We recently had a wonderful evening of fellowship with fellow Christians.  We were discussing Christ and Biblical principle, and the topic of conversation turned to waiting on God.  

Now, any Christian knows that “waiting” can be a tough place to be.  It can show itself in many forms, but often times the experience can be described as a time of endless anticipation of something yet to come, a time of great anxiety, a time where you feel God is not hearing your prayers or answering your requests, or perhaps just a time where you feel useless as a Christian and desire more, but can’t figure out which direction to go.  Pastors and religious leaders easily tell us to just use the circumstances and blessings we currently have when waiting, but this idea is much easier said than done.

 In recent years, our family has found ourselves “waiting” on many occasions and in many ways.  We have waited for children through adoption, we have waited prayerfully for the salvation of others, we have waited on orders for our next assignment, and many others.  I know from experience that waiting is never easy, but I now have a new way of understanding this process that I would like to share. 

 While conversing with our friends on this topic, he compared waiting to being a military subordinate.  “When your superior gives you an order, you continue performing that order as instructed until your superior instructs you otherwise.”  This idea really struck me.  What a perfect word picture to explain waiting on God.  In most cases, God as our superior has given us an order.  We are expected to follow that order, doing as He instructed, without regard to our circumstance, situation, or selfish desires, until He gives an order otherwise.  A military soldier may be hiding in a bunker, bullets flying overhead, fearing for his life, holding his rifle.  He may even have the enemy in his sights.  But he is expected to wait.  He is not to pull that trigger until the commander orders him to do so.  A platoon of soldiers may be marching through endless brush, exhausted from heat and humidity, fatigue overcoming them with each step, but they are expected to just march on and wait, until the commander gives an order to rest.  A staff member may be sitting at a desk for days on end filing mountains of paperwork, desiring nothing more than a lunch break to give their mind some down time, yet they are expected to just plug along and wait, until their superior releases them from their duties. 

 At the same time, it is interesting to look at the amount of responsibility that is shouldered by a commander.  For example, if a subordinate soldier acts out of line, the commander will have to answer for the mistake made and the behavior of his soldier.  As such, a good commander will always be looking out for his soldiers.  Remember that soldier in the bunker?  Just when he thinks the commander should release him to shoot the enemy, the commander may see something the soldier doesn’t.  By delaying his order to shoot, he may, in fact, be protecting his soldier.  Or the platoon that seems to be marching endlessly?  Perhaps they don’t realize that the commander knows of a safe watering hole just ½ mile ahead, so he continues to push them. 

 I just find this picture to be such a beautiful description of obedience to God.  Just wait.  He will not forget you, and eventually He will give you further instruction.  But in the mean time, just wait.  Continue to allow Him to train you, to tweak you, to fine-tune you, to prepare you for the battles He knows you will one day face.  He is always watching out for your best interest, and, unlike any human commander, He will never mislead you.  He knows what is best and He knows what you need to be your best. Allow Him to be your superior, and He won’t let you down.  He will always be there. 

I recently discovered a new song about waiting.  Click this link to listen:

 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”  Psalm 40:1