Have you ever been given the answer, “Wait” from a person in authority or from God? It can be the hardest answer to receive. I am a person who likes to know what is going to happen. If there is anything that has negatively impacted my faith over the years, it is this fact. Recently, God has challenged me to lay before Him my anxiety and uncertainty and simply wait. If I can’t trust Him with my future days, how does it make sense that I could trust Him with my eternal salvation?
So many people have gone before us who have waited for the Lord and found Him to be good. In the Old Testament, people were waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of the One who would come and break the curse of sin and separation from God. They waited decades upon decades upon centuries! On top of this, they also waited for entrance into the Promised Land and then return to it when they were in exile. All of those periods of waiting must have tested their trust in God quite a bit! (And we see evidence of that in their repeated rebellion.)
Isaiah encouraged them, saying, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18). Israel still had quite a few more trials and many years to wait, but Isaiah was reminding the weary people that God would fulfill His promise.
Today we can see that God was going to fulfill His promise through Jesus later in history. They could not see that in the moment, though. Would it still be faith if we knew what would happen, and when? If God could orchestrate the restoration of His people from captivity and from hard hearts, the little life events and healing that I find myself waiting for are surely within His ability!
While the Israelites in the Old Testament looked forward to a Savior coming, that desire was finally fulfilled at the beginning of the New Testament. But Jesus promised to come back for those who believed in Him, so now we anticipate His coming again. There is certainly space to have hopes, dreams, and desires, but they are not our strongest desire. Our biggest hope and joy is for eternity to begin with Jesus!
Waiting in anticipation is a huge part of faith. I am coming to the conclusion that there will always be a part of my life where I desperately want God to move. There will be areas where a desire is going unmet. And of course, I will be waiting until Jesus comes back and eternity begins! Part of life is simply learning to enjoy what is now and lean into this tension of waiting.