Isaiah 60:22: “The least one shall become a clan, the smallest, a mighty nation; When the time is right, I, the LORD, will swiftly accomplish these things.”

We spend a lot of our lives waiting – waiting for the bus, waiting for our results, waiting for that email, waiting for our breakthrough, waiting. This waiting can often seem arduous and languorous, and sometimes this waiting seems a waste of time. St Francis de Sales for example in 1602 having been on a diplomatic mission to preach to the King of France that was commissioned by Bishop de Granier wrote to Pope Clement VIII, “After nine whole months, I have been forced to retrace my steps, having accomplished almost nothing”. (St. Francis de Sales 1902, 128). Waiting is especially difficult in the era of the Vending Machine and rapid information exchanges where we expect things at the touch of a button, and as our minds become used to the accelerated pace that we are scanning through or scrolling through multi-modal information flows. Psychologists conducting studies over the past decade have also found that our attention spans have progressively been shortened. In 2004, it was found that the average attention span of a person was around 150 seconds, in 2012, this became 75 seconds, and in recent years, the attention spans clocked in at an average of 30 to 40 seconds (American Psychological Association 2023).

Sometimes, waiting does not even make logical sense at all – I have bills to pay and have already defaulted on so many payments, a family to feed now, how long Lord do I need to wait for this job?  There is a restlessness that is found in waiting. We yearn for answers. We crave for quick action and efficiency, and waiting goes against everything we have been conditioned by society to believe. Waiting seasons while admittedly incredibly difficult, are invitations to trust completely in the goodness, the faithfulness, and the impeccable timing of God.

In the restlessness that comes with waiting, we become like competitors primed for a race. Our senses are sharpened, and we become overtly eager to run with it. Having seen some signs of change, we make a sprint in our seasons of discernment, only to find that we made a dash too early, a false start, and are left stranded. In 2021, that was exactly what happened. Having secured a new job, but without yet receiving the confirmation of when the new gig was to commence, I tendered my resignation in January, only to realise very much later that the new work would only start in April. This left me scrambling to pay my bills. Thankfully, I had, by the grace of God, a support network and kind benefactors who would purchase Tiramisu from my quickly-put together home-based business, that allowed me to survive in those transition months. Yet, the implications of this bleak dire example are that: The signs that a season are changing are often tangible and visible. We see new sprouts, the atmosphere feels different, yet, these transition seasons can take a long time, and unless we are discerning carefully with the Lord, these subtle shifts, can lead to the folly of mistaking the transition in the season, as the change of seasons itself, causing us to act out of time, and in accordance to our own will, rather than the Will and timing of God. I had suffered needlessly, because I was not attuning myself to the prompting of the Lord, and was rather acting out of my own instinct, was too rash in my decision making, and which thus proved disastrous.

The texts of Scripture are replete with testimonials of waiting.

I was directed by a friend in a conversation that we had, who drew my attention to the story of Noah. When the time came for the flood waters to recede, the Lord God blew a wind across the Earth, and pushed the waters backed. While the length of days do not matter in these few chapters of Genesis – the number of days simply mean a long time, for the purposes of this exegesis, it took 150 days for the waters to abate for some measure, and for the ark to come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the 17th month, and still the waters continued to recede. Noah and his family remained in the ark for another 40 days, after which he sent out a raven, and then a dove which returned, and then after another seven days after the first dove returned, he sent out another dove, which returned with an olive branch, and then another seven days later, he sent out the dove again, and this time it did not return, which clearly showed the signs that there was dry land. Noah then took off the covering of the ark, and looked out upon the evidence of dry land. Here’s the mindblowing part. Noah and his family continued to remain in the ark despite seeing the tangible signs with his eyes, that there was arable dry land. It was only after the second month being perched on top of the mountain, that the Lord God said to Noah, “Go forth from your ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.” (see Genesis 8; Genesis 8: 15-16), and it was only then that Noah moved out of the ark. Noah did not act of his own accord, even though he had witnessed the tangible signs of change. He waited faithfully for the command of the Lord before he moved and acted.

In my seasons of waiting, I too am called to recognise the signs and to wait on what the Lord God’s command is. The Lord’s timing is always perfect, and unknown to us, is working behind the scenes to remove the obstacles, or the traps of the enemy. Having shifted and moved things and people around, the way has now been cleared, and the right time has come to act. I can now claim the territory that the Lord God has from the beginning of time prepared for me. I can now step into the Promised Land.


By the Grace of God,

Brian Bartholomew Tan




American Psychological Association. 2023. “Speaking of Psychology: Why our attention spans are shrinking, with Gloria Mark, PhD.” Last modified June 29.

St. Francis de Sales. 1902. “Lett. 165:À Sa Sainteté Clément VIII.” In Œuvres de Saint François de Sales, XII (Lettres, II:1599-1604), 128. Annecy.