I’ve known Christians, including myself, who have mired themselves in the swamp of inaction because they were “waiting on the Lord.” For example instead of searching for a job, they sit at home waiting for God to drop it in their laps. So, it’s easy to imagine why this verse caused me some trouble. On first read, the scripture seems to command the exact scenario I just described.
I prayed on it and talked with my pastor. After that, I saw these words in a completely different light. First of all, the literal interpretation of this verse refers to the coming Messiah. The Jews needed to wait quietly for the salvation revealed in Jesus Christ. But now that Christ has come, how does this verse apply to believers?
Before we had kids, Hubby and I indulged ourselves with dinner at a local French restaurant. Believe me, this was no Chili’s. The meal consisted of multiple courses, served over three hours. Linen napkins, real china, and candles adorned the tables. It was far swankier than anything we’d ever experienced. A mere glance at our waiter would bring him to our table. We didn’t have to sit there with an empty glass for ten minutes, trying to catch the attention of servers bustling past at the speed of light. He appeared at hand whenever we required him. Hubby realized the waiter spent the entire evening keeping an eye on our table, while he went about his other duties. He definitely earned that big, whopping tip at the end of the night.
That’s what this verse is telling us to be–waiters. Like the one at the French restaurant, we should keep an eye on God while going about our other duties, able to immediately respond when he calls. We do that through prayer, meditation on scripture, and worship throughout the day (I Thess 5:17, Josh 1:8, Eph 5:18,19).
When looking for a job, for example, apply to every offer. Maybe even take a temporary work, until right thing comes along. All the while “waiting” on the Lord, keeping an eye on him, so He can alert you when the correct position comes along.
Being God’s waiter isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and energy. But at the end, we’ll earn a big reward, like the waiter at our restaurant (Heb 11:6).
“So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26