Wait and See

“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear; no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)

The God we serve lavishes us with undeserved grace and remarkable strength.

He tells his children to lean on him, to draw our strength from trusting him for the unseen and the unknown. His strength comes alive when we choose to wait on him to work out the details in his perfect time.

As a young believer I didn’t understand what “waiting on him” meant. I thought you sat, folded your arms, prayed, and waited for God to show up. The Old Testament’s powerful four-chapter book of Ruth underscores what waiting on God looks like in the middle of perplexing conditions.

Ruth was widowed, childless, poor, and a refugee in a foreign land. She didn’t sit idle and wring her hands in despair while waiting for sunshine to pop out over the clouds. She simply did the next right thing, and the next one after that.

Ruth thought through her options, made a wise choice, walked out the door, and threw herself into the back-breaking labor of gleaning. She tucked under her wing a broken and bitter mother-in-law who had lost a husband and two sons. (Sometimes Naomi gets a bad rap. When we consider that she lost the three men in her life, it is miraculous Naomi was even able to put one foot in front of the other to make her way from Moab to Bethlehem.)

Ruth supported Naomi, endured her complaining and bitterness, and simultaneously did every task she could possibly do with excellence while she waited on God to show up and do what only he could do! That’s what waiting looks like.

I believe one of the most remarkable insights the Lord bestows while we wait is the surprising strength of worshiping him in the dark. In the waiting room experiences he draws our heart to worship him when little outward evidence might exist that he is at work.

Our Lord gives us a choice as we wait: to keep our face turned in his direction or put our backs toward him, shake our fists at him in anger, and demand he fix our problems in short order.

The adventure is to worship him for who he is, for what he’s already done, and what he will do in the future even though we don’t presently have a clue what that might be. In the waiting we get to focus on worshipping him for being good and gracious and faithful and loving and forgiving and kind. The list is endless, actually.

God doesn’t need our worship—he doesn’t need anything. But as we worship him he fills us with himself, and nothing compares with the gift of his presence as we wait.

Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” This translates to sad times and happy times and difficult times and unpredictable times and fearful times, to name a few.

God makes it clear that no matter where we are or what situation is front and center in our lives, it is the perfect time to worship him.

 “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18). “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130:5).

Elizabeth A Mitchell

Photot Credit: Johmmark Smith on Pexels

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4 Comments

  1. Steve Cohoon

    Great article Elizabeth. We are to bless God and praise him in all circumstances of life. Thank you for expressing this truth so well, my friend.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Mitchell

      Hi Steve,
      Grateful for you my friend.
      Elizabeth

      Reply
  2. Lisa Boalt Richardson

    Thank you! This was a wonderful reminder to worship Him in all things.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Mitchell

      How lovely to hear from you Lisa!

      Reply

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