourth, God makes us wait, in order to magnify His work of providence. God doesn’t work when it pleases us most, but when it glorifies Him best. A friend shared with me a conversation he had with his son. They’d been reading some of the great narratives in the OT - all those great stories about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, and Daniel. He asked his son, “What have these stories taught you about God?” His son’s reply: “God always waits to the last minute.” God delights to wait, in order to ensure that we don’t miss His wondrous works of providence. In so doing, He magnifies His glory.
So, are you tired of waiting? Take heart. “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” (Isa. 40:31).