Your appointment time is 11:00 AM. Just to be safe you arrived at 10:30 in case things are going well and they can see you early. The clock on the wall now reads 12:30. You have just waited two hours for an appointment that was scheduled an hour and a half earlier and needless to say your patience is running thin. In the past ninety minutes, your emotions have taken you from the anxious thoughts of thinking that you wrote it in your calendar wrong to the fear that the person who scheduled the appointment never recorded it to the point of anger for their inconsideration of your time to the point of accepting the realization that you should have never gotten your hopes up about this to begin with. You’re ready to just give in, give up, and leave. For God’s sake, you didn’t pack a lunch for the interview and, on top of the full gambit of emotions you’ve just experienced in your head, now you’re just downright hungry. You ask, “Do I need to reschedule and come back another time?” but you’re told, “no, he’ll be just another few minutes” and the voice in your head reminds you that this appointment is one that you were lucky to get in the first place. You can’t just leave and come back. You might never get this opportunity again. So you sit there trapped . . . just waiting, waiting, and waiting . . . and finally the one with whom your appointment is with comes out and says, “I can see you now,” and with that all the anxiety, fear, anger, and rejection subside because your waiting has come to an end regardless of the result.
I would love to tell you that the tale above is fabricated and made up, but it is not. It describes a job interview experience that I lived through. The interview came during my second stretch of unemployment during an eighteen month time period, the first of which had lasted seven months and this period was now in its second month. During those times of unemployment, the emotional roller coaster of life Shannon and I lived on had many climbs, drops, twists, turns, and loops that came with each interview and rejection, each resume that was emailed, faxed, or mailed, and the many, many days that the phone never rang or the emails were never returned. The 90 minute period described above was greatly magnified and lived on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. But all we could was just wait.
- staying in a place until an expected event happens
- not doing anything until something else happen
- remaining in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon
We had a theme song we lived by during that time. It was John Waller’s tune “While I’m Waiting” that was featured in the movie Fireproof. In the small church where I served as worship leader, I sang it from behind the piano nearly every week. Here’s just a few lines of the lyrics:
I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait
And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait
I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am peaceful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it’s not easy no, but faithfully I will wait
I love the honesty of the lyrics John wrote. We can be hopeful while we wait, but it doesn’t mean it’s not painful. Just because we’re peaceful, it doesn’t means it’s easy. In fact, there were many times while on the roller coaster, we were not peaceful or hopeful. We were depressed. We were angry. We felt rejected. I remember vividly one day during that time of standing in my kitchen talking to my pastor on the phone screaming at him and with him through tears and anguish. Waiting is not fun and not always pleasant but waiting is necessary.
Isaiah 40:31 states, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.“ It’s my life verse. I try to base all I do on that verse. Waiting on the Lord. We live this out in our lives by coupling it with two other scriptures. One from the mouth of Jesus, and the other the pen of Paul:
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
So, what does it mean to wait on the Lord? It means to seek his kingdom first. What is his kingdom? Peace and joy. So, we wait on the Lord by following His peace and it provides our joy which is then our strength.
Isaiah 40:31 is a principle in my life. It’s not always easy and it is sometimes painful, but I want those eagle’s wings. I am visually reminded of this on a daily basis. This verse is such a part of me that I wear it proudly on my arm:
Over the past two weeks in our lives, many we’ve come in contact with have entered situations where they have no choice but to simply wait. As I’ve thought about these situations, I’ve felt more and more the need to share these thoughts tonight. If you find yourself in a position of waiting, whatever the situation may be, I pray these words will encourage you.
May you find your eagle’s wings.