“Stay there until I tell you (Matthew 2:13)” was the command Joseph received from an angel of the Lord.
He was asked to escape to Egypt with baby Jesus and Mary. He obeyed immediately, that very night (v. 14)! Then he was to wait until the word came from God.
Waiting is no easy task. Especially when no clue is given as to when the next marching orders will come. It is easy to grow impatient and act on our own and bring disastrous consequences (see how Saul acted foolishly; 1 Samuel 13:8–14).
Waiting is acceptance of God’s timing in our lives. There are many factors which our eyes don’t see; but which God sees. Here Herod’s death had to happen before they could return (Matthew 2:19, 20). Certain events will signal that your waiting is over and God wants you to move (2 Sam. 5:24).
Waiting again is part of obedience. It was because Joseph was obedient in all that God communicated to him earlier (see Matthew 1:24) that God again gave him specific directions through dreams. The point is that when you are obedient to God, he will also ensure that you get clear and specific directions (Isaiah 30:21). That need not be in the form of dreams alone; for God might speak to you through God’s Word, a believer-friend or through some circumstances too.
Waiting is also all about trust. It is about trusting God’s wisdom as to what is best in our lives in a given period of time (Isaiah 48:27). The birth of Jesus was announced and sung about by angelic choirs. He was visited by Wise Men. But when they left, the angel of the Lord speaks to Joseph to flee. After these big events, the baby Jesus became.a refugee. Why did God allow that? We do not know; but Joseph trusted God’s wisdom.
Finally, all waiting periods under God’s command have an end point. If God had kept you waiting now, you are not to think that you are to stay like that for ever. No. Waiting periods will be over and they will yield to action (Isaiah 28:24, 25).
We find no problem waiting if future is certain. But it is painful otherwise. What about waiting on God? Do we struggle because God is uncertain? Or is that lack of faith?