. . . Wait on the Lord

We’ve had a very obvious crack in our dining room ceiling for a while. (Don’t worry, it’s not a structural problem–just a house built in 1953.) I put some spackle on it, then sanded it smooth with some damp steel wool. Then I realized I ran out of the paint I need to complete this project. On to Home Depot I would go, except that I need to wait until my paycheck deposits in March.

Yesterday when I debated moving money around in order to buy the quart of paint I need, I realized something: I do not like waiting.

How about you? Does waiting bother you?

Since I couldn’t do what I wanted to do and was obviously overly annoyed at waiting on something so silly, I took out my Bible at Panera, went to BibleGateway.com, and searched the word “wait” in the NIV. One verse in particular stood out to me. It’s Lamentations 3:24

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)

I was looking for passages that talk about waiting on God, but what struck me was this passage about waiting for God. The difference is subtle, but it’s significant.

Waiting on vs waiting for

Waiting on God is waiting for what we want Him to do. Waiting for God is waiting for Him. The difference is in what we want. We can want what He gives, or we can want Him. Therefore, we can wait for what He gives or wait to get more of Him.

The author of Lamentations started by reminding himself of what he ultimately needed–not something, but someone. What was the “portion” for the author? What did he most need? “The Lord.”

It was his realization that God was his greatest need that led him to wait for God instead of waiting on God.

a calm spirit

The Lord used this to calm my spirit yesterday. What I need most is not for my dining room ceiling to be finished so I can check that task off my list. (Although I do intend to finish this, pronto!) What I need most is God. If not having that task completed helps me get more of God, then so be it. I wait for Him.

Indeed, my impatience could have been a sign that I was looking to something other than God to be my portion. “Paint is my portion; therefore, I wait on God (to give me paint).” How silly. The Lord is my portion. I wait for Him.

God does often give us good things. He cares for us and knows the things we need. It’s good to wait on Him to provide. But He ultimately knows what we need is Him. So don’t just wait on God. Wait for God.

I hope that will be some encouragement to you, dear saints.