The Soul and Waiting

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The Soul and Waiting

SOUL Series: The Soul & Waiting
by Laura McAlpin, Marriage Minister

Pslam 33: 20-22

20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

 

Waiting…We all hate to do it and I’ve done my share of waiting:  Bed rest for 6 months waiting on a little one to arrive, waiting for guidance and direction concerning which job to take, waiting for healing for family members and not too long ago, waiting for the Lord to come take my sweet mama home with him. I’m currently writing this waiting for school to be out and summer to arrive.

Waiting is hard! It’s often a solitary, quiet action that can play tricks on our minds and lead to worrying and second-guessing: “Did I do enough? Did I say the right thing? Could I have done something differently? Did I do something wrong?  Have I missed something?”

What I’ve learned through, and in, all my waiting is that it requires patience and trust.  Being patient can be challenging when you want answers or guidance now, but patience is part of God’s character and He uses waiting as a tool to teach and instruct us in His ways. God is patient, and patience ultimately isn’t just about waiting but HOW you wait. 

The Bible is full of stories of great heroes of the faith in their waiting both patiently and impatiently. 

Noah waits as he builds a massive ark on dry ground.

Abraham impatiently waits for a promised son (and sires Ishmael). His own dreams all but extinguished,

Joseph waits abandoned by those whose dreams he interpreted.

Moses waits as he witnesses the rejection of God by His redeemed people.

David lyrically waits as a shepherd, as an outcast king on the run, and as the grieving father of his broken family.

The prophets wait for the Messiah…and literally die to see Him.

John waits preparing the path.

Jesus waits as He grows in favor and stature, as He stoops in front of a disgraced woman scribbling in the sand, as He explains to ears that do not hear, and eyes that do not see, waits as He is betrayed, beaten, and dies. 

The disciples wait for the misunderstood promise, they wait for the Comforter to descend as divine wind and fire, they wait as they struggle to discover the depth and the height of the grace so freely given. 

And John waits in exile as the unveiling of glorified Hope is revealed. 

As followers of Christ our souls wait and long for the LORD. 

Waiting on, and for the Lord is an action.
You need not be frozen in your waiting like the statues in the palace garden of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books.  Waiting is not inaction and that is why it takes courage.  It takes courage to be still and know that He is God and trust that that He is in control of all things. It takes courage to step out in faith and trust and move in the way in which one feels led by the Lord. We are asked to wait expectantly (as in childbirth – Romans 8) as one who has hope (Hebrews 6:19) and to trust in Him, not just because of who He is, but also (and this is important) because of His unfailing love for us.   

And because of His unfailing love we need to remember that He always wants what’s best for us and we also need to be reminded that we’re not the only ones waiting. Scripture tells us that GOD is waiting….not just on you, but FOR you. Scripture tells us that the Lord waits to be gracious to us and to show us mercy (Isaiah 30:18) His word tells 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 Peter 3:9). And. “The Lord’s patience brings salvation” (2 Peter 3:15).  

“God waited FOR you, He waits ON you, He waits WITH you, and He waits for others.”

God waited FOR you, He waits ON you, He waits WITH you, and He waits for others.  He waits to use us to share His love and good news with those around us. So…whether its waiting in line to make a purchase, single and waiting for “the one” to walk into our lives, waiting while struggling with infertility, waiting for the birth of a baby, waiting for the big wedding day to come, etc….join me in waiting on the Lord expectantly, with hope. 

Don’t wait alone! Reach out to others in your waiting to calm the questions in your mind.  Be reminded of God’s unfailing love towards you as the One who created ALL things waits WITH us to bring His good and perfect will, and kingdom, to fulfillment.

by Laura McAlpin, Marriage Minister