Being a “fix it” person and quite practical, for years I totally rejected all notions of waiting on the Lord, figuring, whatever are we waiting for?
“Waiting,” it means, “the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.”
Finally someone said, “No, no, no, it’s more like being ladies-in-waiting.” Quite funny, because that metaphor clicked immediately. But of course, ladies in waiting! Often noble women themselves, they weren’t really “waiting” on anything at all.
Snagged right off the pages of wikipedia, here is what they do, “The duties of ladies-in-waiting varied from court to court, but functions historically discharged by ladies-in-waiting included proficiency in the etiquette, languages, and dances prevalent at court; secretarial tasks; reading correspondence to her mistress and writing on her behalf; embroidery, painting, horse riding, music making and participation in other queenly pastimes; wardrobe care; supervision of servants; keeping her mistress abreast of activities and personages at court, and discreetly relaying messages upon command….”
Mmmm, I think I’ll take it. It sounds almost as charming as my plan to just while away the rest of my life reading romantic poetry and contemplating the nature of love…..
For those who don’t know, I spend an astounding amount of time waiting, waiting at the doctors office, waiting for appointments, waiting in line, waiting for the check to come in the mail, and other pursuits revolving around time standing still past the point of all reason.
I have developed an astounding amount of patience, something that makes me really good with small children, the elderly, the disabled. Not intending to brag here, but simply to draw a contrast, to reveal a paradox. I have the infinite patience of a saint……..except when it comes to spiritual matters. At that point I am suddenly transformed into a hyper active 3 yr old who just ate a bag of candy and chased it down with a double shot of espresso. I am simply crawling across the back of chairs and shredding the sofa cushions in a frenetic burst of mindless energy.
Lord, I’ve waited almost 40 seconds now, I really think we should get on with it already….
Lord, you may exist in eternity, but I happen to be trapped in time….
Lord, I realize Rome was not built in a day, but it may well have been if you had let me do it…
Lord, I’m not getting any younger here….
You know God is good, He has patiently endured my constant prodding, my never ending childish impatience, “are we there yet?” Well are we? It seems like we should be there by now!
There are many reasons why the Lord has so often kept me waiting. Protection. Provision. Because delicate brain surgery is not something you want to rush. To build my trust. To make sure my heart is right. To give me time to make sure I am praying effectively and walking in His will.
If God answered all of my prayers immediately, there would be half a dozen dead bodies in my back yard and a pony in my front room. God is often gracious in His delays, kind in His “No’s.” I do trust in Him, in His ways and in His will. That alone is a priceless gift.
It’s a curious thing indeed, but when I look back on my life, those who were the most helpful, those who saved my life really, were always the people who were just resting in the Lord…. and waiting on the Lord. Waiting, “the action of staying where one is.” The obedience of a stilled hand.
I call that, standing in His grace. Walking with the Lord. Awaiting His guidance. Being at the ready, on call, but waiting. Just a human BE-ing rather than a human DO-ing, but a human being standing out brightly like a light house on a hill.