Waiting.

Waiting, waiting... waiting.

It's what a lot of us seem to be doing a lot these days, isn't it? Waiting.

And we’re waiting for lots of things. Christ’s return, of course! But also a new job, perhaps. Or for the traffic in front of us to start moving again. Maybe an important e-mail. Or a report from our doctor.

We wait, and wait, and wait some more. About the only thing for which we never have to wait is, well... waiting.

Whether we like to admit it or not, many of us single believers are waiting on some sort of clarification on our marital status. We’re not waiting for confirmation that we’re without a spouse! Our lonely apartment – not to mention our lonely ring finger – already confirm that we’re not married.

No, many of us wait – even if it’s subconsciously – to see if we’ll ever get married, or if we have the “gift of singlehood” and just don’t know it yet. Some single believers seem quite capable of going through life without so much as checking “single” when they’re filling out their taxes. For them, being single exists as just another generic part of their identity, like their shoe size.

Others of us wait.

Maybe spiritually, we know that God’s timing is best. Maybe we’re even relieved that we didn’t commit too early to a relationship that would have unraveled, a miserable specter we may be watching unfold in too many of our friends’ rocky marriages. Maybe contentment with our singlehood is something that comes and goes, like the tide, betraying the reality that while overall, we’re satisfied in theory with waiting, it’s the waiting in reality that’s beginning to bug us.

Waiting can be excruciatingly frustrating. Hopefully, your parents, family, and friends aren’t bugging you about how long they’re having to wait for you to get married. Hopefully, too, your unsaved friends aren’t badgering you about waiting for marriage at all, as if living in sin is better than being married anyway. You’d likely not have to wait nearly as long to find somebody willing to do that with you.  

When we trust that the good things God teaches us in His Word are better than throwing in the towel out of impatience, however, we realize that giving up on Him can only harm us.

Then again, sometimes we’re waiting, only we’re not sure what we’re waiting for. Are we waiting for God to bless us with a spouse, or are we waiting for God to bless us with contentment regardless of whether we ever get married?

Sometimes, too, patience can be its own reward. Either way, God will always reward it.

Waiting By the Side of the Road

About two thousand years ago, Mark 10:46 languished along the dusty roadside outside the gates of Jericho, which even then, was one of the world’s oldest cities. This blind beggar's name was Bartimaeus, and although we don't know how old he was, we can assume his was a undesirable life.

Whether he'd been blind from birth, or blinded from some accident or disease, being denied sight for any length of time in that culture would have been sheer misery. It's bad enough today in North America, where our culture is quite progressive in curing, treating, or providing assistance for people with vision problems. Two thousand years ago, blindness was a virtual prison.

About all a person like Bartimaeus could do back then was, if he was otherwise healthy enough, take up a spot alongside a road and beg all day long. Every day. Hoping that enough sympathetic passers-by would toss enough money your way to buy a simple supper. It’s possible that many people in Jericho knew Bartimaeus, or at least knew of him, since he likely spent all of his days begging, waiting for somebody to take pity on him.