Recently, I heard a sermon that beautifully melded old lessons with new and gave me a healthy shift in my perspective on waiting.
The message took me all the way back to my college days. I remember sitting there in my dorm room in the bustling metropolis of Chickasha, Oklahoma, trying to figure out God’s plan for my life. I knew He was telling me to wait on a few things, but I was growing impatient.
In that moment, God gave me two words: excited curiosity. He showed me that He had so much more for me in my seasons of waiting than just learning patience. He wanted me to be filled with anticipation and an excited curiosity about what He was preparing for my life.
I had mostly forgotten that lesson in the years that have passed since that night. The recent sermon brought it all flooding back.
The pastor stated that “God literally has written waiting into the very fiber of our existence…” We often view periods of waiting as a form of punishment, a trial to endure, a command to obey or simply a holding pattern.
But they are so much more. We see in Scripture that waiting on the Lord is the equivalent of hoping and trusting in Him. Seasons of waiting are times for growth, for preparation and for seeing our excited curiosity build and blossom as God works behind the scenes. They are moments of hope and obedience.
Our hopeful, obedient anticipation is not just blind faith. We can have an excited curiosity because we know the character of the One giving the command. We know that He fulfills His promises and that He does not withhold good from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11; 145:13) If He asks us to wait, we can be confident that He has a good reason, and that the wait will be worthwhile. For we know that He “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
This sermon also touched on the hope Christians have as we await the Messiah’s return, just as the faithful men and women in the Old Testament awaited His birth. This is another area of life where I am developing an excited curiosity. John’s “Come, Lord Jesus!” cry at the end of Revelation hits deeper for me now. Though I generally love life, there is so much grief, pain and wickedness in the world that I long for Him to return and set things right or to go be in His presence.
Yet, again, He calls us to wait. He is still working. Peter reminds us that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). This season of waiting is a season of grace and mercy.
In Christ, our waiting is always purposeful. It is also active. As we wait, we should also pray, go, share, love, sing, hope, give, encourage, trust, grow, obey, etc.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers (and sisters), be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Whatever season we find ourselves in, let us keep working and waiting with an excited curiosity about how God will continue moving in our lives.