Isaiah 40:31 enthusiastically proclaims, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” I must admit, this is a scripture that has been often difficult to embrace. Like most Believers, I finding waiting to be a brutal and often heart-troubling experience.
In a few weeks, we will celebrate Christmas and the postal service and other delivery agencies will be inundated with customers calling and wondering if their packages will be delivered to their destinations timely. When we are waiting on God, the experience is often like waiting for a Christmas gift that a loved one has assured us has been sent for delivery. Every day we check the mailbox wondering, “Will today be the day?”
Adults and adolescents alike often experience the same foreboding of expectation. I asked my goddaughter Jordan, “Jordan, how do you feel when you have to wait for something that you cannot control?” Jordan answered:
“When I have to wait for something beyond my control, sometimes I feel that I simply cannot wait! Even though I know that I can’t do anything to make it come faster, that’s when it’s up to me to figure out how to deal with waiting. What I do to help me is, think about the times when I waited before and when I finally got what I wanted, I realized it was worth the wait.”
In reflecting on Jordan’s comments, indeed I must agree, we as Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, have to find appropriate ways to “wait on God.” Sometimes the proverbial “package” we are waiting on, is a new job, relationship or news of medical test results. Jordan is right, one of the hardest things in life, is the experience of waiting for something you cannot control. Jordan finished her conversation with me by telling me:
“When someone tells me to “be patient” it’s hard to hear because I know I have to wait, but I don’t want to wait because in that moment I feel mad and I just want to say ‘No don’t tell me what to do’ but I know I shouldn’t say that, so I just walk away and tell myself it’s okay calm down and don’t get frustrated.”
Jordan is right about calming down. Jeremiah 29:12-14 says, “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” When we experience the kind of frustration that Jordan is talking about, we must go to God and find out what is really troubling us. When we are waiting on the “package” from God of a new job, sometimes we are frustrated because we think, “I am not going to get the job. My dreams will never come true.” When we are waiting on a “package” of a relationship, we secretly feel, “I will always be alone.” The frustration comes from doubt. Sometimes it’s hard to trust God when we are seeing Him with our eyesight. We have to see God by what He says in His word.
When I am having trouble waiting on God for my “package,” I try to dwell on Colossians 3:15–17, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
So as you wait for your package, focus on God and not the situation. I try to sing the hymns and spiritual songs so that my heart will not be troubled. I know that my goddaughter Jordan is correct; a calming of our spirit is necessary in order to focus on the promises of God. When we begin to think and meditate on God and not the package, he births in us a joy that comes from trusting and focusing on Him.
African-Americans like our spiritual brethren enslaved in Egypt, waited for over 500 years for the “package” of deliverance. Many died without seeing the package, but they never stopped believing that the package of freedom would come. Indeed, they were right. The package of freedom did come. As painful as it is to write this, God does not always deliver the package when we want it. But, He will deliver the package when we need it. And when He delivers it, sometimes the package may look differently than we thought, but then we realize, it is just what we needed.
Jordan would agree with me as I turn to God’s word. Think on this:
Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Co-Author, Jordan Nicole De La Cruz is a Middle School student in Manassas, Virginia, with a bright future ahead.