Last weekend I walked a prayer trail. Located just outside of Sedalia, CO a colleague created a winding dirt path through trees and bushes. Before beginning the trail I received a map. It showed me the path and offered meaningful reflections for my journey. In diverse places along the way, benches of varying shapes and sizes offered space to encounter God in His creation. Each bench had a specific name and related questions or thoughts to ponder with the Lord.

The prayer trail hosted a total of nineteen different benches. I walked the trail with the Lord looking and listening to the Spirit and attuning to how God might stir my soul. Four benches caused me to pause and sit with the Lord. These benches were named: Exposed, Waiting, Vision, and Bend Low. The spaces offered quiet for my soul to attend to the nudgings of God within and ponder His invitations. Remarkably, God formed the path before me with messages, linking these four benches to current life circumstances. He is so Good.

Sometime I might share about the other benches, but for today, the Waiting Bench captures my attention.

Waiting – To stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.To remain, rest, linger. To be in readiness, expectant, hope for.

Much of life exists in waiting.

Waiting for the sun to rise, the rain to stop, the snow to melt, and the air to cool.
Waiting for the birth of a child, the medical test results, a loved one’s passing, and the healing of an ailment.
Waiting for answers to prayer, godly sorrow, comfort from God, and peace in life’s storms.
Waiting for the phone to ring, a friend to visit, an email response, and a thoughtful text.
Waiting for the house to sell, a house to buy, a ride to the market, and the traffic light to change.
Waiting for brokenness within the soul, clarity in confusion, recognition of wounds, and commitment to change.
Waiting for the water to heat, the meal to cook, the clothes to dry, and the vegetables to grow.
Waiting to pay the bills, repair the broken appliance, purchase necessary vitamins, and buy shoes that fit.

Waiting. We wait for a lot.

Consider for a moment the various ways you wait each day. What have you been awaiting over time?

As I sat on the waiting bench I reflected on Isaiah 40:31 which says that those “who wait for 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.” What if we shift our focus during waiting times to focusing on the Lord? Isaiah encouraged his audience with the truth that strength, energy, and endurance result when one waits upon the Lord. While we wait, let us look to the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I grow weary in the waiting. I feel discouraged and confused in hard situations that seem unchanging. Have you ever cried out, “How long, O Lord?” I have and I do.

Many throughout the Bible grew tired and despaired in the waiting. The prophet Habakkuk cried out: “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” ( Hab. 1:2). King David voiced, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). Moses approached the Lord, “Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants” (Psalm 90:13). These followers of God and others raised their depleted souls before the Lord as they waited for God to move. They looked to the Lord.

God met these saints of old in their waiting by offering His presence. Although feelings of exhaustion, depletion, and isolation accompanied these Bible characters, God’s companionship never left them. God provided the strength, energy, and endurance necessary to walk faithfully through the struggle. The plans of God prevailed and these servants of God experienced His provision physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Waiting Bench upon which I sat provided support different from every other bench – it had a back rest. As I sat on the bench I leaned back and experienced support, presence, and sturdiness. The bench seat and back helped me sit securely and notice an underlying strength surround me. I waited at the bench, resting in the security and support of my Savior.

Isaiah promises God’s action on behalf of those who wait upon Him. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4). While from our perspective it might seem that God remains silent or uninvolved, we can trust the Truth that He moves on behalf of His followers. God supports and sustains us as we lean into Him while we await His loving movement.

Although the waiting may feel long, the very invitation to wait allows us to seek God, linger in His presence, and rest in His extravagant love. In the wait, we can know God more deeply.

Let’s bring intention into the waiting places of our lives.

When you waitWonder about God’s ways and His will. Be curious with your sovereign God.
When you waitAttend to your inner being. Notice the ways God shapes your soul for His glory.
When you waitInvitations from God await. Look for God and wonder how He invites you to journey with Him.
When you waitTrust the Truth and Trinity to uphold, strength, and energize you.

Maybe go for a walk and if you see a bench, take a seat. Or, if you’d like to visit my friend’s Prayer Trail, let me know. Wonder with God about the waiting spaces in your life. Receive His tender presence, power, and peace to provide endurance for the path ahead.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 27:14 –  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Lamentations 3:24-26 – I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Andrew Murray. Waiting on God: A 31-Day Adventure into the Heart of God. The Woodlands, TX. 2020.

Bradley Baurain. On Waiting Well: Moving from Endurance to Enjoyment When You’re Waiting on God. Chicago, IL. 2020.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Lincoln Brewster. While I Wait.

Leeland. Wait Upon the Lord.