The pandemic has canceled our overseas ministry travels this year. I’ll be honest—I don’t miss the challenges that go hand-in-hand with international travel. Especially the waiting. A couple of years ago, a flight to Slovakia topped all.
The trip began in Vancouver. While waiting at the gate for our flight to Toronto, I heard an announcement saying it was canceled. We sat tight for more than an hour while an agent rebooked our tickets, and then we waited another hour for the new flight.
Our plane leaving Toronto sat on the tarmac for two hours after boarding. Apparently, a flight attendant was injured during the loading process, so we had to wait for her replacement to arrive. In Slovakia, our airport shuttle van’s engine died, and we had to wait for someone with jumper cables to rescue us.
Waiting seems a part of life: A friend waits for God to restore her marriage. Another waits for biopsy results. A third waits for her wayward son to come to his senses. A fourth waits to hear whether or not her husband will be transferred to a city two provinces away. Another waits for an overdue paycheck.
Beyond individual situations, it seems the whole world is waiting. We wait for delayed surgeries and postponed specialist appointments. We wait for churches and businesses to open, jobs to be restored, subsidy cheques to arrive, airlines to resume travel, embassies to process papers, and vaccinations to be invented. We wait to see what COVID-19 will do after thousands rioted in the streets. We wait to wrap friends and family in big hugs. We wait for justice to be served and racial inequality to be resolved once and for all.
It’s easy to grow impatient in the wait. Depending on the circumstances, we might think God needs our help. Like Sarai, we step in to give Him a hand, but we mess things up. We might begin to believe the lie that God doesn’t care about us. We might grow angry or bitter, or we may even lose hope of ever seeing our problem solved or our desire fulfilled.
Waiting can be difficult, yes? How, then, can we wait well? Here are three insights:
- Give God credit. Acknowledge that His wisdom and ways are much higher than yours. He sees the bigger picture and is working behind-the-scenes at all times. Let Him do His job and rest in the truth that He makes no mistakes.
- Give God thanks. Thank Him for being sovereign over every detail of your life. Thank Him for surrounding you with lovingkindness. Thank Him for providing this opportunity to grow and mature. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
- Give God your full attention. Ask Him what He wants to teach you in the wait, tune your ear to His voice, and expect Him to answer. Do not resist what He says. Maintain a teachable spirit and be willing to do whatever He says.
Waiting can either drive us crazy or become a rich experience that draws us into a deeper, sweeter walk with the Lord. We’re in control of the outcome. It all depends on how we choose to respond, so let’s choose well that we might wait well.
#Waiting #Devotions #WaitingWell