Just thought I would change up the format a bit and provide my thoughts on things I often overhear in Church circles which sound true, but as I think about them later, as not as true as they first appeared. Feel free to provide your own thoughts by leaving a comment!
- “I am just waiting on the Lord” means sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. Or going to the beach. Or hanging out with friends. Or doing anything for that matter that is not, in fact, waiting on the Lord.There is not, of course, anything wrong with sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. I have found myself engaged in that fruitful activity on many occasion. :)But as my older daughter pointed out to me in discussing this subject, “waiting on the Lord” is an expression that has come to mean “taking no action on a particular situation or opportunity.”
Which, by the way, there is nothing wrong with, either. Sometimes the worst thing we can do is take action when the action we should take is not clear.
We do tend to be a take-action society. If we are not making something happen, then there is something wrong with us, we figure. Granted, sometimes that judgment is warranted. We have all heard of the story of the guy who is out of work, doing nothing to look for a job, and claims he is “waiting on the Lord to provide.”
On the other hand, we can wrongly assume that taking any action is better than taking no action at all. Problem is, in doing so, we miss the opportunity for God to guide us into the best possible action. Sometimes taking no action is the best course of action.
So how can we know the difference? The first thing to realize is that taking no action is not necessarily the same thing as waiting on the Lord. Knowing this enables us to put ourselves in a posture of truly waiting on Him and empowering us in our decision.
Waiting on the Lord is really no different than waiting on a friend. What does that look like? You remain. Now you may not lie completely motionless on the couch till your friend arrives, but you aren’t going to go to the beach or store, either. Waiting means that at some level, you are constraining your will to make room for your friend’s arrival.
Waiting on the Lord is like that, and it is what distinguishes it from just doing something else. At some level, you are making a place for Him concerning whatever it is you are waiting for.
People have said we need to actively wait on the Lord. But to me, waiting on the Lord is quite passive. It is not activity as much as it is refraining from activity. It is a conscious decision to yield my otherwise busy self and make room for Someone Else.
It may look like action, of course. For example, waiting on the Lord for me may mean setting aside time to pray. But if you look closer, even prayer is not engaging in activity as it is quieting the heart to hear God speak. And when we do, in my experience, He always does.
The powerful thing about waiting on the Lord is that He not only has opportunity to speak to us about x (i.e. the thing we are waiting for) but also about what he is doing with us concerning x. The very thing that stands before us giving us pause is often the thing He is using to transform us. Knowing not only what to do but also what He is doing with us puts us in the best possible position of doing the only thing, really, worth doing — which is to cooperate with Him.
The goal in life after all is not to just make something happen; it is to learn the art of discovering what, in God, is already happening, and yield to that. Otherwise, I may as well just go to the movies.
I welcome your comments great and small 🙂