Hurry Up and Wait

And panic.

A week ago I had jury duty. I realize that it is my civic duty, or rather, my civic honor as they kept explaining to us, but it felt more like a duty and less like an honor. While I went to college in the land of prisons and criminal justice, I’ve never had the burning desire to be put on a panel of jurors, so to me the whole concept makes me sweat bullets.

You may have heard my sigh of relief when, after four hours of literally doing nothing but waiting, I was finally released to go home. No jury for me. At least this time.

Anyway, the entire day was a hurry up and wait kind of deal.

For instance, you have to be there at 8:00 AM or they’ll shut the doors on you, lock them and throw away the key. However, when I arrived at 7:15 in a slight panic not knowing what the day would hold, I made my way to the jury courthouse, got checked in, found my seat in a frenzy among 1300 other jurors, then proceeded to sit there until 8:45 AM when they actually shut the doors and locked them.

You see what I mean? Hurry up and wait.

And in my case, panic and sweat for fear the day might not end up in my favor.

When all was said and done, my state of panic was worthless. Thank you, Lord.

However, it stirred up in me something greater.

I don’t know about you, but that is how I always find myself waiting.

I wait in a panic.

A few summers ago during one of the Siesta Summer Bible studies, one of the questions on the first evening was to go around and share one word that describes the current season you were in. When it got to me, I didn’t even think twice before I blurted out the word “waiting”.

Nearly two years later, if asked the same question, I’d be inclined to share the same word.

Because I am, after all, in a season of waiting.

I’ve said it before and I’’ll say it again, waiting is the one thing God has used in my life to make me more like Him. The relief that statement alone brings me makes me thankful for the way He holds me in places that makes me more like Him. Far from easy, and even sometimes lonely, but at least I know He has a purpose for me in the waiting. I didn’t always think like that.

Since I get the joy of moderating the comments that come through this blog, that means that on SSMT days, I’m seeing a lot of scripture. It is impossible for me to read each and every one, or I’d be here for days, but on those days I’ve become a pro at skimming them. However, on this last SSMT post, at the top of nearly every page moderated, Psalm 27:14 popped up, “Wait for the Lord;
 be strong, and let your heart take courage; 
wait for the Lord!” It wasn’t the verse I’d chosen, but I took it as a sweet reminder from the Lord.

That as He keeps me in a season of waiting, it’s not to bully me, but to strengthen me.

I’m no scholar, but I do see a theme in scripture when the Lord speaks of waiting, He often speaks of strength.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The Lord is the everlasting God, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
 He does not faint or grow weary;
 his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,
 and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,
 and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
 they shall mount up with wings like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary; 
they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

I think of a bride getting ready to see her husband at the end of the aisle. I’ve not yet been a bride, but I’ve been in my fair share of weddings and I think we all know the length of time it takes for the wedding party (particularly the girls) to get ready for the ceremony, and rightfully so. We spend all day primping (while the guys play golf and then get ready in 30 minutes tops!), then, about an hour before the ceremony, all of the sudden everything comes to a complete halt and we sit, and wait. And often have a moment of panic. All of our hustling and hurrying and scurrying around all day, to sit and wait. That hour before the ceremony is the hardest hour of the day, in my opinion, but the expectation of what’s ahead brings unspeakable joy. She waits with expectation.

Often times, I’ve noticed my weariness in the waiting comes when I am tempted to manipulate things to go my way. I get lonely, so I try to replace that with busyness. Then I get burned out. Or, I get antsy, so I try to manipulate relationships, only to watch them fall apart. Or maybe I need a job so bad I take my first offer, only to realize it was a terrible fit, instead of just trusting in God’s perfect provision. My timetable looks terribly different than His, so when I try to push my timing on others, whether it be people or things, I’ll always end up selling myself short. The moment I lose sight of the true prize, I fall.

But most times, our waiting is much longer than any of us like to think or wait, but if we only knew what He had in store for us, we know the waiting would be worth it.

My sweet coworker KMac said it best, “We wouldn’t appreciate ANYTHING without a little delay and anticipation.” And all the people said amen.

That’s why in the waiting we wait with hope.

We wait with expectancy.
We wait in patience.
We wait in prayer.
We wait in strength.

Most times, the waiting really isn’t about the waiting, it’s about becoming.

“And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!” Isaiah 30:18 (Amplified)

Those who wait win the prize.

But know that even when you become tired in the waiting, the Lord is still working out every little detail.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

You and I are waiting on the Lord to move in different ways, provide different things, and surprise us along the way. Instead of growing weaker, let us grow stronger. If you find yourself in any kind of waiting season, find things that stir your affections for Christ and pursue those.  Maybe the Lord’s given you a gift you’ve let get dusty, pick it up and start practicing that craft. Whatever you do, don’t put your life on hold. Panic and worry do nothing but drain us of any energy or hope we may have had.  This may sound harsh, but is there anything more unfulfiling that becoming selfish and living for yourself in our season of waiting?

And lest you think I’m writing this to preach to you, I’m writing this to preach to myself.

I recently saw this quote, on twitter of all things, by Charles Spurgeon, “The Lord’s “quickly” may not be my “quickly”; and if so, let him do what seems good to him!”

