Aaron is a very impatient “waiter.” Not a “waiter” as in serving us but waiting as in wanting me to do something…NOW! We often see this attitude in the evenings. That’s because every evening he and I watch a show. Lately, it’s Little House on the Prairie. Anyway, here is how the evening may very well go:
Aaron: Mom, what time are we watching Little House on the Prairie?
Me: Let’s watch it at 8:45.
But before long he will more than likely come back downstairs to find me.
Aaron: Mom, let’s just watch it now!
Me: No. We’ll watch it at 8:45.
Me: Because I have some things to do and 8:45 is a good time for us to watch it.
Aaron: But I want to watch it NOW!!
Sometimes Aaron can be appeased and convinced that 8:45 will come before he knows it. Other times, however, he becomes frustrated and angry. The waiting game is anything BUT a game at that point, for either of us.
When we do sit down to the opening music of our program, Aaron is content. He has his snacks beside him, his blanket over him, and all is well. But it’s only well because he was waiting on an event that finally happened.
How I wish that he would transfer his waiting focus on me. I wish he would trust ME to do what I said I would do and then rest in that fact instead of resting on actually beginning his show, with his snacks and his routine in place.
In my spiritual life, this is a lesson I am forever needing to refine.
I find myself waiting on a “what” instead of waiting on “Who.”
Waiting on some prayed-for event instead of waiting on the One Who will bring the events in my life to pass as He sees best.
Do you ever pray for something to the point that the “something” you’re praying for becomes your focus? I sure do.
And that “something” is probably a very good thing. But here’s the thing…I don’t know God’s mind about my “something” so I need to stop focusing on the event…the request…and focus instead on the One to Whom I am asking to fulfill that event.
Last night my focus became blurry, so I got out of bed and went quietly into the bedroom where I have my quiet-time desk.
The word “wait” was on my mind. I ended up in Psalm 25:4-5:
“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.”
God’s ways and His paths in this verse actually refer to God’s providence and to how God operates…how He deals with His people. God doesn’t just want us to know His commands and requirements, but He wants us to know HIM.
Dale Davis points out in his book In the Presence of My Enemies that God wants us to know more than His demands of us. God wants us to know how He deals with us.
And how does God deal with us, His children? He leads us in His truth, which is better translated “in your faithfulness.”
“So he seems to be praying that Yahweh will teach him how He is working in his case (v. 4) and to let him experience His faithfulness (v.5) as he goes on.” (Davis)
Another nugget? The Hebrew word for “wait” carries with it the idea of being entwined. As I thought about this, I imagined myself knowing and trusting God so much that I, in a sense, am entwined with Him. I am so wrapped up in God’s kind character and in His love that I rest in Him, not in my desires being fulfilled.
The end of that passage says, “…for You I wait all the day.”
Yes, our petitions are important. Yes, God wants us to ask things of Him.
But he also so often wants us to wait…patiently…while He works and while He shows us in that working His faithfulness and His love.
God wants us to get to know Him better and in that knowing, to trust Him more.
May I not base my happiness on things to be as I want them to be.
May I not wait for the event to occur before I am satisfied.
May I instead wait on God..focus on God…and in that waiting, learn to trust Him and enjoy HIM more than the thing for which I am praying.