Waiting; it is something that we do on a daily basis without realizing that we are even doing it. The Webster definition of “to wait” means “ or “to stay in a place until an expected event happens, until someone arrives, until it is your turn to do something“. This supposes that when it comes to waiting, there is an expectation of something, someone or an event. If there was no expectation then there would be no need to wait. For instance, we wait on cabs or other modes of transport to take us to a desired destination. Our expectation is that the cab or transport is able to carry us to where we want to go, so we stay in place at a particular location till the cab comes. We wait while the microwave heats up our food because our expectation is that during the waiting process, the microwave would warm up the food for us. If the microwave did not provide that function then there would be no need to wait, and we could simply move on and do something else with our time. When it comes to waiting, the issue is not in the waiting process but with our attitudes while we wait.
Often, we get impatient while we wait. Think of the times you set the microwave to 2 minutes to heat up your food, but took it out after 1 minutes 45 seconds because you simply could not wait an extra 15 seconds for the cycle to complete. The times you kept looking at the time while waiting for the cab, wondering why it couldn’t get to your pickup location a minute faster, even though it was not yet time for it to arrive. During the waiting process, we tend to get impatient because our desire is to have our expectation arrive faster that it is intended to. Somehow we feel if we should get it faster, things would be better, but truth be told we want it faster because once we get our expectation it removes that feeling of anxiety that continues to bug as while we wait. Yet, the Lord says “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” [Philippians 4:6, AMP]. Anxiety does not produce the righteousness of God and that is why severally the Lord told those He appeared to, to “fear not”. In the midst of anxiety, we become very impatient and the end result is that we lose hope and faith in that which we are expecting and then take matters into our own hands.
This was the case for Sarah; wife of father Abraham and mother of Isaac. God has said to her husband that he would be the father of many nations and that he would have a son. That was the expectation and that was God’s plan. Yet instead of Sarah fixing her gaze on that expectation happening through her, she looked at the WRONG thing; the deadness of her womb. In Genesis 16:2, the Bible says, “And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai”. Many of us read this part of the Bible and are quick to look negatively at Sarah, but I can understand Sarah’s position. Afterall when God appeared and spoke to Abraham, he made no mention of Sarah but only said “And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” [Genesis 15:4, KJV]. In Sarah’s mind, if God did not mention her but said that Abraham would have a seed, then it didn’t necessarily have to come through her, especially if God was not giving her the fruit of the womb. There was an ambiguity in the expectation and this ambiguity gave room for Sarah to take matters into her own hands.
Some of us find ourselves in this type of situation, where there is an expectation but the details of the expectation are not too clear. Instead of going back to the source and requesting for clarification, we decide to take steps on what we think the details of the expectation are. The process of waiting requires faith to endure, and faith is the substance of the things hoped for. When you realize that your faith is dwindling, that is the time to load up on the Word of God because “faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the Word of God” [Romans 10:17, KJV]. This is the key to having the right attitude during the wait. Even if the details of the expectation are unclear; stay in the WORD. Staying in the Word not only helps us to build our faith but as we study the Word, different details of the expectation become unfolded to us, and even strategies on how to wait better are given us by God’s Spirit. The Bible tells us “Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]” [1 Corinthians 2:10, AMPC]. As the Holy Spirit unveils these things to us, it enables us to wait and wait with the right attitude because hope deferred makes the heart sick. This suggests that while we wait, are not to remain idle because it is in that place of idleness that anxiety and fear are able to attack us. While we wait, we are to be busy building and exercising our faith so that the expectation does not become an idol to us.
Sarah got a son through her maid but that son became a thorn in her flesh because that son was not the son of the promise. Later, God seeing the confusion and the mess of what Sarah’s impatience had caused, appeared again to Abraham to clarify the expectation. The Lord said to him, “No! You and Sarah will have a son. His name will be Isaac, and I will make an everlasting promise to him and his descendants” [Genesis 17:19, CEV]. Remember that this was God’s original plan and had Sarah waited rightly, in the fullness of time, her Isaac would have come without an Ishmael issue. It truly matters how we wait because our attitudes will determine whether we get an Isaac or an Ishmael. Wait rightly on the Lord for His Word to come to pass in your life and remember, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” [Isaiah 40:31, TLB]