Why Does God Make Us Wait? And Wait… And Wait…
In a fast-paced society, we don't like waiting for anything. Drive-throughs and microwaves expedite dinner while texting and email afford instantaneous communication. Because we're conditioned to expect instant gratification, we're startled—even frustrated—when we have to wait. And perhaps we become spiritually frustrated, doubting our faith, when we find ourselves waiting on God.
Bradley Baurain invites Christians to reject how society has conditioned us to view waiting—especially when it comes to knowing God. On Waiting Well identifies the experience of waiting as a crucial dimension to loving God, having faith, and following Christ. Your time doesn't have to become passive, purposeless, or tedious when God seems to be absent or moving slowly. Instead, discover how waiting is actually integral to God's plans of life and salvation. When we gain that perspective, these seemingly dry times of waiting become invigorating opportunities to strengthen our hope in God and see that He is always faithful.
Praise for On Waiting Well
Brad Baurain has written a marvelous book on the important Christian virtue named in the title—waiting well. The biblical data on waiting came onto my radar screen half a century ago when I composed my first explication of Milton's sonnet on his blindness, which ends with the line, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” Having thought about the subject over the years, I can say with confidence that Brad Baurain's book covers all of the important aspects of the subject. This book turns the prism of waiting in the light of Scripture and careful thinking. The result is a devotional book of the highest order.
Emeritus Professor of English at Wheaton College and author of nearly sixty published books
In On Waiting Well, Dr. Brad Baurain provides a timely challenge or even a call for those of us who find ourselves in a culture of busyness to learn what it is to wait. Our busyness comes out of a value for productivity; Brad raises the question of the potential of what waiting can and does produce in our lives. Rather than being a people who can't wait for the waiting to be done, perhaps in just such a time as this there is something to be learned in the waiting. An insightful encouragement, which Brad draws our attention to, is where our waiting takes place—God's presence! And this waiting is not just a side note but rather compared in importance with love and justice (see Hos. 12:6). With a combination of examples from his own life, church history, and Scripture, Brad provides a wonderful invitation to see waiting with new eyes; he challenges us to look beyond our cultural presumptions to see that true faith waits. This book is a call to faith in the triune God, who is faithful.
Founder and Executive Director, Renovaré Canada
Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church, Regina, Saskatchewan
Most people consider waiting to be the dead space between what's really important to them. In On Waiting Well, Brad Baurain shows that it is much more. Waiting is a discipline, a holy calling, and the spiritual landscape where we meet God. Read On Waiting Well and discover how God is using the in-between spaces to shape you into a person of faith.
Author of Practicing the Present: The Neglected Art of Living in the Now
Very few of us see waiting as more than a necessary evil, at best “a wilderness to escape.” But, as Brad Baurain notes, that is our version, not God's. It is, in fact, a “discipline,” “a virtue to cultivate.” We have a choice; waiting cannot be passive since we are waiting for God Himself. Saturated with biblical text, creative treatment of Bible stories, personal anecdotes, and humor, this is a beautiful and wise book good for personal reflection or a Bible study. It speaks to our minds and hearts with fresh hope.
—ROSALIE DE ROSSET
Professor of Communications and Literature, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago
Author of Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Woman's Choices
This is a moving and even profound book. Dr. Baurain reframes an experience that would easily frustrate us and reframes waiting for the Lord and on Him as spiritually productive and even pleasurable. I was greatly helped by reading it and recommend it highly. It is especially timely for our frantic, anxious, distracted culture.
Tutor in Hebrew and Old Testament, Oak Hill College, London
Author of Dead Petals—An Apocalypse
In this world of instant gratification, Brad Baurain encourages us to experience the joy and peace found when we wait on the Lord. Brad has a knack for digging into what the Bible says, making it fresh and relevant to modern lives. This is such an encouraging book for anyone who struggles with those uncomfortable “waiting times” in life.
Managing Editor of Today in the Word
Author of When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up
Waiting is “a virtue to cultivate.” Really? As someone who is always looking for the quickest checkout lane or the fastest traffic lane, that statement unnerves me. I HATE waiting. However, Brad makes the case that waiting is a virtue worth pursuing. If you read this book, beware: you will have to reconsider our American priorities of time and efficiency. But if you'll take Brad's ideas to heart, I think you'll find something of much greater value—waiting on God.
Pastor, NorthPointe Community Church, Lincoln, NE
This book comes from the pen of a very brilliant writer whose mind has been carefully guided by Scripture. Writing from personal experience, he skillfully shows the helpful relevance of waiting to all who desire God's best. The God who desires to give encouragement and hope to each of us is certainly the One who inspired this book!
Professor of Spiritual Formation, Moody Theological Seminary, Chicago
Author of A Journey to Victorious Praying, Putting God Back in the Holidays, and God as He Wants You to Know Him
The diminishing of the believer's ability to wait, endure hardship, patiently suffer, and bear with others demonstrates a loss of Christian perspectives on time, the meaning of being human, human dignity, and Christian hope. On Waiting Well powerfully reorients us to the biblical portrait of purposefully and lovingly waiting on our God and Savior to fulfill every promise in and to us, while mysteriously doing good to us at all times for His glory. The church in the postmodern era has awaited words to help reset and resituate her with our historical understanding of living in light of Christ's soon return, and Baurain offers such to us faithfully.
—ERIC C. REDMOND
Associate Pastor of Preaching, Teaching, and Care, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, IL
Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago