The problem with words is that they can mean different things to different people. The basic meaning may seem the same but the way it works itself out depends on what one really thinks. Where is their mind? If I asked you for a four letter word which ends in the letter “k” which is a synonym for intercourse. What would you say? If you said the answer is “talk” you would be correct. If you asked for more definition or clarification you would definitely be heading in the right direction in figuring this out. All of us treat words and concepts differently which, as you might imagine or more accurately experienced results in bad communication and misunderstandings.
Is waiting simply a process of counting moments, minutes, days or years until the next thing happens? Is it a time of doing nothing? Some hold that Isaiah 40:31 to mean just that:
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength;
Being truly spiritual means sitting for long periods of time letting our minds go blank and “wait” for the Lord. It sells well in products like the “Be Still DVD.” But has little to do with “wait” Waiting is anticipating something to come and implies trust in its arrival and/or confidence in the one who promised. In Isaiah 40 the comparison is between those who work hard, run hither and yon, serving gods they made with their own hands vs. those who know the true God and look to Him Who strengthens them. They will be renewed. Not because of their ability to sit silently but because He is in the business of strengthening His people and strengthening them to serve Him.
This impacts how we live our lives as we await His return. We do not know the day or the hour (or month or year) but we do know Who made the commitment. Some have taken the “wait” to mean that because He could return at any moment and as a result become ineffective in evangelism and discipleship. Others hold that everything that needs to happen has happened and it is up to us to “Christianize” the world. In both cases “wait” translates to “us” not Him. The entire purpose of our existence is to serve and glorify God. Our attitude and focus of our attention will expose what we really believe, what our minds are focused on and how we will behave. What does our lives put on public display about what we really believe?