How Do We Wait Well?

March 23, 2022

“Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.”

John 11:5-6

Written by Anna Woerner from the Station Hill Campus

The Waiting Game

Marriage. Kids. A higher income. Any income. A clean bill of health. A vacation. A break. A sense of purpose… Any purpose. Most of us have found ourselves waiting for something beyond our control. Maybe it’s something listed here or another, but we all have been in the position of waiting—and likely hoping—for something we can’t do anything about. So, how do we wait well?

His Movement in The Matter

Today, we’re given two short verses that effectively leave us hanging. Those who are familiar with this story know how it ends, but in that moment, Mary and Martha didn’t. What the sisters knew was that their brother was ill, that Jesus loved him, and that He could heal him. And they soon learned, upon alerting their friend Jesus of their brother’s illness, that He was in no hurry to visit their brother Lazarus, much less heal him (or so it seemed).

As a result, Mary and Martha were left hanging in the tension of having brought their concerns to Christ and awaiting His movement in the matter. Any movement. Instead, He stayed put for two days more.

What We Cannot Control

How often do we find ourselves in this same tension? This tension that effectively says, “God, I trust You…but please hurry up and let me have my way so that I can trust You even more!” We don’t like to be reminded that we aren’t in control. And that is precisely what happens when our plans go awry.

We come head on with the fact that we can’t control others, we can’t control our health, we can’t control our finances, and perhaps the most jarring (albeit obvious) collision: we can’t control God or how quickly He acts.

Trusting Within The Waiting

And yet, that is exactly how we should operate—with the daily reminder that this is God’s kingdom, not ours; that Jesus is king, and we are not; and that it is His Spirit in us that guides, not our own manifestations of wisdom and strength.

When we wait on the Lord, and not on our own perceptions of what will bring peace, Isaiah 40:31 tells us our strength will be renewed, we will be able to run our race without weariness, and we can walk through life without growing faint.

And because of these truths, we can trust that He will provide exactly what we need, no matter how long the wait.

Now What?

Ask yourself: What are you waiting on right now? Is your hope in the fulfillment of this desire, or is it in Christ’s fulfillment of His promise to provide? Then consider this: are you waiting well? That is, are you in the Word daily, communicating with the Lord consistently, and serving within the church regularly? It’s easy to shut down while we wait for the Lord to make His move, but waiting on the Lord does not negate our relationship with both Him and His people.

Related Resources

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