My current focus on waiting has been for the government to return my passport…more waiting. Even as an adult, my response is often like it was when I was a child, “But I don’t want to wait anymore.” One thing I have learned in times of waiting is that God is very near and often responds to us much as we respond to some of the situations I’ve mentioned.
There are three situations where God responds to waiting with “Stand still,” “Sit still,” and “Be still.” Let’s look at those verses to see what we can learn in the times of waiting.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Ex. 14:13-14
Moses and the children of Israel were trapped with the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army closing in from behind them. They were waiting to be destroyed as far as their human minds could see the situation. The massive Red Sea could swallow them up or the Egyptians could destroy them or maybe even worse re-enslave them. What a time of waiting for this must have been! Moses comes to the people with a comforting, but the possibly confusing message – “Don’t worry. Just stand still…and see the amazing thing God is going to do to save us!” I can imagine that if I were among those Israelites, I would have been crafting a boat or trying to figure out some way to escape certain death. But God told them to just stand still and wait! Of course, we know what they were waiting for was well worth the wait! The sea parted and revealed dry ground for hundreds of thousands of people to walk across to safety! It took incredible faith on Moses’ part and the whole multitude of people to wait for God to act. What impossible situation are you facing? Is it possible that God is telling you to stand still and wait for Him to act on your behalf?
“Then said she, Sit still, my daughter until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest until he has finished the thing this day.” Ruth 3:18
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Finally, the Psalmist encourages us that while we wait, we must "be still." This phrase literally means to be quiet or leave off. It requires that we trust the One who can do something about the struggles in our lives. Sometimes the noise around us and in us drowns out the possibility of our hearing the Lord speaking to us for direction through the waiting. I find it hard to be still at times because I like to be busy and doing. But we need to take the time to stop and just be still while we wait. This is the best way for God to be able to speak to us through His Word and through time in prayer with Him. I have found that this time of being still, although very difficult, is very productive at bringing God-given peace to my heart in the waiting. Do you need to be still today?
Warren Wiersbe in commenting on Nehemiah 2 said,
“When you wait on the Lord in prayer, you are not wasting your time; you are investing it. God is preparing both you and your circumstances so that His purposes will be accomplished. However, when the right time arrives for us to act by faith, we dare not delay.”
Waiting is part of life, but don’t get so caught up in the waiting that you fail to act when the Lord directs! Wonderful lessons can be learned while we wait if we allow the Lord to speak to us while we “Stand still,” “Sit still,” and “Be Still.”
What are the lessons you have learned in your times of waiting?
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