There is a powerful four-letter word that is common to every human experience (and, I suspect, even in the animal kingdom). I’ve come to learn that it is not a respecter of persons—no matter who we are, it doesn’t respect our parentage, heritage, or culture. Recently I became even more keenly aware of how powerful this word is for the well-being of our lives when I found myself sitting in the emergency room of the local hospital because of an injury to my leg after a fall down several stairs. The more impatient I became, the more I began to think about that little four-letter word and how pervasive it is in our lives. The word? “Wait.” It is something we do voluntarily or involuntarily, but for the vast majority of our lives, we do it.
Life is a series of lessons. What is produced by waiting depends on how we wait. Some people are stuck in cycles because they never paused to think through the message in the waiting. Is it producing patience? Is it producing hope? Is it producing peace of mind? Is it lessening stress and anxiety? Is it showing positive or negative things about who you are? What character flaws is it exposing? These are questions that need to be asked in every circumstance or situation. I’ve discovered that if I pause, wait, and listen, through meditation and quietness, the answers will come. Noted 19th century author Alexandre Dumas said “All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.”
I believe in divine design, which means that there is a master plan of which I am a part. In order to manifest that plan, many times I have to wait. I’m learning that how well I grasp the intent on one level determines my next elevation. I either progress or regress. And on each level, I find that little four-letter word. It can’t be avoided or pretended away. It’s as persistent as a bee after nectar or a fly in garbage. It brings out either the best or the worst in us, and sometimes both. None of us can escape dealing with it. It dogs our heels and demands our utmost attention.
So while you’re waiting on your next job, your relationships to heal, your health to improve, your finances to come together, your big investment to pay off, or whatever looms in your path, make a list of the cares and concerns. Then, do something, ask the right questions, and watch your hope and faith arise.