No one likes to wait. Isn’t that why we find the shortest line in the grocery store and even pay extra to have goods delivered to our car? Waiting takes time away from our schedules that could be used for something better. It takes time away from all that we could be accomplishing at work, home or recreationally. No one likes to wait. Maybe everyone but Nehemiah. In the opening of the book, we read about the tragedy in Jerusalem of the wall being torn down and the gates being burned. This was the city of the Jews, the Holy City. And it grieved Nehemiah to know what had taken place.
We see his reaction in Nehemiah 1:4, “I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted and prayed to the God of heaven.” He cried out to God, confessed his sin, the sins of his family and the people of Israel. And then he waited.
In chapter 2, verse 1, we read that it wasn’t until early the following spring that this issue was addressed. That is approximately five months! We know that the story continues on with the king allowing Nehemiah to go to Israel, with letters and guards to keep him safe and offer favour as he passes by other cities.
Waiting. Sometimes, our waiting seems pointless or long or never-ending. But God has orchestrated divine appointments at just the right time that would allow His favour and blessing. Nehemiah waited, but he wasn’t idle. He was planning and strategizing, and thinking of ways to move ahead to help his people. When the king asked him how long he would be gone, he was ready with an answer. He also knew what he needed and was ready to ask for letters for safe passage.
When we are in a season of waiting, God doesn’t want us to be idle. Your waiting does not have to be wasted. He wants us to prepare so that when He opens those doors of opportunity, we are ready to move forward with purposeful confidence.