A Christian Science perspective.
Many in the world are waiting ... waiting ... waiting ... for a healthier job market, a stronger economy, a better government, or peace and stability. And some may feel as if they are waiting indefinitely or even in vain. Often helplessness or resignation sets in. The problems of the world can seem insurmountable or, at least, beyond the scope of one individual’s ability to make a difference.
There are also people who think this waiting is necessary because their religion or philosophy leads them to believe it is so. Some view endurance as a necessary step to a future salvation or as proof of their fidelity to God. And there are those who see such a form of suffering as a means to be purged of sin and materialism, which will prepare them for a higher state of attainment. After all, the Bible does state, “Wait on the Lord” (Psalms 27:14).
Does “waiting on the Lord” imply a passive acceptance of deferred good? Or does it rather, perhaps, mean we should wait on God right now, as a waiter or waitress waits on a table? A good waiter is proactive, alert, and fully involved in serving the customer. There is a vital, mutually beneficial relationship between the one who is served and the one who is the server.
Serving God in this fashion does more than bless us; it enables us to experience and know Him, Spirit, in all of His vast holiness and glory. When we wait on God, we see that we are one with Him.
Several people in the Bible demonstrated that serving God, even in the midst of difficult or extreme circumstances, transformed those circumstances into instances of healing and adversity overcome. Instead of waiting for something better to happen in the future, they accepted immediate opportunities to glorify God.
Imagine if Moses had thought that he needed to wait around indefinitely in Midian, where he had fled to escape his punishment for committing murder. He could have remained idle, bemoaning his mistake and the terrible plight of the Hebrews. Instead, he recognized that God was calling him to service at that very minute to deliver the children of Israel. He accepted the immediate presence and power of God when he said at the edge of the Red Sea, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to-day” (Exodus 14:13). Today, now, always, the salvation of God is available to heal any situation.
There was nothing passive about Moses’ waiting on the Lord at the Red Sea. He turned wholly to God, listened, obeyed, and parted the waters, exercising his God-given dominion over evil. He willingly served God, and that enabled him to experience divine salvation right where he was. In humility, Moses listened consistently to God, and this spiritual communion guided him to challenge and overcome despotic and frightening circumstances. He knew that God is always ready and effective, not withholding or delaying help.
Didn’t Jesus also prove over and over that one person fully committed to serving God moment by moment can radically change the lives of thousands of people for the better? He demonstrated that God, good, is ever available, and actively engaged with His creation. As the Way-shower for all mankind, he taught us that we, also, need to heal the ills of the world. This is an effective waiting on God that demands results!
Through humility and prayer, like Moses, we wait on God to guide our every thought and motive. And we follow Jesus as he asked us – by serving God and demonstrating His government on earth as it is in heaven.
As a result of our communion with God, we express the Godlike qualities of patience and long-suffering. We are patient because we serve God; we are not patient waiting for God to serve us. Galatians 5:22 describes how we serve Him: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering....”
So wait on God today and be an active part of the solution to the problems of the world.
From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.
To receive Christian Science perspectives daily or weekly in your inbox, sign up today.