The Chick-Fil-A drive through is truly a thing of beauty. When you pull up to the restaurant you will probably notice cars wrapped around the building waiting in line. But you need not worry. The efficiency of their drive through process is legendary. Even if I am behind dozens of other customers, I know I will still only have to wait a few minutes before I receive my order. Which is great, because I hate waiting. I wish that other things in life could be as efficient as the Chick-Fil-A drive through. But once I pull out of the parking lot I enter back into a world (with my chicken sandwich) that forces me to wait.
One area that I am often forced to wait is in the spiritual arena. In Lamentations we find the author in a state of weeping and mourning over the sinful past of the nation and the deserved judgment from God after centuries of patience. The good news is that the nation is beginning the process of turning back to God. The even better news is that the covenant love, mercy, and faithfulness of God is right there to meet them.
However, Lamentations 3:25,26 reminds us that there is a waiting aspect to this process of repentance and reconciliation. Yes, the nation is turning back to God but that does not mean that the consequences for their sin will be immediately removed. And so, they must wait for God to complete the work He is doing. They must patiently wait and trust that God is at work. And that is the attitude we find expressed by the author. There is not a sense of anger or impatience in the waiting. It is a waiting filled with hope and trust that the waiting will be worth it.
God often calls us to wait as well. We find ourselves waiting often in our spiritual growth. Sometimes following a time of disobedience and then repentance we may find ourselves waiting while God works behind the scenes, putting back together the broken pieces of our lives.
Or we may find ourselves waiting for what we ought to love to match what we want to love. In Lamentations 3:24 the author declares that the Lord is his portion. God was the treasured prize of this person’s life. Everything had been taken away through the judgment experienced by the destruction caused by the Babylonians. But he still had God. Just like Habakkuk and Job, the author had lost everything but still had hope, because he had not lost the ultimate prize, God. We may find ourselves knowing that God ought to be our portion and our treasure, but we may not always feel this. And so, we immerse ourselves in His word, seek Him in prayer, and surround ourselves with other godly examples, and then we wait. We wait for our desires to slowly conform to what Scripture calls us to love.
We may also find ourselves waiting for other things like God’s provision, direction, or even vindication. Whatever it is we are waiting for let us remember this. God is worth the wait. He will not disappoint us. So, let us keep trusting that God is at work and when He comes through it will be worth it.
There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust
Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
Lyrics from Sovereign Over Usby Aaron Keyes, Bryan Brown, and Jack Mooring