Waiting is a part of living

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I don't like to wait. I don't know many people who do. There have been numerous times that I have driven out of my way just to avoid waiting in traffic. Any movement in somewhat the right direction is better than no movement at all.

Waiting is a part of living. We stare in the oven glass waiting for the desserts to finish baking. We sit impatiently flipping through out-of-date magazines in the waiting room for whatever appointment we must keep. We wait in the drive-thru for our heart attacks in a sack. Waiting is something we endure and something that most of us would just rather give up -- though it seems that when we wait with a listening spirit, God can speak the loudest and the clearest.

Nehemiah was a trusted official of an important king who learned great clarity when it comes to waiting. His story begins with a tragedy. In November or December of our calendar, he learned that the gates and the walls of his beloved home city had been demolished. Destruction and rubble were commonplace. The residents of this once beautiful and proud city were now full of misery and shame. Isn't it interesting that when building around you are crumbling and in disrepair, the heart and the attitude of the people reflect that? This news broke Nehemiah. He wept, he mourned, he prayed, he waited.

He prayed for four months before he spoke to the king about what was on his heart. Four months, day in day out on his knees. His waiting was not idle. He did not sit on his hands and complain. He prayed, he confessed both for himself and his people, he planned, and he asked for success to rebuild.

Waiting and spring seem to go hand in hand. Some years we seem to wait longer than we ever thought we would. Then one day spring catches us by surprise. One day it dawns on us -- warm weather, green grass, sounds of birds. "When did this happen?"

Waiting does not have to be idle time, something we are forced do in between the important things. Waiting can become an important thing. Seasons of waiting can become seasons of rest and strengthening, seasons to examine who God is, who we are, how we arrived where we are and what the Lord has for us.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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