“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different?” -C.S. Lewis
Life seems to be one big, long period of waiting. An infinite, excruciating existence of continual anticipation. The wait seems even more painful in the teenage and early adulthood years, when life is on the brink of beginning, life as an independent adult, and yet it seems to drag on and on and on.
Maybe you are waiting to move out of your parents’ house; waiting to go to college; waiting to get a career; waiting to be free to travel; waiting to get married; waiting to have children. We are always waiting for something, and nothing will ever happen fast enough for us.
However, waiting is a virtue, a middah, a matter of ethics and discipline. It’s easy to get impatient, and it’s easy to blame God for stalling our advancement. The pressure intensifies, and our discomfort grows as we wait on the passage of time, as we wait on God. However, waiting builds our trust in God. In the waiting, after we have done all that we can do to prepare ourselves for our next stage in life, we mature, grow, and become more humble.
Additionally, in waiting, we reevaluate our desires. The youthful impatience that could lead us to do things without giving them much thought or consideration is foiled, and we get more time to marinate with our thoughts and intentions. Sometimes in the waiting process, we change our paths, our course of action; we operate more wisely.
However, all this is no consolation. Waiting is not easy. Waiting is one of the most painful things we experience. Nevertheless, it is an important factor in our maturing process, as well as in our growth as disciples. Yeshua’s apostles had to wait three years before they understood the true identity of Yeshua—his messianic identity. They had to wait three excruciating days before he arose, losing all hope that he indeed was the long-awaited Redeemer. They had to wait their whole lifetimes to see him return, and they never were able to see it.
Every hero of faith had to wait: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David—everyone. Life is a long wait. Discipleship is a long wait. But HaShem always fulfills his promises, whether or not we can see them or whether we live to witness them in this life or in the life to come. In the waiting, we grow, and in the waiting, we are tested and purified.
Don’t lose hope; all things come to pass in time. Wait on the LORD, and trust in his timing. Learn to lean on him during the wait, and allow the waiting to cause you to grow in faith, trust, and wisdom.