What are we waiting for?

“And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him” (Isa 8:17 NASB).

As we have driven through the streets of Kathmandu on this trip we have often passed extremely long lines of cars and motorcycles waiting their turn at the gas pumps (or as they say here, the petrol pumps). Disgruntled minority parties are staging sit-ins at the border crossing points with India and trucks of petroleum products, food, and other necessities are being held back from entering the country.

In a country as dependent upon imports as Nepal it does not take very long for that situation to pinch considerably. Transportation is scarce and expensive, many food items are in short supply, and there is much concern over how far the situation will be allowed to deteriorate before someone gives in.

Meanwhile, everyone here is waiting. Waiting for their turn at the pumps. Waiting for the powers that be (elected officials) to act and resolve the situation. Waiting for foreign support to emerge and help resolve the crisis.

Sometimes I think that describes my life, and I expect many others feel the same way. If I am not waiting at the airport for my plane to take off (or for time to board), I am waiting at the other end for my luggage to come off. Or I am waiting for the doctor to see me, or for a table to clear at the restaurant. It seems that there are few events in life that do not require some time of waiting.

I have friends who refuse to wait more than a very few minutes for a table at a restaurant. They reason that they must wait for many things and have no choice, but they don’t have to eat at a busy cafĂ©. I find it worthwhile to wait a reasonable time for food that I know will be good in a pleasant atmosphere. But those are personal tastes and decisions.

Sometimes we have no choice. We must do a particular thing, and we cannot do it until a certain time. If we should be involved in a court case the Judge will set the schedule and we will have little to say about it. We will just have to wait until he (or she) is ready.

Sometimes, as in my case with restaurants, waiting is well worth while. Eager shoppers have no issue with getting in line hours or days before the opening of a “Black Friday” sale. When tickets go on sale for a special concert or athletic event, people may wait for a long time for their chance to obtain them.

A family member wanted his children to go to a certain private school. They announced the day applications could be made, and the date a week in advance when parents could show up and get in line to be allowed to make their application. Scores of families camped out for a week for that opportunity. For them the wait was worth it.

Isaiah described a wait that is worth more than any other. The blessings of God had been removed from Israel because of her sin. But Isaiah knew that God would forgive her, in time. He was willing to wait, for however long that might be.

Peter reminded Christians, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8 NKJ). God does not operate on our schedule. But he also assures us, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Waiting can be difficult. But when we are certain of the object and value of our wait, we can easily persevere and when we do we find great blessing (Romans 5:3-5).

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