Waiting… and “Action!”

I Samuel 2:11-18

Wait up! Wait for me. Wait a minute….Wait, wait, wait. We hear the word “wait” and automatically think of a temporary hold. We see a sign that says “waiting room” and immediately picture people sitting in lethargy, yawning extensively.

In our passage today, continuing in the story of Hannah, we arrive at the doorstep of Eli’s wicked sons. Because the focus of this lesson is not on them, suffice it to say that they were very wicked in God’s sight. Seven verses are allocated to describe their wickedness. My belief is that the purpose of this description was for that one little word at the beginning of verse 18, “But.” Contrasted to Eli’s terrible sons was Samuel. Anytime you see the word “but,” then you should immediately think of the exception to the rule. “But Samuel ministered before the Lord.” What does this mean? The word “minister” in this verse means to serve or wait upon. Do you think Samuel was lounging around the tabernacle, watching the sundial and reading National Stoneographic? Absolutely not! He was in service!

Wikipedia identifies the duties of “waiting staff,” as: 1. preparing tables for a meal, 2. taking customers’ orders, 3. serving drinks and food, and 4.cleaning up before, after and during servings in a restaurant. All four words used for the duties are ACTION words. Preparing. Taking orders. Serving. Continually looking for opportunities. Sounds like what Samuel did. And sounds like what we should be doing while we eagerly watch for our Lord, anticipating His arrival with exuberance, though we may feel that we are waiting for something more from Him.

I never just wait. As a mother of six children, one with a rare degenerative disease, there is rarely time to just sit and do nothing. I attempt to stay out of doctors’ office, clinics, testing centers, and hospitals as much as possible. God’s plan for our family requires those environments to be a part of our lives to some degree; however, I decided long ago that whenever we are in a waiting room, it will be a party! We take coloring pages, crayons, books, puzzles, and balloons and every child lights up when our family is just “waiting.” Suddenly mothers are smiling and sick children are laughing. Stressed-out nurses and frowning receptionists are transformed into happy-to-be-in-this-field employees. Waiting can be enjoyable and profitable!

Maybe you are waiting on a medical diagnosis so that you know what the next step is:

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Maybe you are waiting on just the right job opportunity:

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

Maybe you are waiting for something so deep that you have not dared to share it with anyone:

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Waiting is an action.

So what are you waiting for?