Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Most of us do not like to wait on anyone or anything, and that includes God. Most of us love control but waiting means we do not have control over a situation. Most of us love action, but waiting typically means non-action. A very wise woman, Kathy Long, said once in my hearing, “The toughest place to live is in God’s waiting room.” By nature, we do not like “waiting rooms”.
God’s power to change us is manifested in our submission to wait patiently on Him. Normally He has something to teach us in the midst of waiting. So if we wait impatiently, our lesson from God will be obscured. From my experience, God gives us power to change in the midst of waiting on Him. Here are three areas:
Character: Waiting patiently on God grants Him the power to change my character. God obviously wants us to be conformed to the image of His son, Jesus. Whether the character quality is surrender or patience or self-control or something else, waiting puts gentle pressure on us to develop these qualities and more.
Trust: Waiting patiently on God grants Him the power to build my trust in Him. The writer of Hebrews states that it is impossible to please God without faith (trust). God wants us to trust Him explicitly. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5 that we should “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Trusting God means that He really is Lord over us . Not trusting Him means that I am really acting as “lord”. I was driving down Okemos Road recently and had to stop for the traffic light at Kinawa. The thought raced across my brain that waiting for the light was a waste of my time. In the silence of my SUV, God reminded me that it was His time, not my time, and that if He wanted me to wait at a traffic light, it was His time that was being wasted. That modified my perspective on trusting Him.
Preparation: Waiting patiently on God grants Him the power to prepare me for His next move. Sometimes in the midst of waiting on God, He expects me to be preparing myself for what is coming. Nehemiah was given the call to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but needed to wait until God opened a door. He apparently prepared (and prayed and fasted) for the right opportunity and some months later God orchestrated a conversation with the King and Nehemiah knew what to request. You might say that Nehemiah was actively waiting.
I must take advantage of the opportunities to wait patiently on God. He is either building my character or building my trust in Him or he is giving me more time to prepare for His next mighty move. In any case, I must wait with His power in mind.