I believe everyone should wait tables at some point in his or her life.  If you want to humbled beyond what you think you are capable of handling, then wait tables.  If you want unrealistic expectations to be thrown at you by picky patrons who will throw pocket change at you as reward for your hard work, then wait tables.  As a waiter or waitress, you will be the source of the customers' wrath or joy if the food is good or bad or if it's delivered on time or stuck on the stove.  One summer of waiting tables was enough for me.  Waiting tables will test your patience.

I'm not all that great at waiting.  Throughout my life I've struggled to wait on such things as that long anticipated vacation to begin; that letter of acceptance for college; my kids to finally be potty trained; God to show me where He desires me to be in His ministry.  That last one is usually the toughest for me to wait out.

The Bible speaks an awful lot on the subject of waiting on the Lord:
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us that we need to trust the Lord and not our own understanding; if we do, then He will direct our paths
  • Isaiah 40:31 instructs us that if wait on the Lord then He will renew our strength and allow us to soar for Him
  • In Matthew 6:33 Jesus teaches us to seek first God's kingdom and righteousness; when we do that, He will meet all the needs that we have
  • Psalm 27:14 spells it out for us twice: "Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the Lord."
In theory, these are all beautiful and powerful promises.  In practice, they can be brutally tough to accept.  Why is it so hard to wait upon the Lord to provide what He has promised us if we would just wait upon Him and trust Him?

I believe it's because our expectations and our vision are so radically different and inferior to God's.  He always knows the best outcome for us; we scheme and plot and plan to accomplish what we feel will bring us the greatest result.  His ways are perfect and pure; our ways are marred by sin and selfishness.  He works so that not only are we blessed but that His name will receive the glory that it is due; we operate so that we can survive and make it to another day.

Waiting is hard because we want instant gratification and answers.  God's promises are never void.  They are always true and right.  If He tells us to wait upon Him then we should have no doubt that He is going to move in a way that not only provides our needs but gives us undeserved blessing.  If I - indeed if all of us - can learn to put aside our own doubts and agendas and desires and wait for God in every area of our lives, then how much more satisfied and fulfilled will we be?

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