Wait On The Lord

Do you enjoy waiting? I do not, although I have grown in my patience and ability to wait over the years. Waiting is an essential skill in spiritual development and it is necessary for growth in the faith.

“In a New York Times article, journalist Alex Stone tells the story of how executives at a Houston airport faced and then solved a cascade of passenger complaints about long waits at the baggage claim. They first decided to hire more baggage handlers, reducing wait times to an industry-beating average of eight minutes. But complaints persisted. This made no sense to the executives until they discovered that, on the average, passengers took just one minute to walk to baggage claim, resulting in a hurry-up-and-wait situation. The walk time was not a problem, the remaining seven empty minutes of staring at the baggage carousel was. So, in a burst of innovation, the executives moved the arrival gates farther away from the baggage claim area. Passengers now had to walk much farther but their bags were often waiting for them when they arrived. Problem solved. Complaints dropped.

For the same article Stone interviewed MIT operations researcher Richard Larson, the world’s leading expert on waiting in lines to discover the psychology behind our waiting. What happened at the Houston airport makes for a perfect illustration. According to Larson, the length of our wait is not as important as what we are doing while we wait. Often the psychology of queuing is more important than the statistics of the wait itself, says Larson. Essentially, we tolerate occupied time far better than unoccupied time. Give us something to do while we wait, and the wait becomes endurable.

This is why, so often, waiting on God feels like unoccupied time to us. We wait, but what is really happening behind the scenes of our life? Is God actually doing anything? Waiting on God implies developing a new perspective of what God is doing while we wait on him. (Source: Rick Lawrence, Skin in the Game (Kregel Publishers, 2015, pages 105-107).”

Psalm 27 speaks of the trouble David faced from enemies and adversaries. He had a confident and settled faith in God as the light of his salvation. He knew he had nothing ultimately to fear and reminded himself of the battled-tested confidence he had in God. David desired the presence of God more than anything else and longed to dwell in the house of the Lord and behold the beauty of the Lord.

No matter the level of trouble we may face, there is a measure of safety and security in God. In the middle of the Psalm, David prayed to God and asked him to hear his voice when he cried out to him. Even if his own family forsook him, he knew God could be counted on. He asked the Lord to teach him his ways and lead him on a smooth path.

In v14, David wrote a word of encouragement to us. “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage.” Waiting on the Lord is not passivity. It involves seeking the Lord, trusting in the Lord, and relying on the strength of the Lord.

What should we do as we wait on the Lord? We should praise the Lord, pray to the Lord, have faith in the Lord, and hope in the Lord while we wait! God already knows the outcome of what we are waiting on, and he can be trusted!