I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Ps. 27:13-14
One of the books that has impacted me significantly over the last 20 years is the book Halftime, by Bob Buford1.. It focuses on the move from success to significance that many people in mid-career wrestle with. There was one statement in the book, however, that when I read it, was pretty disheartening: “Halftime can last a long time”. That is not what I wanted to hear. What I wanted to hear was that if I do A, B and C, I will move right on without missing a beat. Not only would that have been poor advice, it would have been detrimental to my growth as a person, a Christ-follower, and as a leader.
What I discovered was that I was not as ready to move on as I thought, There was work that needed to be done first. There were some layers of my character that needed peeled back and some refining that was necessary. And all that was going to take some time. There was waiting required.
Most of us aren’t good at waiting. We tend to view it as an inconvenience while God sees it as a tool for shaping and refining. We view things from our timeline and God views things from His transcendent timeline. Even if we understand that there are lessons to learn, we want to learn them quickly so we can get on with it, whatever our view of “it” is. The fact is, we tend to spend most of our time in the waiting rooms of life trying to get out of them instead of considering what we might learn while in them.
There are things God wants to teach us that require the perfecting process of waiting. The writer of Psalm 27 seems to have come to the hopeful conclusion that he could wait confidently despite his circumstances. Instead of exasperation, he found staying power in the strength God gave him moment by moment, day by day. His confidence grew from the assurance that God was not absent. He was bringing about His purposes in His time.
The Psalmist declares that we too can experience the strength and courage God gives to those who wait. He cares far too much for us to waste those days. Waiting is a crucial element in the divine process of our “becoming”.
The growth we gain from waiting on God is often greater than the answer or result we desire. (Our Daily Bread 1-11-17)
Live this week on purpose,
- Zondervan Publishing, Bob P. Buford