Bob Tamasy: Struggling With A ‘Wait’ Problem

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

A friend and fellow blogger, Len Allen, recently wrote about what he called the Bible’s “worst four-letter word.” What was the word? Before you let your imagination run wild, it’s wait.

Statistics indicate eight out of every 10 Americans wrestle with their weight, but there’s another problem that’s even more universal: the struggle with “wait.” If we live in large metropolitan areas and use public transportation, we hate having to wait on the bus, the train or the subway. If we’re in a grocery store, we hate waiting in the checkout line. The same holds true in retail stores, restaurants, the department of motor vehicles, the doctor’s office, even churches when we arrive late and can’t be seated until the pastor finishes the opening prayer.

For whatever reason, I’ve found it most difficult to wait when career issues were involved. Years ago I was looking for a new job and had been interviewed by an executive recruiter. Rather than patiently waiting to hear from the recruiter, I called every other day to ask about progress. I never got the job offer – they probably were looking for someone with more patience. 

Another time I was ready to move on vocationally, and some promising opportunities arose. As it turned out, however, several years passed before the right job became available. It was worth the wait – but I hated having to wait just the same.

Probably the greatest “wait” problem of all is waiting on God. We seek to know His will, and want to know what it is – right now. We present prayer requests to God and expect Him to answer on the spot. Someone dear to us, perhaps ourselves, is sick and we ask for healing – immediately. 

But unlike weight problems that can diminish our lives, spiritual wait problems we struggle with often serve to enhance our lives. The Scriptures repeatedly speak about the need to wait on the Lord. In fact, at times He insists on it.

One of my favorite psalms, for instance, repeatedly talks about waiting on God: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:7). In case the reader missed it the first time, the psalmist reiterates, “Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it” (Psalm 37:34). 

A few chapters later we find another admonition to wait on the Lord: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Here are some similar passages:

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:25-26).

“Yet those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). 

When we read passages like these, we nod our heads but our hearts want to complain: “Sure, God, that’s easy for You to say. You’ve got all the time in the world, but I’m tired of waiting. Why don’t You just do something?”

After more than six decades of living, more than half of them as a follower of Jesus, I’ve learned a difficult but enduring lesson: When God says, “Wait,” there’s always a good reason. 

Perhaps He’s preparing to prove that like the old TV sitcom, “Father knows best.” You might be asking for the wrong thing, the timing isn’t right, or He has a different and better plan.

Maybe waiting is necessary for you to take the next step in your spiritual journey. As the verse above stated, “Be still, and know that I am God” – and know that you are not. 

Or you need something stronger than a nudge to motivate you to exercise your spiritual muscles: because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

So if you find yourself in God’s waiting room, don’t think He’s forgotten you, or has become too busy, or doesn’t care. The Lord knows what you want. And even better, He knows what you need – because often what we want and need aren't the same. 

A wait problem can be a good thing.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Red Bank UMC Youth To Host Annual Holiday Market

The Youth Group of Red Bank United Methodist Church will be hosting their Annual Holiday Market on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. inside the RBUMC gym (also known as the Christian Acitivity Center) next to the tennis courts on Redding Road. The Youth Group has sponsored this event for over 15 years as a main Fundraiser for their Mission and Outreach Activities. Thirty five plus ... (click for more)

Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church Has Kwanzaa Celebration

Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church will host the 19th annual city-wide Kwanzaa celebration on Friday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. The church is at 1403 Tunnel Blvd. For more information contact Pastor Charlotte S. N. N. Williams at 404.944-6680.  (click for more)

Signal Mountain Council Looking Into Taking Over Schools

A new group of Signal Mountain Town Council members is looking into taking over county schools within the town boundaries.   Two newly elected board members, Amy Speek and Dan Landrum, joined the council Friday afternoon at the first work session after the election. The election of mayor and vice mayor for the next two years came first on the agenda. Dick Gee, mayor ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man that agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drugs buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)