What Are We Waiting For?
A couple weeks ago, my wife and I welcomed our baby boy into the world. The Lord answered our prayers for strength and safety throughout and following the delivery. God is good! But leading up to our son’s arrival, the words of a Tom Petty song proved to be very true for us, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
It’s hard to be patient sometimes…or maybe most of the time for some of us. It’s especially hard to do when it’s dealing with a monumental event: wedding, birth, graduation, surgery, interview, etc. While there may be some effort on our part leading up to the event, the anticipation of the event is often times the most challenging.
A regular theme throughout the Bible is the concept of waiting (see the Psalms & prophetic books especially). In the book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah clearly communicates the unfaithfulness of Judah and the consequences it would face (Assyrian & Babylonian captivities). Even with Isaiah’s prophecy of the Babylonian captivity, which would last for 70 years, Isaiah would speak extensively about the great hope that was coming afterwards…but they’d definitely have to wait.
Isaiah chapters 9 and 53, among other passages in the book, make it clear the hope was found only in Christ. The restoration of Israel that everyone was hoping for was to become a physical power again. God’s intentions were purely spiritual, with this new order being the establishment of the church, with Christ as the head (Ephesians 1:22).
Perhaps we think it unfair that God would make Israel wait that long for a new hope, but the lesson really could be turned around on us in a hurry. How long has God been waiting on you and me to be faithful to Him? That’s really what the problem was for Israel and Judah, and it’s the problem for so many of us today.
The fact is that God is extremely patient. Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” He’s been waiting a long time. What are we waiting for?
Once we realize the patience and love God has for each one of us by becoming obedient to Him (Acts 2:38), we then have something much greater to be waiting for and that is the return of the Savior – the suffering servant Isaiah spoke of centuries before His arrival. Oh, and while we’re waiting, let’s not grow tired of doing good (Galatians 6:9).