In learning a new language, I have come across several words that have different meanings, depending on their context. This is, of course, true of the English language as well, but whenever we learn them in our “heart language,” they often make sense to us and we almost think of them as different words when used in a different context, even though they are the same (think “cold,” “season,” “coast,” and “mean,” just to name a few).
The Spanish word title of this post can be translated as the verbs to “wait” and “hope.” I find myself using them both regularly, but I began to ponder how interesting it is to have one word to mean both of these things. There are many verses in the Bible both about waiting and hoping, but I found some that combine both:
Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Romans 8:25 – But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
And this ever loved verse is interestingly translated both ways, depending on the version you read:
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait for (hope in) the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
I’ve often felt like the one word summation of my life has been “Wait,” – and interestingly, a verse spoken over me not once, but two separate times during prophetic ministry was, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Proverbs 13:12a).
One day many (and I do mean many) years ago, I was waiting while my mother had surgery and browsing through the hospital gift shop, I found a gift book with the following poem. It totally spoke to my life circumstances at the time and so I bought it and it has been a tremendous source of comfort ever since. I can attest to the truth of its message – that the depth of my relationship with God and knowing Him not just in theory, but in true experience, has been cultivated in a life full of waiting.
I believe the continual waiting in my life is indicative of my assignment to be expectantly awaiting my Lord’s return (Jesus said in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” and my answer is, “If I’m alive, YES!”) However, I wanted to share with you this poem, in hope that it will be an encouragement to you in your times of waiting as well…
by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”
“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.
“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.
“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”