I don’t like waiting!
At the time of writing, I have pulled a muscle in my neck. Every time I turn my head it – ouch! I feel like the whole of my body has turned into a stiff, wooden board.
I know God could heal me, but so far, He hasn’t. Having said that, he has also created the processes in my body that, eventually, create healing anyway, but that’s going to take some time. In the meantime it’s - oww! I wish I could keep my head still.
Maybe I just need to take a breath and let nature takes its course.
There seems to be an enormous amount of waiting in the Psalms. In Ps 5: 3, David is laying his requests before the Lord first thing in the morning, and he is waiting in expectation for the answer. In the heat of battle, David is confident of God’s intervention as he looks to Him for deliverance (Ps 27: 14). Others wait in hope of their rescue in Ps 33: 20. Waiting is synonymous with hope and expectation.
In other Psalms, waiting is also accompanied with stillness and patience.
Today I found myself asking, ‘Why doesn’t God just heal me miraculously, instantly?’ I know He can. He might still, of course, but then I realised I wouldn’t be in awe of the healing process that He has already set into motion in my body. If I view God as an instant coffee God, maybe I won’t appreciate the miracle of red bloods and collagen and new cells and tissue and a brain that orchestrates and instructs the whole thing without any help from my conscious mind. A flood of activity is occurring inside me as I type and all I am called to do is wait and wonder.
We know that God often instructs us to wait because He wants us to learn to trust in Him. He wants us to express faith and worship until the day we look forward to. But perhaps he also calls us to wait in order that we might learn patience, stillness and then wonder.
Sometimes the slowest moving things are the most awesome: mighty pine trees that grow tiny amounts each year for hundreds of years; cumulous clouds that drift majestically across the sky; and a wound that mends and heals over time.
It is only during the slow journeys that we appreciate the scenery. Maybe waiting on the Lord is meant to be a gift, because it’s only when we decrease our speed that we take the time to contemplate both the miracle of the journey and the author of the miracle.
‘Come worship the Lord God wearing the splendour of holiness. Let everyone wait in wonder as they tremble in awe before him’ (Ps 96: 9 Passion Translation).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Nightingale is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in Christian education both in the UK and Perth. He graduated from Vose Seminary with a Masters in Divinity in 2016. He loves sharing the Gospel and teaching the Word of God.
Terry and Sue arrived in Australia in 2003 from the UK for a 1-year adventure. They never returned! The beaches, the sun and God’s call upon their lives persuaded them to settle in the land ‘down-under’. Today they have two grown-up children both married, with four grandchildren and counting.
Terry writes a popular weekly blog at terrynightingale.com called ‘4-minute Devotions’, short Bible -centred messages for the busy Christian on the go. He also writes Christian worship music and plays the guitar.
Looking Back to Move Forward is his first non-fiction book for Christian leaders – in fact for anyone who occasionally faces discouragement or setbacks. His second book, based on his blog, is entitled Bite-size devotions for the busy Christian.