"I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, exhausted with waiting. But I cling to your principles and obey them. How long must I wait?" (Psalm 119:83-84, NLT)

 

None of us like to wait, yet we all find ourselves in a waiting mode at some point in our lives. Some women wait to have a baby, others wait to see their husbands come to Christ, still others wait for their child to be healed or their marriage to be more intimate. Single women can fall into the trap of thinking they are the only ones who have to wait, but this isn't true. Everyone waits...some wait for months, others for years. Waiting is a part of life, married or single.

 

The ways of God are a mystery, and often there are no satisfying answers to the whys of waiting. Still, waiting is never without purpose, and as we wait, God desires to work in our lives. If we let Him, God will:

* strengthen our character (Romans 5:3-5)

* teach us about His character (Isaiah 64:4)

* show us something that can help someone else (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

 

If this is true, and if we trust that waiting is part of God's sovereign plan for the prescribed moment, the question suddenly changes. We no longer ask should I wait, but how should I wait.

 

How Shall We Then Wait?

 

There are two types of "waiters" - passive and active.

 

A passive waiter lives in standby mode, putting her life on hold until she gets married. She thinks, When I get married, I'll do this. Or, When I have a husband, I will be that. Her only action is to occasionally check her watch, wondering why Mr. Right is so late.

 

In her loneliness, the passive waiter becomes indiscriminant about the company she keeps. She lounges on the couch of her singleness, and before she can fluff her pillow, the Destructive D's of Discontent, Discouragement, Despair, and Depression nestle beside her. They smother her as they scoot over to make room for their nasty cousins, the A's - Anxiety and Anger. These companions so monopolize her time and space that her life has no room for God or for giving to others.

 

What a contrast to the active waiter. The active waiter finds purpose in every moment. She eagerly grabs hold of life and squeezes and possibility out of every situation. Through the waiting, she develops an enviable trust in God. Psalm 37:3-7 (NIV) describes the active waiter:

 

* Trust in the LORD and do good [by reaching out to others];

* Dwell in the land [make your home, settle down, be at peace where God puts you].