• Richard Parrish

Wait Or Act?



“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! [1]

There is a thin line between waiting and acting.


The Psalmist’s encouragement to wait for the Lord is right; it’s just not comfortable. Perhaps you’ve found the “secret sauce” that makes waiting pleasant, but for me, waiting requires incredible discipline and trust.


I acknowledge my impatience – wanting things to happen now, rather than later. Disneyland would be much more enjoyable without the lines! Life would be more enjoyable if I had the financial resources to do what I want, when I want, without having to wait, or the immediate action of God to remove my anxiety, provide healing, or fix my problem – now rather than later.


However, waiting can also be very convenient and comfortable to avoid action.


I’m aware of my tendency to wait to procrastinate. Difficult tasks are easy to put on the back burner; “I’ll focus on that task tomorrow when I’m more refreshed.” Or, “I don’t have enough time to give to this project today, so I’ll attend to it later.” The excuses are many and varied; each an attempt to justify my unwillingness to attend to what’s important today.


To confront procrastination requires action now, not later. To discourage self-entitlement demands patience acquired by waiting.


To resist the waiting process when God desires to transform my impatience to patience requires trust. To act when God wants me to respond now involves trust.


Both – waiting and acting – necessitate discernment.


When we “wait on the Lord” we discover the strength to diminish impatience, courage to resist procrastination, and the wisdom to know the difference.


What is it that God desires to transform in your life? Where – and why – is God inviting you to wait? What are you postponing that God wants you to attend, today?



[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ps 27:14.