We all remember our favorite childhood game. The game that you always insisted on playing while your friends were over or the game you were best at. My favorite childhood game was Hide-n-Seek. It was my go to game when asked what I would like to play, and I considered myself an expert hider, but not always the best seeker. It was easy for me to find a small space, to be still and quiet. However, many years later this still and quiet concept seems to be near impossible most days.
Almost every Bible story we read has an element of waiting. Abraham and Sarah had to wait for a child, even when the circumstances seemed impossible. (Genesis 18) Daniel had to pray fervently, waiting on God to save Jerusalem, not certain God heard his prayer, but reading further we see God not only heard Daniel’s prayer he answered the day it was asked, but Daniel had to wait for the manifestation. (Daniel 9 and 10) Mary and Martha had to mourn and weep over a dead brother and wait upon Jesus to do the impossible. (John 11) There is story after story of waiting found in scripture. We have a lot to learn about the process and need for waiting, along with who God remains to be in the wait.
So is waiting just sitting still, in anticipation of God answering just how we think He should? Or is there more to it. When looking at the Hebrew word used mostly in the Old Testament for “wait”, we find the word “qâvâh” (kaw-vaw). This word can be directly defined as: to bind together; to collect; to expect—gather). I’m not sure about you, but I don’t tend to define “wait” in this way. I tend to go back to my childhood mindset of playing Hide-n-Seek, waiting on the seeker to find me. My mind tends to go to a place that says “I don’t sense God working, so I will just do it myself”. Oh how wrong that is. God is calling us to gather with Him in the wait. To draw near and dwell with Him in the wait.
Looking at these definitions and understanding how God worked in the lives of so many before, I have come to see waiting as something God has called us to and not just a task to be done to get to the next thing. So what if in the waiting, I say God, I am going to draw near. I am going to bind myself with You, Your promises and Your truths. I am going to gather myself, sit at Your feet, but still walk in obedience to what You have called me to, no matter what the next thing is. I am going to go ahead expect Your answer, knowing You hear me, your child, calling out to You.
There are some things we can learn about being the hider in a game of Hide-n-Seek. There is a time to sit still and be quiet. A time to wait, but at some point the hider must get up and run to the security of base. The hider must gather themselves and run. How can you sit in the presence of the Father today, while also picking yourself up and running to His security?
Rhiannon Barnett serves as Operations Director at Mission City Church, in Rutland, VT. She also serves as a Collegiate Missionary with the North American Mission Board. She’s an Oklahoma girl from the small town of Randlet, located in the southwest part of the state. But she felt a calling to go beyond the comfort of her home when she was a freshman in college while working at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma summer camp Falls Creek. After graduating from Cameron University in 2012, she made a leap for Vermont. She joined NAMB and was scheduled to only be in Vermont for one year., but Rhiannon discovered the great need for the Gospel in New England. She is now working on her seventh year in New England.