by Joel Bidderman

Isaiah 40:30-31 “But those who hope in [wait on] 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.” 
There is one interesting common denominator that binds humanity together which is: every single person waits. Every. Single. Person. No one is exempt. From the Old Testament personalities of Adam and Eve, Noah, Job, Abraham and Sarah, to the nomadic Hebrew tribe(s) that eventually formed into the nation of Israel - to you and me in the line at the coffee shop and the grocery store. We all do it. Not even Jesus was exempt. We all wait.

And the thing is, no one (that I’ve met at least) likes waiting.

I’ve never once seen a person excited to go to an amusement park for the purpose of waiting in line. No, they go for the rides, the fun, maybe the food, but definitely for the pleasant memories – not the waiting. People tend to remember the fruit of their waiting, not the details of the process itself. One may remember, “Oh, yeah, the line for that ride was horribly long…but the ride was awesome! It was so worth it!” We have technology so that we can get what we want, as quickly as we possibly can. Our food, our news, our communication (internet, cell phones, push notifications) – we live in a fast-food, information infused world with technology accelerating at an exponential rate. Things that make us wait are things that don’t survive the competitive market – the market for our attention.

I’ve found that when it comes to the big things in life, waiting can often get painful, lonely, and desperate, but I’ve also found that if we surrender to God in that place: it is a landscape for a miracle. God answers prayer, and as He does, it changes us, softens our hearts, and often redeems the broken pieces of our lives. Years ago, I wrote a song while I was going through a difficult time of waiting. The song itself was called, “Waiting,” and I remember something I would share in concerts before I would perform it. I’d say,

“When we wait until the last moment it’s called ‘procrastination,’ but when God does it it’s called ‘perfect timing,’ and I don’t think that’s fair.”

The dimly lit crowd opposite of me would usually laugh.

The humor of it, of course, is that my timing seems to be off from God’s most (if not all) of the time. But a crucial point is that in the pain and depravity of our hard situations in life – waiting can be a redemptive incubator for trust to grow in our lives. And an important question for us in those times is: how are we waiting? In Isaiah 40, the word for “wait” is the Hebrew word “qavah” and it can be translated as: binding together, to gather, to look patiently, to tarry, or to wait (for, on, or upon). That’s why it is often translated as “hope.” It’s not a passive waiting, but the kind of waiting that is eagerly looking toward the horizon. This is the kind of waiting we consider in the journey of Advent. We remember the long wait for the first coming of Christ, and we at the same time look forward to His second coming. And as we do, I believe He meets us where we are at – right now.

I’d like to share my song, “Waiting” with you.


  • What is the longest wait that you have ever had to experience?
  • What is something that you are currently waiting for?
  • What might God be inviting you to do as you wait?


Get creative. Take out a pen and paper and write a reflection or poem to the Lord expressing your thoughts, emotions, and heart to the Lord during this time.