I don’t like to wait. Now, it doesn’t bother me too much to wait on someone else, but it drives me crazy to think someone is waiting on me. Ask my wife – if we are supposed to be at someone’s house at 6 for dinner, we will be at their house at 5:50 and then will drive around their neighborhood for ten minutes so we can make an “on-time” arrival promptly at 6. You’ve heard the expression “He’ll be late for his own funeral.” Well, I’ll be early for mine – ten minutes early.
As you can tell by that little admission, waiting is not my strong suite. But, what does waiting have to do with worship anyway?
Worship happens in the context of our living. Look into the eyes of someone singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” when everything is going great with their family and work and health. You might see a blank stare. But, if you’ll look into the eyes of someone singing that great hymn that just lost their job or their spouse of fifty years, you’ll see the power of the truth it contains. It’s for that reason God will often allow a circumstance to appear in our lives and hold us right in the middle of it, waiting on Him, until the worship and faith He requires is produced in our lives. It is in the waiting that we learn to trust—-that we learn what grace feels like—-that we grow in understanding that His faithfulness is great. The worship that flows then has more depth, more honesty. Don’t ever separate your life experiences from your worship. You’ll be robbing God if you do.
“He gives and takes away” means a whole lot more out of Job’s mouth than it does mine. But because Job lived it and could still say “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” I can have confidence that His God—-my God—-will see me through every circumstance and that I can worship Him as He does.
Israel waited centuries for the promised Messiah. Today, we wait expectantly for Jesus’ return.
As you experience this Christmas season, don’t wait to worship, but be sure you worship while you wait. It makes all the difference in the world.
Director, LifeWay Worship