Waiting is one of the hardest things required of us. Waiting is not something which we can always avoid, skipping the queue. We can’t move away from waiting; we cannot return it as a faulty item or cannot throw it in the bin. Waiting affects us in every stage of life, no matter who we are, how old we are or where we live. We are all waiting for something. Waiting to grow up, waiting to finish school, waiting for Christ and his Kingdom to come, waiting for the weekend, waiting for an overseas holiday, waiting to hear medical results and waiting to get better, waiting for pay day, waiting to meet our future spouse, waiting to get married, waiting for home time, waiting for tomorrow to come, waiting, waiting, waiting. Frequently, we even have to wait while we are waiting.

Waiting invades every part of our lives. It doesn’t stop or go away just because we are eating or sleeping or going out with our friends. We are always waiting and there is no escaping it. These days, waiting is made even harder because most things can be obtained in an instant. A click of a button, a swipe of the finger, a push of the accelerator and we can have what we want 100 times faster than ever before, if not instantly. When our page takes more than five seconds to load we know it’s time to buy a new device. When we want something, we’ve grown accustomed to expecting, maybe even demanding it Now!

So why do we have to wait? Waiting is not a natural instinct. Waiting is God’s way of teaching us to trust in His purpose, to have patience and faithful fortitude. Waiting makes us realise the little control we actually have over our lives. Today I have a job, tomorrow I may not and only God knows when I will have a job again. But God in His goodness says, “Wait, something better is coming, maybe sooner than later, or maybe later than sooner, but wait! Just trust in Me because I love you and will always do what is best for you.”

God in His wisdom and kindness has provided us with a cloud of witnesses who have all experienced some form of waiting, from whom we can draw cour­age. Abraham and Sarah waited for a child that they had been promised by God. They waited in hope, against hope. David spent about ten pressured, hungry years waiting for God to establish him upon Israel’s throne. Joseph waited two long, agonisingly lonely years to be released from prison after the butler was restored to his position. The lame man at the pool of Bethesda waited 40 years to be healed. Christ spent his whole life waiting to die a cruel and torturous death to save us all. Imagine having that hanging over your head every single minute of your life! All these real, once living people, and many more, waited in faith, seeing the promises from afar, embracing and confessing their hope in the one true God. Abraham and Sarah received a baby, David became King, Joseph rose to second in command and was able to see his family again, the lame man leapt and ran, and incredibly, Christ overcame!

No matter the circumstances of our lives, whatever the waiting that is our lot, we must not grow weary with the waiting. Instead, we must look beyond the present and be happy and thankful, even whilst we wait, for all that is in store for those who patiently wait upon Him: “But they that wait upon Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa 40:31).