Waiting Time is Never a Waste of Time

Sunset, Manila bay, Manila, Philippines, sea, sky, clouds
Manila Bay, Philippines | October 2011

After reminding myself of my priorities, I am now down with very few choices. I went thru these choices and I tried to wait, with each day seeming like weeks and months as this is something urgent. I have been waiting but the time promised to me, as I understood it, has passed. I don’t know if I felt discouraged, frustrated, or hopeless. I would like to take action and resolve the matter based on what I think is a wise decision. “Surely,” I thought, “I can make logical decisions about this matter.”

Then, during my Bible reading, I was reminded of 3 characters who needed to wait but did not.

Abraham and Sarah 

In Genesis 15-16, the Lord promised Abraham an offspring. Abraham and Sarah waited, and waited, and waited. After living in Canaan for 10 years, Sarah was still barren. So they took matters in their own hands; they rushed God’s plan and tried to accomplish it in their own way and timing, in their own understanding. Sarah gave her maidservant, Hagar, to her husband. Just as they planned, Hagar conceived but disobedience always has its consequences. Hagar despised Sarah, Sarah blamed Abraham, Abraham avoided the responsibility and told Sarah to do whatever she thinks best, so Sarah mistreated Hagar, then Hagar ran away with her son.

This impatience only made things complicated and resulted in marital strife, strained relationships, confusion in resolving the problem. The promised offspring came 14 years after this incident. This shows that the Lord has His own perfect timing and His promise to Abraham did not depend on human strength.


Another passage that really struck me was 1 Samuel 13. Israel went to war against the Philistines. With the Israelites having only 3,000 men versus the Philistines with 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore, outnumbered is an understatement. The Israelite soldiers gathered together and waited for Samuel to arrive to make a burnt offering to God. Every day they waited increased the chance the Philistines would attack and Israel didn’t want to go to war without worshipping God. They waited and waited. Samuel said he would come in 7 days but he did not come and the men began to scatter. So Saul took matters in his own hands and made a burnt offering to the Lord even with clear instruction from Samuel to wait and clear instructions from the Lord to the Israelites that only priests or Levites were allowed to make offerings to Him. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived.

Saul tried to please God by disobeying Him. He made a decision based on the circumstance and the people around him, not on the clear instructions of the Lord, thus his kingdom did not endure.

Relevance Today

It is difficult to wait and “do nothing” especially when we are already troubled or worried. Human as we are we tend to figure things out and take action based on our own understanding and knowledge. But the Lord is clear when He said that we should not be wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). He wants us to inquire of Him first in everything. And we inquire of Him not just for the sake of inquiring but with a heart of desiring to obey exactly what the Lord wants us to do.

Waiting is never an idle time or a waste of time if done with a right heart with the Lord. Waiting is a productive time of learning to depend on the Lord and not on our limited knowledge or strength. It is a time of fully trusting in the Lord and focusing on His character and faithfulness; being certain that He is the One in control [not us] and knowing that He is concerned even with the smallest details of our lives.


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