Every once in awhile a short, pithy comment hits you right between the eyes. You know what its like. You stand there, mouth agape and head spinning trying to make sense of what you just read or saw or heard. I have been reading and thinking through the concept of the ‘waiting times of life’. Andrew Murray has helped and also unnerved me in the ways he talks about waiting on God.
It was while reading one of his usual terse and rich devotionals that this hit me. “We must not only think of our waiting upon God, but also of what is more wonderful still, of God’s waiting on us.” What? God waits on us? What is he waiting for? Murray continues, “He waits with all of the longings of a father’s heart. He waits that he may be gracious to you.” Then comes the kicker, “Connect every exercise, every breath of the life of waiting, with faith’s vision of your God waiting for you.” (Waiting on God, p. 88)
Is our time of waiting prolonged because God fails to act, or because he is graciously waiting for us? What is he waiting for? Perhaps for us to seek him with all our heart. Perhaps for us to mature in our faith that we may be prepared for the work that he is preparing for us to do. Perhaps for us to deepen our faith, broaden our love and yield our will even more to his. If God has us in a season of waiting on his perfect timing, perhaps that timing has more to do with the disposition our hearts than the execution of his plans.
This ‘aha’ moment has changed my prayer perspective. I am now asking that God would do in me what needs to be done for me to be ready for whatever he may call me to do. I think he loves to answer that prayer. I think he wants me not only to wait on him, but to love him more deeply while I wait. Waiting is not a dormant state but a highly active season when we let God work within us in ways that are less possible when the work begins. I am learning to cherish not only the waiting times, but the work God seeks to do in me while I wait for him. How about you?