During our weekly staff enrichment time, we watched a video of a message given by Priscilla Shirer at a Catalyst Conference. She shared an illustration of her two-year-old niece wanting something to eat. She would march into the kitchen and stand in front of the box where food was stored (the refrigerator!) and point and say “Eat!” Her daddy would then pick her up, put her in her booster seat at the kitchen table. She would shimmy and wiggle her way out of the seat and march back over to the ‘fridge and point and say, “Eat!” Her daddy would again pick her up and put her in her booster seat at the kitchen table. She would shimmy and wiggle her way out of the seat and march back over to the ‘fridge and point and say, “Eat!” This went on several times. Priscilla didn’t say, but I’m guessing the little girl’s daddy, in between placing his daughter back in her booster seat, was working on fixing her something to eat.
Isn’t that just like us, at times, with our heavenly Father? We tell Him what we want, or think we need – sometimes even demand it. And then He gently places us in the best place for Him to provide for that need. And what do we do? We shimmy and wiggle our way out of it and stomp back to what we want and ask for it again. And He lovingly directs us back to where we need to be for Him to meet our need, and we start the process all over again.
And we just hate to wait, don’t we? According to some statistics I found on Wikipedia, the average person spends 45 to 62 minutes a day waiting – in line at the grocery store, to fill up your gas tank, waiting for an elevator, waiting for a program to load on your computer… Waiting is a regular part of life, but most of us chafe at it.
Why is it we think we know so much more about what we need – and when and how – than God does? It comes down to whether or not we trust Him. We say we trust God, but when the answer we seek is delayed, or comes in a different form, we wiggle and squirm and stomp our feet in frustration.
The Psalms are full of reminders to wait for the Lord because our hope comes from Him.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Psalm 37:7
I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good. Psalm 52:9
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. Psalm 130:5
These are just a couple of the Psalmist’s encouragements to wait for the Lord.
Years ago some friends of mine sang a song about trusting Jesus. The chorus goes like this:
Trusting You, Jesus, ain’t always easy, easy to do
‘Cause I keep on getting’ so far ahead of You
Help me, Lord, to keep on trusting You.
May we learn to trust Him, rest in Him and wait on Him.
Ruth Schmidt is on full-time staff at America’s Keswick, and grateful to be a daughter of the King.