One of God’s most effective transformation tools is a season of waiting. In fact, it seems that God delights in imposing a time of waiting as preparation for those He intends to use. Joseph sat in a dark prison cell for ten years before being called out to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Moses wandered the desert carry for sheep for forty years before God used him to lead his people out of bondage in Egypt. David hid deep in the wilderness from Saul for seven years before ascending to the throne to which he had already been anointed. The apostle Paul was led into the Desert of Arabah for three years after his conversion before being sent out on his world-changing mission trips.
One of my fellow EPC pastors, David Henderson, puts it this way: “When we are made to wait, it does not mean God is overlooking something. It means God is overseeing something. Waiting is not a place where God fails us; it is where he meets us.” I not only love that thought, I lean into every day! Scripture invites us to “wait for the Lord,” but what does that mean? Surely God intends for it to be something more than knotted-up, anxious, calendar-waiting impatience. A better translation of “wait for the Lord” in places like Psalm 27:14, might be “wait on the Lord.”
We wait ON the Lord when we seek Him, enter into conversation with Him about whatever we are facing, and invite Him to direct our waiting. In seeking Him, we turn our attention away from the clock and calendar and toward God and the fulfillment of His purpose as time passes. We wait ON the Lord when we yield to Him and surrender our need for control to Him. It means shifting from “I decide” to “you decide,” from “I’m in charge of the blueprint of my life,” to “You are the architect and master-builder of my life.”
I’ve use the same holy heart repetition from Psalm 46:10 for years when I enter into a time of silence and solitude or Lectio Divina. “Be still, and know that I am God.” To “be still” is more literally translated as “loosen your grip.” It is the same verb used in Deuteronomy 31:6 when it says, “The LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake – loosen his grip on – you.
I can let go of everything else because God is clinging to me. What about you?