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Waiting On God


Painting of a waiting, seated woman with an eagle in the foreground
They That Wait, Acrylic on Yupo, Sara Joseph

Waiting on God is an essential spiritual discipline for the Christian artist.


It goes against every fiber of our being to wait for anything, let alone God, whom we cannot see, touch or feel.


So why wait? What are we waiting for? What possible good can come from waiting? Is it not a waste of time, a pointless spiritual exercise for the overly zealous?


No, most definitely not!

 

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

 

Waiting on God: An Essential Spiritual Discipline

 

I am no expert on waiting on God, being as much a product of our hurried times as you are. I am impatient, restless, and more prone to act.


However, I love God's word and have learned to heed it. If He promises rewards for those who wait, then I pay attention. I'm eager to learn, grow, and experience more than I ever have before! The little that I've experienced by understanding and putting His word to practice only makes me hungrier..


The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a gentle and patient teacher who will work with anyone with a sincere and willing heart. Sometimes I have been less than willing, yet when corrected, have quickly adjusted my attitude to ensure that I qualify for the deeper things of God. You can too.


In the Bible, waiting on God is commanded for many situations, of which I list a few:

  • for deliverance,

  • retribution,

  • reward,

  • the successful harvest of crops

  • the fulfillment of His promises…

In fact, haste is treated as the character trait of fools, unless it is hurrying to obey God.

How often we rush into projects or make snap judgements about people and circumstances! Even our conversations fall far short of God's ideal. The quick and "witty repartee" is not something that God esteems.


Instead, He advocates a slow and measured response to all of life, leaning less on our wits and completely on Him and His ways.


This response is not only a stretch for someone like me, who is usually cheerily impulsive, but is downright impossible to accomplish despite my best efforts! Thankfully, I don't have to without help. Jesus, if allowed, will work through me! I must merely permit Him to do so in His timing. That is when waiting on God becomes essential.


As artists, I know that you will want to know most about waiting on the Lord for all things pertaining to our gifts, talents, abilities and resources.


As each year draws to a close, our already busy lives become even more hectic with the Holidays. Expectations are high for a picture perfect Christmas, for a meaningful holiday season and for all those intangibles that we have a hard time defining even to ourselves—the worthless stuff of tinsel and glitter.


Yet in this season, when I choose to step aside and wait on God, the rewards have been sweet. If you feel like it might be a waste of time, remember that the Bible promises that no one who waits on God will be disappointed.

 

"Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:" (disappointed) Psalm 25:3

 

Waiting on God: What are Your Waiting For?

 

But what, you may ask, am I waiting for? While there are times when we wait for something specific—an answer to prayer, a change in some circumstance etc. Those seasons of waiting are not what I'm writing about here.


Instead, this is a different sort of waiting on God, where I come to Him with no agenda. I merely want to hear from Him. I still myself long enough to understand Him better, to acknowledge His goodness in my life and to ask for wisdom to face my tomorrows yet to come. The Bible promises that this kind of waiting on God will bring a specific result. I will be strengthened in faith and He will impart riches for our lives, which cannot be received any other way.

 

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Ps 27:14

 

By faith, I can trust that my heart will be strengthened, whether I feel like it at the moment on not. Waiting on God is not then a pointless exercise. In fact, I am promised that there will be rich rewards for determining to wait on God. The very act of choosing to wait is pleasing to God.

 

"The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him.

[It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."Lam 3: 25-26

 

Pen and Ink drawing of an eagle soaring into the sun.
Soar, Pen & Ink Drawing, Sara Joseph

I let God know that I am waiting on Him with no particular agenda but to hear from Him. I am awed by the privilege of coming before Him, knowing that He sees and hears me. How I love Him!


If there are specific issues that trouble me, I present them to Him early to get them off my chest. Only after that can I soar to realms yet unknown. Sometimes the stillness feels empty, but I force myself to remain still. Then it has been my experience that after awhile, He has led me into insight I never had before, creative ability greater than what I know I possessed earlier, dreams for the future, impartation of hope, inexplicable peace, and much more.

 

"Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." Ps 25:5

 

It was in an attitude of patient waiting that Isaiah penned the incredible verse below.

 

"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.(Yeshua)" Is 25:9

 

Isaiah described joy and rejoicing in God's "salvation," which came after a season of waiting! The word used in the Hebrew for "salvation" is Yeshua, Jesus. Isaiah had no way of knowing that hundreds of years after he wrote this verse, the yearning and waiting of humanity would culminate in the coming of Jesus!


God shared that profound insight with him as a reward for his waiting.


Waiting on God is always worth it. The longer the wait, the greater His rewards for our patience. Sometimes it is the sweetness of His presence, at other times it is specific instruction or insight. Because my waiting on God is an act of faith, I trust that not one moment of it is wasted. I have not been disappointed! God is truly faithful to His word to perform it.


In the midst of the end of the year festivities before you step into another year, take time to wait on God for His insight, favor and blessing for the year to come. Then you will be far more fruitful than you ever dreamed possible. Who knows what secrets He might share to reward you for your attentive waiting!

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