Why is waiting important? It seems like every area of life is about waiting. You’re either waiting to hear back from someone. Or you’re waiting for a specific day to come. Or you’re waiting for people to arrive or for people to leave. Waiting is hard work, even though it feels like you aren’t accomplishing anything.
Farmers wait for their crops to grow. Business people wait for opportunities to shine. Actors wait for a script where they can pour their heart into. Teachers wait for their students to bring back their homework to show that they actually learned the lesson. Doctors wait for the next medical breakthrough. Everyone waits. It’s part of life, no matter if you follow Christ or not.
Today’s verse is Psalm 62:5-8.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
Waiting on God is a concept that is mentioned over and over again throughout the Bible. I think God brings it up so many times because people like me insist on forging ahead independently. And I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with that. After all, we are supposed to be bold and courageous, and we’re not supposed to live life in fear. But there’s a big difference between living life in fear and running ahead when you can’t see your feet in the dark.
Sometimes you have to wait. Sometimes the choices you make mean you have to wait longer.
My neighbors across the street planted two separate crops. They both tilled up their land at the same time, but one planted winter wheat and the other planted soybeans later in the year. So when June rolled around, the wheat was ready to be harvested (it was actually cut down the day after that photo was taken). But the soybeans were just beginning to sprout because they were planted later. So the wheat was cut and stored away in June. The soybeans weren’t harvested until many months later.
So why is it important to wait?
Practically, that’s a simple answer. If you try to eat hot soup straight out of the pot, you’ll burn your tongue. But in regards to living life? Waiting is important because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m not saying you have to wait before you make a decision, especially if you know it’s the right decision to make. But I have a hard time letting it go at that. I can make decisions all day long. I can choose to act in a certain situation. But then I don’t want to stop acting. I want to keep going.
It would be tantamount to harvesting that whole field of wheat and not wanting to stop before I harvested the soybeans too, even though they weren’t ready.
Because my heart and my head tell me I’m right and that I know what I’m doing and that I can handle any trial that comes my way, so I forge ahead without consulting God about it. And I expect to earn my victory in life on my own because I am a capable person and I don’t need help.
But that’s not what this Psalm says.
When people and situations rise up to challenge us, the first inclination is to strike back. When circumstances align where it seems that obtaining success will be easy for us, the first inclination is to seize that opportunity. And, yes, if you’re in a situation where the obvious answer is to do the right thing or choose the right thing, do it. Don’t wait for answers you already know. But we are rarely in that situation. We have a multitude of choices laid out before us and all of them can be good — but many of them give us the chance to run ahead of God seeking our own victory. And whenever we try to seek victory for ourselves by ourselves, we will fail. Because we’re not that good.
Choose a path. Stay on it. Do what you’re supposed to be doing. And wait for God to work out the details.
Sometimes you have to wait. Waiting doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. And it doesn’t mean that God isn’t working. It could just mean that the crop you planted needs a little more time before you harvest it.