#680: Waiting

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Reflections by the Pond
November 3, 2014

"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:24-26

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The world's view of waiting is passive, while heaven's view is active. That is, society sees waiting as a tired old junker sitting idly in the furthest corner of a used car lot: detached, hopeless, faded, mindless. But God's word sees waiting as a revving, pulsating drag racer poised at the starting line, impatient to pop the clutch and race down the strip. In Scripture, waiting assumes expectation, informed hope, peering intently with anticipation toward the horizon.

Waiting, in Scripture, also implies faith, trust. In true but simplistic terms it means that when we wait we know we are in good hands.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

Psalms 40:1

It is in the waiting that we are confronted by the transcendence of God. For He is not of our time. He is not encompassed by it, nor limited by it, but dwells outside it.

In our waiting we are also confronted by the infinity of God. Time is everything to finite flesh; that which has a beginning and an end is ever mindful of time racing inexorably past, toward its conclusion. But God is without beginning and without end. More than that, He (along with the Son and the Spirit) effortlessly inhabits all time in any one moment.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

John 8:56-58

Righteous waiting can be a form of devotion, even worship, as we use the time to expand our concept of God and add muscle to our faith.

° ° °

It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:26

The incessant, inane babblings of modern society are a testament to our sense of self-importance—and disinterest in waiting silently before God. Modern man takes comfort in noise, be it the sound of his own voice or the frivolous tappings into his Twitter account, and is made profoundly ill-at-ease by silence. Human beings emerge from the womb loud and demanding, and for some that never changes. We want, and we want now. The idea of keeping the mouth shut and waiting is abhorrent to many of this day and age.

But how can we hear the voice of the Lord over the noise of this world or the insistent sound of our own voice?

So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord." And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

1 Kings 19:11-13