The Waiting Game—have you ever played it?
What? Wait?! No, I don’t like the sound of that game. I prefer to do.
Waiting is hard! But God does call us to wait in many seasons, and through many of the storms of life. Years ago during a particularly long and difficult waiting season, I opened God’s Word and began to study what He had to say about waiting.
There are several Old Testament Hebrew words for wait. They translate into English as wait, expect, hope, silence, stillness, repose, examine, to stand, to remain and to endure. What I found most interesting in my study is the thread that runs through all of these Hebrew words is the word picture of binding or tying, as in a knot.
I love the idea that in the waiting I am to attach or bind myself to the Lord. His presence is a refuge for me—a place of safety, peace, security, comfort and beauty. As I studied these words and verses, I also noticed the idea of strength and quiet in the waiting. I’ve found over the years that waiting time is often just what I need. I need time to process what the Lord is doing in my life—the things He is trying to “work out” of me and “work into” me. I can rest confident knowing God is working in my waiting.
What I find most encouraging and comforting during the wait is I can rest confidently in the fact that God IS. God’s covenant name is Jehovah, which translates “I am that I am”. His covenant name speaks of the self-existent, all-sufficient God, who was, who is and who is to come! A contracted form of Jehovah is the word JAH, which translates He is. He is Jehovah, the One who reveals Himself to us unceasingly! I can wait knowing that Jehovah is the One to whom I am binding myself, and in whom I can trust.
Isaiah 64:4 tells us God acts on behalf of those who wait upon Him.
Psalm 33:22 tells us His unfailing or steadfast love is upon as we wait.
Psalm 62:5-7 tells us that God is our refuge as we wait. He is our rock and fortress and we shall not be shaken.
Psalm 31:24 tells us to be strong and take courage in Him while we wait.
Isaiah 40:28-31 tells us that the Lord gives strength to those who wait upon Him.
Lamentations 3:25 tells us the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
Psalm 38:15 tells us God will answer us (in His timing) in our waiting!
Isaiah 30:18 tells us those who wait for the Lord are blessed.
Your next question may be the same one I asked, how long, Lord?
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I take counsel in may soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” —Psalm 13:1-2
As I echoed the psalmist’s cry to the Lord, I put pen to paper. Gleaning from the Scriptures and my study of these Old Testament words for wait, I composed a list of disciplines I could put into practice as I waited.
While we wait we can…
Renew our minds in God’s Word.
(Psalm 130:5-7, Psalm 119:14, 43, 81, 114)
Rehearse God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives—His works, wonders and ways.
(Psalm 42:11, Psalm 43:5, Psalm 71:14, Psalm 59:9)
Recite God’s Word—meditate upon it, memorize it, ponder it, and pray it back to Him.
(Psalm 4:4, Lamentations 3:21-24)
Rejoice as we praise God in song and dance—yes even dance! “Wait patiently” in Psalm 37:7 translates to dance, to twist and whirl). There are times when getting up to dance is just the therapy my weary soul needs.
(Psalm 30:12, Psalm 37:7)
Rest in God’s presence. Learn to be still, to look to Him and just enjoy His Presence through prayer, song, reading His Word and in creation!
(Isaiah 40:30-31, Psalm 145:15, Psalm 62:5, Psalm 37:34)
Remain in a standing position (a confident attitude) knowing Your God is acting!
(Psalm 18:33, Psalm 26:12, Psalm 118:5, Psalm 18:19)
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits; and in His Word I put my hope.” —Psalm 130:5
Warren Staff Member
Copyright ©2012, Susan Cady