Expect, look and long for Him, dear Sister. At the end of the day, if you wait on God, no matter the outcome, I’m willing to bet by His promises alone, that the odds will always be in your favor.

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135 Responses to “Hurry Up and Wait”

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Linda Ross says:

    Thank you, Lindsee. I so needed to read this today, at this time in my life. What a blessing you are!

  2. 102
    Lisa says:

    Lindsee, great post, I’ve been back to read it three times. So timely. I asked God at the beginning of this week for a Word and I think He answered me. Blessings to you. Lisa

  3. 103
    sherry/Thomasville says:

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Col 3:12 NIV

  4. 104

    This was for me. For my anxious heart.

  5. 105
    KS says:

    Thank you for this post! I needed that reminder that God is making me stronger – right now my waiting season seems to be sucking me dry but – “Blessed are you when you’re at the end of your rope, with less of you there is more of God and his will.” Matthew 5:3

  6. 106
    pa says:

    Amen, His is a gospel of grace. What was His last commandment? “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14)

    I am in a season of life where my faith in God is stronger and my relationship is going deeper but I am radically struggling with churches and Christians….in a broad sense. Where is the love? Let God be the judge. But I also understand, for 44 years as a believer I tried to believe He loved me and WOW, on January 9th, 2013 God did something and I finally KNOW it. It has radically changed how I love others, how I interact. To me this is the bottom line problem…not really knowing His love ourselves. So how can we love others well?

    Life is messy, we can’t put a relationship with God into the box of the theology of our own understanding. We can’t pound each other over the head when “life happens”. Can’t you just imagine the gentleness of His pure love when He spoke the truth to the woman at the well?

    “God help us find freedom to truly know that we are loved. We are Your beloved son/daughter, the one You pull under Your arm, close to Your chest to hear Your heart of love for us. In knowing His love, we can then love better. Too many of Your children are trying to believe that You do love them. Be our deliverer to KNOW securely that love.”
    Grace, love….teach us Your ways Father.

  7. 107
    pam says:

    oops, put my last comment under the wrong post.

  8. 108
    Julia says:

    This message is very fitting for my season of life as well. In fact I’ve been reading “Waiting on God” by Cherie Hill. Thank you for sharing! :)

  9. 109
    Megan says:

    This was exactly what I needed to hear during this waiting time in my life! I will be reading this over and over! God’s words through you are such a blessing! Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

  10. 110
    Deborah Mott says:

    Thank you for suffering such hard things to bring forth TRUTH and helping so many! 2 Cor.11:26 Perils by your own countrymen was a danger Paul experienced too! We know the impact he had and you are having! Thank you so very much for staying faithful even to the faithless and ungrateful. Thank you for when you have been buffeted you have gotten back up and praised HIM in the storms. Your suffering has ministered to others and you have been a great encourager and teacher and He has prepared you for what HE is doing AND GOING TO DO! If you had not suffered, we would not have received HIS WORD in the same effective, anointed way! May HIS SPECIAL ABUNDANT GRACE REIGN OVER YOU AND YOURS and may He send many Barnabas’ to you and the Warren’s! There are many talking of how you have blessed them mightily! There is even a Facebook page dedicated to you to show you how you are impacting millions…many of those you mentor without your knowing. Those touched IN HIS SPIRIT and WORD by your obedience, are enabled to do ministry in a more effective, Holy Spirit led way through your mentoring, so in effect you are doing more than you think…you are reaching the orphans, widows, addicts, homosexuals, prostitutes…sinners. Every person touched by you touches others! No wonder you are under attack! You are doing the impossible by our LORD’s DOINGS!!!! b/c nothing is impossible with HIM. You are, by your own words, living proof. Praise JESUS! Thanking Him for you today and always! Thanking you too!!!!!

  11. 111
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Such a good word, Lindsee…I certainly don’t want to be all panicky and worried every day. That’s what I tend to do too. Isaiah 40:28-31 I have quoted to myself I don’t know how many times when I feel especially overwhelmed. Yes, I totally agree. Waiting on His timing and being in tune to the Spirit’s leading is the way to live. ((HUGS)) to you Lindsee girl.

  12. 112
    Eleanor says:

    Eleanor
    Memphis, TN

    Joshua 1:8-9

    This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and couragious. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

  13. 113
    annalee says:

    Yep, remains one of my all-time favorite verses since I first discovered it in college. SUCH truth, thank you for sharing your heart.

  14. 114
    Lynda says:

    Boy, did this hit the spot. I have been so frustrated for the last few days! The last 2days I have been on the phone manipulating. I have been struggling against bureaucracy. I ended up with a stomach ache and headache. Went to bed and slept 2 hours. When I awoke, I felt better. I remembered that He is in charge of my life. If it doesn’t work out the way I want, then He will send me in a different direction.

    I always feel like Beth’s dog, the pointer. She told the story that when the dog was in point, the only way to get the dog to move was for Keith to pick it up and put it in the opposite direction. I can’t tell you hou often I feel like that dog! God closes doors and closes doors. Finally He picks me up, turns me around, and says, “No, girl, this way!”

  15. 115
    Jana says:

    Jana, Tampa, FL Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV

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