Wait on God
I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting. However, waiting is what we are sometimes called to do, and like many things that seem counter-intuitive to our human nature, waiting is sometimes what is needed and what is best. Over the years, I’ve had to learn the concept of waiting on the Lord the hard way. After many failings and difficult lessons and finally becoming a constant work-in-progress, I wanted to write this blog to encourage you.
In our fast-paced world of increasing industry and global disruptions, artificial intelligence, and global expansion, all combined with a desire to be not only the best in the world but the best for the world, how does a leader navigate through this sea of activity? Being a “Best for the World Leader,” it is implied that the world, and the people in it, are better off because you lived.
We get caught up in what society tells us that we should always be advancing, moving upward, or making progress. When those things don’t happen, we tend to become discouraged, even to feel defeated, when what we needed to be doing is exactly what we have been doing, holding our position, enduring. It is often no small feat to be able to do so. In fact, in the words of Christ, “it is the one who endures to the end who will be saved”.
Waiting is not glamorous. Regardless of where you are serving or to what you have been called to do, there may be times when you are asked to wait, to endure, to bear up under. It is important that you do so. Most of us would naturally want to get out from under our difficulties or hardships. It may be a work situation or a relationship that we have had to endure. There are times our circumstances or situation seems entirely unjust. But we are called to wait. But wait for what and until when?
If we take the example of Habakkuk who is known as the praying and waiting prophet we learn a few things. Habakkuk sought the Lord saying “How long, O Lord, must I call for help?” This was a lament, a desperate cry for help in the midst of great trouble. Habakkuk’s words were a complaint; he had major issues to take up with God. I suspect you do as well if you are honest. Habakkuk was attentive to what was going on around him. Despite his prayers, he saw violence, injustice, and wrongdoing everywhere. God’s law appeared to be helpless; it did not seem to work, and the wrongdoers seem to have gotten the upper hand.
Apparently, Habakkuk had repeatedly called upon God to act, to intervene, to set things right, to just do something. Yet it seemed that God had not heard him and God would not act to save. Finally, out of a deep sense of frustration and confusion, he cries out to God, “How long, O Lord, must I call for your help, but you do not listen?!” There is nothing worse than speaking but not being heard, than addressing another who doesn’t listen or respond.
In Scripture, to wait is to be active, to do something, something very important. In fact, it is the most important thing we do, since waiting is an expression of faith, of being open and receptive to God, to God’s action, to God’s voice, to God’s will, to God’s answer.
To wait is to be patient, which literally means “to suffer,” or to be acted upon rather than acting, to be receptive to the action of others. To wait and to be patient is to trust that God is at work even if we can’t see or understand what God is doing at any given moment of time.
So, what are we waiting for?
We are waiting for God. Faith is a willingness to trust that God knows best and will bring our lives and the world to a good completion. This is God’s vision for the world, what God has promised, and what we, by faith, trust will surely come in God’s good time, and in God’s good way.
And here we are, waiting for God, wondering together, “How long, O Lord?”
The hard truth is, we don’t know. We must trust that God knows how long and what he is doing. Contrary to many skeptics, our faith is not wishful thinking. Our faith rests upon something solid, something firm, and something strong enough to sustain it. Our faith rests upon God’s sure and certain promises spoken in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Martin Luther said, “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his or her life on it.” Moreover, he said, “Faith is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God.”
Our world is changing at lightning speed. Conventional wisdom would set our priorities to strive to keep up with the latest information, technology, and intelligence. It is uncomfortable and counter-intuitive in this fast-paced, rapidly changing world to “Wait on the Lord.” The wisdom, knowledge, and direction gained from the Lord through waiting is counter-intuitive to most leadership models, but it is exactly what is necessary to lead with confidence as we strive to be Best for the World Leaders who stand out from the rest.
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