Waiting Upon God
George H. Morrison
In the great Biblical thought of waiting upon God there are several interwoven strands of meaning. I propose to try to distinguish some of these that we may better grasp the import of the term. And first, nestling at the heart of it and never absent from the mind of any writer, is the large conception of dependence. As the little child waits upon its mother for without its mother it will die, as the anguished patient waits upon the surgeon for in the skill of the surgeon is the hope of life, so when one is said to wait on God there is implied an entire dependence upon Him. There is a sense in Biblical phraseology in which this waiting is a universal thing. "The eyes of all things living wait on Thee" (Ps. 145:15). The bird that sings, the beast that hunts its prey-all of them are waiting upon God. But such an unescapable dependence does not bring the thought to its full blossoming. That demands a dependence which is conscious. It is when we realize, however dimly, that in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28), it is when we waken to the mysterious certainty that we all hang on God for every heart-beat-it is only then the word comes to its fullness in the deep usage of the Scriptures, and man is said to be waiting upon God.
Another strand of meaning in the word takes us into the region of obedience. "To wait on," is another term for service. The man who serves us when we sit at table and who is there just to supply our wants, we still distinguish by the name of waiter. When the Prime Minister waits upon the King, that is not an idle sauntering business. It is part of the service to which he has been called, a service which demands his highest energies. And so when a man is said to wait on God, that is not a negation of activity, for the thought of service runs right through the term. We wait on God whenever we help a friend and do it lovingly for Jesus' sake. We wait on God when we teach our litt ...
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