February 15, 2008
There is Purpose in the Waiting
by Meghan Kleppinger, Editor, Christianity.com
I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
I was asked to move my devotional from my usual spot - Wednesdays - to today because I didn’t have a Valentine-themed article to submit. No, I don’t have a valentine this year and no, I have not met my British guy yet (click here for the rest of that story); so yes, another year and still single.
I do not mope or moan or whine during this holiday… nor do I boycott it. I had roommates in college who wore all black and would not leave our dorm room when February 14 rolled around. Me, I have always been content to buy my own box of chocolates and watch a good old movie in my pajamas and fluffy slippers while everyone else is out crammed like sardines in overrated candle-lit restaurants.
I guess it helps that I have great parents. My father’s love language is gift giving and my mother’s is chocolate giving (okay, it’s not a love language… but shouldn’t it be?) and she has a special knack for picking out the perfect “yes you are alone and single, still, but smile, you’ll always have me” greeting card, so I always come out okay in the end.
I don’t mind Valentine’s Day at all but, admittedly, this day has starting hitting a nerve as I’m reminded each year of my marital status. As a late-twenties Christian single American female, I like many others, often feel like I’m bobbing around in the ocean just waiting “until”...
Last week, as I contemplated the juggling around of devotional days, I started thinking about this “until” period (quickly becoming an era), and also about the role waiting plays in the Christian journey. How often are we told to wait upon the Lord for direction, guidance, answers, or for His return?
We are told to wait on God, but does that mean we are to bob around waiting for some ooh-ah magical out-of-the-sky answer? No, we have purpose in the waiting.
It would be like me sitting by my door at home every night. After years and years of waiting, the bell finally rings and I open the door to find my fiancé with the perfect Tiffany & Co. emerald cut diamond in hand! He declares his love in his smooth English accent and says, “Thanks for waiting by the door… all of these years… just for me.” How romantic, how magical… and how not in the realm of reality!
While waiting for mates, we are expected to keep on living. Many relationship books frequently remind us that we will never meet our future spouse while waiting in our living rooms (and I know this because my mother has bought me every book on the subject). We singles kind of have to get out there if we want to meet someone.
Likewise, while waiting for God to open up the next door in any area of our lives, we are expected to live our lives, maybe expectantly and with anticipation, but we are to live our lives just the same. To actively wait means to get out and meet people, work, build careers and homes, and grow in our relationship with others and with God.
When Jesus left His earthly ministry, He commanded us to “go and make disciples.” So even while waiting for the go ahead or specific instructions for our own lives, we need to remember that there are people waiting to meet Him. Sharing Christ with others is our greatest purpose and calling.
As for waiting for God to open the next door for something specific, maybe God is simply preparing you for something or preparing a situation for you. Right now for example, there could be someone finishing up his graduate studies at Oxford University and planning his trip to Virginia… to meet me, of course.
Seriously, we may not know the why or when, but we can be certain that God has a perfect timeline and wants us to wait on Him until the circumstances are just right to proceed. We need to trust Him to tell us when that is and in the meantime, like a plane in a holding pattern waiting to land, we need to keep moving.
Intersecting Faith & Life: One of the best ways to actively wait is to prepare ourselves through prayer. Evangelist R.A. Torrey once explained, “The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. They reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came.”