Ummm . . . can I get a new ‘one word’ for the year, please God?
The New Year is off to a brisk start and, like so many, I’ve chosen a one-word theme as a touchstone, a point of reference and motivation, for the 52 weeks ahead.
There’s only one problem. I don’t like my “one word” for 2020. After much thought and quite a few conversations with God, the word that keeps insistently scrambling to the top is… (wait for it) …W A I T.
Wait, what?? Ummm, could I get a new word, please God? Focus would be nice (heaven knows I need more of that), or maybe peace. I’d even settle for listen or be. But wait?? I h a t e t o w a i t .
Wait is a four-letter word that holds up restraining hands against the twin clinched fists of wishing and longing beating against the walls of my chest. Wait speaks a parental “not now; just be patient” when I think I’ve already been more than patient. Wait reminds me I’m not ready, or they’re not ready, or this world is not ready—that there is more work to be done.
But there is more to wait than meets the eye. Wait hints of gifts yet to be unwrapped—that what now holds isn’t all there is. Wait insists that it’s God, not me, who is in charge of the circumstances and timetables of this world, and He will not be rushed. Wait speaks of chapters yet to be written—of the unfolding God-story and the Jodi-story, and what wonders can still happen when the two intersect.
We’re all unfinished in some part of our lives. And Scripture literally bulges with waiting. Like Abraham waiting for the child of promise, like Joseph waiting for the dream, like Anna waiting for the glimpse of Messiah, like the whole creation waiting, groaning for redemption, we wait, unfinished.
For heaven’s sake, Jesus waited—God still waits—for us.
Sometimes I think that faith, at its most basic level, has a lot to do with being patient with God. We know He’s patient with us—unendingly so—and we’re grateful. But we have to learn to be patient with Him, too. That might sound audacious, but I think He understands—and I think I’m onto something. Look at the following Bible verses and notice the correlation between faith and patience:
- “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” (Heb. 6:12, 15, emphasis mine)
- “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Heb. 10:35–36 NLT, emphasis mine)
- “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Rom. 8:24–25, emphasis mine)
- “Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient.” (James 5:7–8 NLT, emphasis mine)
- “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14 NLT, emphasis mine)
Did you catch who we are to be patient with in these verses? With God. As we deal with so much that’s unfinished in our lives, being patient with God is an expression of our trust that “not done yet” is not the same as “will never be done.”
Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s workmanship, His project. The New Living Translation says we are His “masterpiece.” And unlike some of us, He always finishes what He starts. Always.
So, I am settling into my ‘one word,’ shifting my expectations to the side (without releasing expectancy) and patting down my fidgety exasperation with delay. I want to wait well. Something (or maybe Some One) tells me it will be worth it. #embracethewait
I’d love to hear from you!
What is your ‘one word’ for the year?
What are you waiting for in 2019?
What helps you “wait well?”
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