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What are You Waiting For?

  • Cliff Young Contributing Writer
  • Updated Jun 02, 2014
What are You Waiting For?

Since my days of being single have extended a couple of years beyond what I had planned, hoped or expected, I’ve had to revisit, corroborate and reacquaint myself with a verse which many of us have heard over the years shared by pastors, mentors, family members and (married) friends oftentimes throughout our journey, Psalm 27:14.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord (From the original 1611 KJV Bible).

I admittedly have (sometimes) received this word of instruction with a “Yeah, yeah, I know this verse and I’ve waited, but NOTHING, share it with someone who cares!” kind of attitude. I know they were trying to be comforting and encouraging, but I just feel like the statute of limitations (at least on waiting for a spouse) has ended.

The truth is this verse applies to us now as it did when it was first penned by David over three thousand years ago, maybe even more so as we grow closer each day to what God has directed for us.

“Waiting” is so much bigger than (many of) our desires to be married, re-married or even have a relationship.

Waiting on the Lord encompass that job you’ve hoped for, the child you’ve wanted, the medical breakthrough you’ve prayed for, the relationship to be reconciled or the direction for your life.  

Sometimes we tend to confuse (and use) the command to “wait” as a time (or excuse) for us to take no action at all.

My heart has been heavy lately for the South Korean community in light of their recent tragedy, the sinking of the ferry, Sewol.

The boat was carrying 475 passengers and crew members, mostly high school students on a field trip, heading to the resort island of Jeju when it listed and sank.

As more details continue to be revealed about the cause, we have learned there were many missteps along the way which contributed to the tragedy. The ship’s cargo was overweight and insecurely tied down, the Captain left the helm to an inexperienced mate, and the crew was not instructed in emergency procedures.

However, there is one glaring fact that is the crux of the criminal action taking place - the crew’s command to those on board.

They instructed the passengers “not to move and to stay in place.”

The South Korean culture teaches young people to respect their elders and authorities, so most of the students did as they were told, to stay where they were and “wait” for help to come.

As we now know, the captain, along with his crew members all fled the sinking ship leaving the students to die. Over three hundred bodies have been recovered or are still missing. Most of those were just obeying the instructions they were given.

The lesson I take away from this is two-fold.

First, is what being told makes sense in that situation, and second, who is giving those orders?

What Makes Sense?

I’m on a ship that has now tilted to its side and I’m told to wait for help to come (and do nothing).

I understand the cultural upbringing, but the water level is rising, there are nearly five hundred people on board, it will take a lot of time and life boats to hold that many people and I have seen the Poseidon Adventure, Titanic, and Pearl Harbor.

In all of those tragedies, those who were eventually saved took action. They did not wait for others to come rescue them.  

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage.

Sometimes that means being courageous to move out of your comfort zone while in waiting mode.

If you’re looking for a relationship, do you stay at home or do you step out into new situations?

If you’re seeking reconciliation, are you waiting for the other person to come to you or do you humble yourself and make the effort?

If you need a job, do you wait for an employer to randomly call you for work?

I wonder how many of those students would have been alive today if they left their cabin, made their way to the railing and waited for help to arrive.

Who is Giving Me Those Instructions?

If I heard a crew member (not even the Captain) over the loud speaker tell me to stay where I was and wait for help to come, some questions would have come to mind.

Why isn’t the Captain giving the orders? Who is going to come? How long is it going to take? There are a minimal number of crew members to the amount of passengers, who are the rescuers? What are they doing in the meantime?

The answer is, they were all fleeing for their life and not trying to help.

Wait on the Lord…he shall strengthen thine heart.

I have seen how the Lord works and know he does work. I have experienced some things in the most amazing timing that could have only been of God, and I was only able to by knowing his voice.

Society tells us we don’t need to wait for anything. We should be able to get anything we want when we want it, no matter the age, consent or ability, and we should listen to the ever changing message they promote.

Many of us have opted not to wait for certain things – purchasing something we couldn’t afford, waiting for hot chocolate to cool, or jumping into a relationship because we just wanted one. Oftentimes when we do this, we get burned.

What I have learned is, when we are waiting, he IS working.  He is not sitting idle killing time. He is at work lining everything up for our well-being.

Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners (Romans 5:6).

Don't worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time (Matthew 10:19).

For whatever trial you are struggling with or waiting to pass, take a step, make your struggle known to the Lord and listen for his voice.

There will be a "right time" (1 Corinthians 16:12).

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to Find him on facebook and twitter.

Publication date: May 29, 2014