When I was a kid I used to fantasize about watching any television show you wanted whenever you wanted. In my head I dreamed of a network called “The Channel” – an on demand wonderland where viewers weren’t subject to schedules or programmers, able to watch any episode at any time.
I wasn’t the only one dreaming back then. The technology I once only imagined is now available not only through Netflix but Hulu, Youtube, Amazon, On Demand, and countless other streaming services.
The archives of television (and film and music) history are at your command. If you want to watch that episode of “Sanford and Son” where Fred thinks B.B. King is trying to kill him, you could right this second.
Take a moment to be in awe of this. Less than a decade ago if you missed your favorite tv show the night it aired (and you forgot to set your VCR) then you simply missed it.
TV is not the only thing we don’t have to wait on anymore. You don’t have to wait on the radio to play your favorite song anymore – you can just play it on Spotify. You don’t have to wait until your friend gets home to check their answering machine – you can just send them a text message. You don’t have to wait until you find a gas station to ask for directions – you can just punch your destination into your iPhone.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we had an “on demand” God? If you could call on God any time and get Him to grant your every request, you’d be so much happier, right?
Maybe. But maybe there’s a reason why God doesn’t work this way. Maybe the wait is worth something.
We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
Let’s just be honest – sometimes the waiting game sucks.
Every child who grows up with more of life “on demand” becomes more accustomed to immediate gratification. The idea of waiting is antiquated to us. We want a God who is up to speed with our world.
Thing is, God doesn’t really work that way. The Bible tells us to God a thousand years are like a day.
God doesn’t tell stories which wrap up neatly after 23 minutes. God tells stories across decades. Sometimes you have to wait years to see the story God is telling.
What would be the point of life if God just made everything perfect as soon as we asked Him? There must be something of value in our struggles.
Life must not be about achieving perfection, since this is inherently impossible. It must not be about instant gratification. It must simply be about holding out hope.
We try to be patient in our relationship with God. Sometimes we need more time to grow and learn and process what He’s teaching us before we’re ready for the next episode.
Of course, waiting on God doesn’t have to mean just twiddling our thumbs like Homer Simpson. There is another type of waiting.
The next time you’re frustrated about waiting on God to do something, try thinking of yourself as a different kind of waiter – the kind who serves you at a restaurant.
A good waiter is always on the lookout for their customers. They refill drinks, bring bread and extra condiments, and constantly check in to see if there is anything they can do to better serve the customer.
Perhaps this is how we should wait on God. Maybe when God tells us to wait on Him we should be coming to His table constantly asking how we can serve Him better.
Waiting can be a wonderful thing. There’s a reason why couples need 9 months between getting pregnant and having a baby. They need time to learn, prepare, and get ready for the challenge. Waiting pays off.
Fall in love with waiting. Embrace the those moments when God puts you on pause. Seek what He wants you to find as you wait on His next move by waiting on Him at every moment.
What are you waiting on God to do? How can you serve God while you wait?