Wait “Up”

Don’t you just hate waiting?  I don’t think I know anybody who likes to wait.  Some do it better than others but, for the most part, I don’t think anyone actually enjoys it.  For me waiting in lines is the worst.  The average American (sorry, I don’t have Canadian stats) spends between two and three years of their lives waiting in line.  When I heard that I decided that if possible I wouldn’t stand in lines, even if it means being last.  People think I’m really polite but I just don’t want to stand in line.

But if you think waiting in line is bad, consider this: according to one study, we spend seventeen percent of our lives waiting in general.  Whether that be in lines, or on hold, or for your wife to get ready (now that I think of it, it may be somewhat more than 17% for men).  But seventeen percent!  If a person were to live 80 years that would be more than thirteen and a half years of our life spent waiting.

Considering how long we spend waiting you would think that we would be pretty good at it, but it seems like the more we have to wait the worse we get at it.  Watch someone who has been forced to wait.  The responses will range from impatient fretting and sighing and foot tapping, to reading an outdated article about topics we don’t really care about, to the vacant stares of those who have given up.

The Bible speaks a lot about waiting.  The most famous is probably Isaiah 40:13 that says those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength.  The waiting spoken of in the Bible is different than the way in which we typically wait.  Larry Crabb calls it passionate patience.  It is an eager expectation, waiting with a purpose; to know Jesus better, and to have his nature more fully formed within me and therefore expressed through me after I am finished waiting.

It is a valuable thing to set aside time each day to wait on God.  I prefer early mornings before anyone else is up, but for others another time may work best.  But we can also wait on God during the times we are forced to wait for others.  You should thank me.  I just found you thirteen more years that you can spend consciously in the presence of God.


About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

One response to “Wait “Up”

  • Markus Lemke

    I have heard another very interesting interpretation, in which the term is “wait on” or “wait upon” the Lord is used – which is less about waiting in the sense of passing time for something to be fulfilled, but rather time spent in active readiness for service – like waiting on someone in a restaurant. In that context, they that wait upon the Lord are they that stand ready to be of service at any time – the implication being that it is not necessarily the actions that the Lord would have us do that are important, but the state of readiness to do whatever He would have us do. In that respect, he may never have us do anything, yet our strength will be renewed because we are in the center of the purpose for which He created us – readiness to act at any time when he should choose. That takes both the timeline, and the expectation of some tangible result, right out of the picture, and puts us back into the ideal relationship with God – Him utterly sovereign, we utterly subservient. That’s the only way that I can explain how those who had faith all their lives long died without ever seeing the object of their faith, and yet their faith was credited to them as righteousness. How come? They spent their whole lives waiting for something and it never showed up, right? Or perhaps it makes more sense to say they spent their whole lives waiting on God, and achieved their greatest purpose even thought the object of their faith occurred after they had died….

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