Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Be it in traffic, at the grocery store, or for test results to come back, I think we can all agree that waiting is the worst. We live in a society that values efficiency and rapid response, thus waiting is not seen as merely inconvenient, but downright wrong. We hate to wait, and yet, God often calls us to seasons of waiting. Just read the Psalms. Time and time again, David pens prayers of waiting on his God to rescue.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
I’ve recently found myself in a season of waiting. Many good things have come out of this time, such as a renewed trust in God’s sovereignty, a greater appreciation of His love for me, and, quite frankly, a good old reminder that I’m tougher than I thought I was (a valuable lesson that is absolutely terrible to learn). It has been sweet to see fruit in this season, and yet here I remain, waiting. It’s unnerving to realize that I have no idea when—or if—the waiting will end. Although I desperately want to honor the Lord through my waiting, I often find myself tired and frustrated, lacking the stamina to continue in joy. How then does one wait well?
I recently found encouragement in the most unlikely of places: through a fifth grade girls’ Bible study. This past Wednesday night, a handful of 11-year-old girls and I sat in a circle and discussed the call of Abram from Genesis 12.
Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
After reading the passage, I asked the girls how they thought Abram felt in that moment. Honestly, I expected the primary answer to be along the lines of “cool,” but then one student said, “I bet Abram was really scared.” I asked her to explain and she pointed out that though God had promised something magnificent, He hadn’t given much detail. It is true: God did not mention how or when His promises would occur. To this fifth grader, God’s promise clearly pointed to a season of waiting and unrest. And when you think about it that way, I suppose it does seem a bit scary.
Our discussion continued, and we chatted about the appropriate response when God calls us to a season of waiting. As the girls talked it out, it became clear to them that there were two duties for believers during such a season: trust in God’s plan and continual obedience to His Word.
Trust and obey. It seems rudimentary, does it not? Yet throughout Scripture, we see the most hopeful of waiters doing these two simple acts. We can obediently follow God, knowing He is working for our favor. And in that, my friends, we find that waiting is truly a blessed season.