Did you know that researchers tell us that for most people “anticipation is half the fun of any experience”? Whether it be the celebration of Christmas, a family vacation, seeing a friend, or simply one’s favorite treat at grandma’s house, children and adults alike find pleasure in thinking about the joy that is going to be theirs when the big day comes. While the waiting period might seem long, we often realize that the thinking, the planning and perhaps the dreams have all become part of the actual experience.
Perhaps that is one reason why people of faith have often spoken of the joy that is theirs as they “wait on the Lord”. Remember the story of Joseph’s life in the Old Testament? He certainly knew what it was to experience extreme disappointment and enormous challenges throughout his years, but he also seemed to grasp that there was a God who was watching over him all along the way and that His Jehovah was with him. Even in the tough times, Joseph waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord to provide for him. When he was given the power to interpret dreams, he always acknowledged that “it was beyond his power to do it, but God could do it through him.” Even Pharoah recognized that there was “no one else so obviously filled with the spirit of God.” (Genesis 41: 38) Could it be that it was Joseph’s humble dependence on God whether he was unfairly serving time in prison or surprisingly appointed to be in charge of the entire land of Egypt, that his readiness to listen to God, to wait on the Lord, enabled him to live to know his grandchildren and to assure them that without a doubt “God would come to help them and lead them back to the land He had solemnly promised to their forefathers”.
What does “waiting on the Lord” mean? Surely it includes the willingness to bow down before Him and say, “not my will, but Thine”. Certainly it includes the desire to say, “Show me Your way, O Lord. Teach me Your paths.” Sometimes it might mean acknowledging that you do not understand the whys of your circumstances, but that you want to put your hope and trust in His goodness and His faithfulness even as you wrestle with your questions and doubts. The anticipation that His mercies will be new every morning will bring peace and joy to your heart and soul as you learn what it means to “wait on the Lord.”