“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:26
Over the last several years I have spent my share of time waiting in doctors’ offices: waiting to be seen, waiting for tests, waiting for news. I don’t like this waiting. Never have liked it and I am never sure just what to do with the lost time. I remember in the Marines having to get up earlier to run somewhere, to get to stand outside in formation waiting for breakfast. We called it: “Hurry up and wait.” When I wait, sometimes I people-watch; sometimes I just stare into the middle distance. Sometimes I read old magazines, which is the only reason I know that Brad and Angelina have adopted a bunch of kids or who Lindsay Lohan is. Really needed to know that stuff??? I have come to the point where I work on devotions, check emails, and people watch while I wait.
This type of waiting is passive. It is just killing time.
There’s a whole lot of waiting going on in the pages of the Bible, but it is a different kind of waiting. There’s an active quality to the waiting. It is an act of faith in the God who is Lord of time and history.
In the Psalms, in Isaiah, and elsewhere we hear of the faithful waiting quietly in the midst of their troubles, and the troubles of their broken world. They didn’t have our distressing 24-hour news cycle, but they still knew their world was often a cruel, unjust and broken-hearted one.
So they waited, quietly and prayerfully for the One who would bring about the changes in them and their world that they longed for.
And then as now this active waiting changes people. Those who wait for healing tend to become healers. Those who wait for justice and for peace tend to become peacemakers and justice seekers. And as we work for what we wait for, we get enough glimpses of God’s new future to give us the gift of hope.
Great is your faithfulness, Lord. Your steadfast love never ceases. Inhabit our waiting, and give us hearts full of hope in your promised future, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace