"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
In every season of life, whether characterized by joy or sorrow, it seems we are perpetually waiting. Perhaps for a spouse, a job, a child, a home, an answer. And it seems our fast food, microwave, on-demand culture often sees waiting as an enemy of happiness, when in fact waiting itself is a gift from God. It is God’s means of drawing us close to Himself and preparing our hearts for even greater joy and glory than we can presently fathom or obtain.
Singleness can be a time of great waiting. For years I waited to meet the man I would marry. I longed for the love and affection of a husband. A right and noble longing. But as I waited and entrusted my desires to God, He swelled my heart with more and more of His own love. Such deep and rich love that whether or not I ever married I knew I could be supremely satisfied, beyond comparison to anything this world could offer. I was learning a beautiful truth that, as Paul Tripp says, "Waiting is not just about what I get at the end of the wait, but about who I become as I wait.” When I married my husband on April 11, 2015, our wedding day was a celebration, not of two perfected people, but rather two broken sinners delighted to share in their discovery of the unconditional and perfect love found in God. The waiting was simply refining and sweetening the joy of our union.
The believer in Jesus is waiting for a far better union than earthly marriage. While we experience glimmers of glory here and now, it is the unspeakably beautiful, heavenly union to our beloved Bridegroom for which every human heart is ultimately longing; where we will be free of our decaying bodies and the sufferings of this earth and will have complete and full joy in God. But in order to press on toward this coming glory, we cannot dismiss the pain and struggle of waiting with hopelessness or passivity. Waiting on God is actively trusting Him through prayer and thanksgiving and believing He is working all things for good, even when we don't understand. As we depend on God and place our sure hope in Him, He refines our dreams and desires, purges us of lesser pleasures and purifies our hearts to be conformed into the likeness of His Son. Receiving this blessedness of waiting will surely produce joy in our lives today and even greater joy on that glorious day when we are finally united with our wonderful Savior. And as we feast at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb we will see that it was all worth the wait.