By Hope Wentz
Pauses in life are necessary. We hate to wait, but the wait can be lifesaving and life-giving. As I drove home from my Christmas tour of the Midwest (hehe), I reached a place during my drive where I had no visibility of the road. It was raining and hailing, the wipers were on high and I still could not see the road. I was praying hard, slowing down, while others sped ahead. I saw a person in front of me pull off to the side of the road and thought, “Good idea bro, we are in this together!” So I also pulled over. While the rain and hail pounded over my car, there was a peace in knowing that in this moment of the journey, it was best to just sit it out, breathe, and wait. It was foolish to try to keep going towards the destination if my safety and other’s safety would be compromised. Waiting is not exactly a natural response to stressful situations for that matter… But when we press into the waiting, we are returned with a deep peace.
I still remember the day about 6 years ago when I refused to wait. There was a horrible storm going on outside and I, like most teenagers, ignored my parents’ warning and drove into town (yes, after our fifth move across the U.S., we now lived in the Texas Country). Waiting was out of the question. It was dark out and my tires hit a deep spot of water that had flooded over most of the country road. I didn’t see it until I hit it. I hydroplaned and went down into the right ditch, over corrected, went across into the other ditch on the left of the road, over corrected, and finally came to a halt just inches from the barbed wire fence. Surprisingly in one piece with no damage… just a LOT of mud and a very upset driver.
When I was slowing down during my drive home from the Midwest tour, there were cars passing me and I thought to myself, “Am I the only crazy one?! I literally can’t see the road! How are they able to drive in this?!” That’s the thing about waiting: it’s never popular. Waiting is a time of training. We make a practice of setting our faces like flint on the Lord’s will for our lives and trusting in His perfect timing.
“But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7.
HE becomes our help when we choose to wait. God has graciously provided examples for us to see that it’s okay and good to wait.
When I pulled my car over during my return from the Christmas tour (okay, it’s way cooler to call it a tour but in reality it was just a LOT of driving packed into a few days with no cruise control so the struggle was REAL). Anyways, I had known pulling over is what I needed to do, but I had the example of another to encourage me to pull over sooner than later. If you did not know this already, my name is Hope. My name literally means to wait and believe. So it is something the Lord has had to continually stretch, strengthen, and forge within me so that I can give hope to other “waiters”. The word of God is flooded with “waiters” who saw and experienced the promises of God. There are actually 101 verses on waiting. Hebrews 11 lists out many of the “waiters”. The fact of the matter is that the wait is a faith building exercise. It is stretching our spiritual muscles to prepare for the promise ahead. Isaiah 40:31 says,
“But 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.”
Hebrews 11 even goes as far to say that the former men who waited,
“conquered kingdoms, enforced Justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put armies to flight,” because of their faith (Hebrews 11:33-34).
Waiting is a choice to trust in what we cannot see rather than trying to make things happen in our own strength. It is a decision to love the Lord rather than the promise. One of my FAVORITE examples of this was Moses in Exodus 33. He declares, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.” He was willing to forgo the promise because the waiting built a deep understanding and longing for the Lord’s presence.
Praise the Lord that we are never alone in our wait! We have the example of past “waiters” in the word, and more so, we have a Heavenly Father who understands waiting more than anyone. We get to wait it out with the BESTEST OF FRIENDS- JESUS CHRIST! WOOT! 2 Peter 3:9 says,
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Isaiah 30:18 says,
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
He is waiting patiently for the people He created to turn to Him. He understands waiting more than anyone; He’s been waiting for us since before time began. So whether you are waiting on your future spouse, acceptance into a college, restoration of your parent’s marriage, salvation for a friend, or healing over a present sickness, press into the Understander, the Chief of waiting, your Holy and faithful Heavenly Father! Enjoy this season as a great measure of His grace!
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:14
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25