What does it mean to wait on the Lord?
Trying to get my 3-year old to be a little more patient while I prepare her breakfast one morning I told her that she has to learn to wait and master the skill because life is a waiting game!
- You can’t wait to go to school, then you can’t wait to come back from work
- You can’t wait to get a car, then you can’t wait to get through traffic
- You can’t wait to get married, then you can’t wait to get through labour
- You can’t wait to sleep again, then you can’t wait to have your kids visit again
- You can’t wait to see the Lord at work, then you can’t wait on the Lord
Like a 3-strand rope, waiting involves (1) passing of time, but with an (2) expectation and hope, based on (3) knowledge and trust.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord. More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. 8 And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Psalm 130: 5-8
When we, like the guards of the city, wait for the morning, we are waiting for more than simply time to pass. We are waiting for the sun to rise and day to break, for the light to replace the darkness, and the cold to be replaced with the warmth of the sun.
Waiting involves an expectation of something special. Waiting means anticipation, expectation, confident hope in something that will take place. Ultimately, waiting on the Lord is like waiting on the sun to rise—waiting expectantly for the Lord’s answers to human needs as the sun brings the warmth of the day. We know that throughout our lives we have seen the sunrise every single day. It has never failed even once.
We know or believe, therefore, we can count on it based on its past performance, so we wait for the light and the warmth. But above all, we are expecting God’s laws of creation to continue to work.
Thus, the emphasis of the Bible is that our waiting is a waiting on or waiting for the Lord and His loving kindness. At least 28 of the passages that deal with waiting have the Lord as the object waited for and as the confidence of the one waiting. The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing. It means confidence in God’s person: confidence in His wisdom, love, timing, understanding of our situation and that of the world. It means knowing and trusting in God’s principles, promises, purposes, and power.
The LORD is good to those who WAIT for Him, to the person who SEEKS Him.
God is in the business of growing a spiritual harvest in our lives, but this takes time and our cooperation in doing the right things at the right time. On the one hand, we are to rest and be still.
This stands opposed to running ahead of the Lord and taking matters into our own hands and turning to our own human strategies. Contentment and patience fly directly in the face of the cunning delusion Satan constantly seeks to pass off on the human race.
Namely, that man does not need God and can find security, satisfaction, and significance apart from the Lord through his own solutions and human wisdom.