Thoughts About Waiting



By Brien Bell

If you’re anything like me you’re not a fan of waiting. As a culture we’re pretty bad at waiting in general. Whether it’s waiting for the clock to hit noon for lunch to being, or waiting months for the next iPhone to hit stores, or years for the next Star Wars movie, we’re really bad at waiting.

Youth ministry leadership is often a waiting game.

Sometimes it’s waiting in the challenging sense. Waiting for volunteers to sign up for an event, or waiting on parents to pick up their kids after a particularly tiring evening youth event. Waiting to see which kids have decided that it’s just not worth it to spend their time with you each week. Or waiting for that thirtieth hour of the Famine to come, not just for our own hungers but also for those we hunger in solidarity with.

Sometimes it’s waiting in the best sense. You’ve seen the stirrings of the Spirit; and now you’re waiting to find out how your students will respond. You’ve watched as the seeds of friendship have been planted between people who would seem unlikely to bond, and are waiting to watch that relationship grow.

As summer ends, I’ve found waiting to be particularly trying. It’s a time of vacation and service and not seeing my friends and students for nearly three months, aside from a pool party here or a Sunday service there. And waiting, for me, is often an anxious waiting, full of questions and doubts

Psalm 27 ends with this hopeful note, and a command:

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

It’s an encouragement that our waiting is never in vain, whatever it is that we wait for. It’s not yet winter, but one thing we wait for as fall draws near is the season of Advent – a season of anticipation, of waiting, for the Lord to make His presence known. The Psalm reminds us that our waiting isn’t just for one season.

Be strong, take heart, and wait – the Lord’s favor is good, and it’s worth that patience.