A Whimsical Dictionary: W is for Wait

A Whimsical Dictionary: W is for Wait

A Whimsical Dictionary of Surprising Influences.

W is for Wait –

An activity motivated and sustained by hope; an unlikely source of satisfaction and fulfillment. An empty, passive exercise in resignation? No. An ulcerating, thumb-twiddling act of idle impatience? Nope. The listless art of biding one’s time? Ditto. Most of us don’t know what waiting means, no less have the ability to wait. Any cynic worth his/her salt can see why. We live in an instant age (everything is valued in terms of quickness and immediacy); a busy age (you are told that your life is fulfilling only when harried and hurried); an over-stimulated age (your soul and mind has constant background noise and external distractions); and a power-hungry age (mankind thinks that nothing is outside his control).

So what’s the big deal, you ask? The answer is that we aren’t living in a healthy culture. We don’t know how to live contentedly in the midst of delay. We don’t know how to persist in setback or failure. We don’t know how to rest or play. We don’t know what it means to live in a state of hopeful readiness; We are impatient in practically everything; We cannot generate meaningful silence. We are unable to live peacefully in situations outside of our influence or control. Simply put, we seem incapable of redeeming time through active waiting.

But there is hope, of course. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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 40:28-31). Waiting seems critical to our mortal and spiritual lives, but what does waiting look like?

The root Hebrew word that Isaiah used for wait actually means to combine, to bind together by twisting, to entwine, to wrap tightly. So think of waiting as akin to twining rope or braiding hair. The patient waiter is one who, with not a small amount of concentration and faith, braids together the scattered fragments and fragile strands of their lives into a unified, durable firmness. The waiter is one who weaves God into the powerless and frustrated elements of their lives to create a fused oneness, ready for anything. The waiter is one whose work and rest and laughter and tears and success and failures are constantly blended with Jesus into a lifestyle of hope, persistence and purpose. The faithful waiter is one who actively twists together all the facets of one’s life with God and His purposes, wrapping the Lord together with the concerns of the moment and the future. If God could create the ends of the earth, He certainly is capable of creating in us the ability to prayerfully wait with Him in the mix, if we let Him. Active waiting, hopeful readiness, patient trust, unified focus. The unlikely antidote to distracted faithlessness, to delayed fruitfulness, to uncertain weakness. Braid the Lord into your life and you will find your strength renewed. Wait with the Lord, wait in the Lord, wait for the Lord, prayerfully, actively and faithfully, and your soul will find energy, purpose and stamina.

Remember, it’s crucial to make the Lord one of the strands. Weave together Jesus with painful memories, and experience healing. Braid together God with present challenges, and find meaning. Tie together the Lord with anxieties about the future, and live in hope. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). One strand is you, the central cord is the Lord, and the 3rd strand is whatever you are experiencing in your life… friends and enemies, school and career, difficulties and fulfillments. Weave faith in, and the braid is unbeakable. Active waiting… faithful braiding.

One Reply to “A Whimsical Dictionary: W is for Wait”

  1. What a great visual! Waiting is not being idle, but busy in prayer and works. We do not wait like a statue, but fusing together what God has given us as God’s plan unfolds.