Waiting Time Isn’t Wasted Time

Waiting Time Isn’t Wasted Time

The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith.”
–1 Kings 17:2-3

Extraordinary people learn to wait on God’s timing. At some point in your life, God will have you in a waiting time. That was true for Elijah as well. Elijah experienced a waiting time to prepare him for a greater mission. In 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah was at the palace in Samaria, pronouncing God’s judgment against Ahab and the nation of Israel. I am sure his pronouncement made headlines. Then what happened? “The word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith’” (vv. 2-3). Immediately after Elijah burst on the scene, God told him, “Now you need to go hide yourself for a while.”

Elijah’s place of waiting was a brook called Cherith. Cherith became the place of testing for Elijah. At some point, God will put you in your own Cherith, your own time of testing. What does God do in our testing time?

First of all, our Cherith teaches us to walk with God daily. I used to live by a lake, and in the early mornings when I would drive to work, the highway would be covered by fog. Drivers would creep along the highway because they could only see a little bit in front of them. Have you ever noticed that when God reveals His will to you, He doesn’t show you the whole blueprint for your life all at once? Instead, He usually just shows you what you need to do next. Why is that? I think it is because if we knew the whole story, we’d go barreling down the highway thinking we have no need for God. But when God shows us only a little bit of what we need to know, it makes us depend on Him daily.

That was true for Elijah. When God said to Elijah, “Hide yourself by the brook Cherith,” He didn’t say how long he would be there. He didn’t tell Elijah there would be another waiting place called Zarephath that would last six times as long. He didn’t tell Elijah that he would challenge hundreds of sword-wielding prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. God just told Elijah what he needed to do next. Extraordinary people learn how to walk with God daily.

Second, our Cherith teaches us to obey God completely. Had I been Elijah, I would have said, “God, I just gave a message to the king; isn’t it time for me to write a book about my experience with King Ahab and go on a speaking tour? Wouldn’t that help people follow You more closely? We need to build on this momentum.” But that wasn’t God’s plan. He said to Elijah, “You have done what I called you to do; now, go hide by the brook Cherith.” How did Elijah respond? Elijah “went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith” (v. 5). Elijah obeyed God completely, and he obeyed God immediately. God spoke, and Elijah hid. That’s an invaluable lesson for all of us–to obey God completely and immediately.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Secret #3: Wait on God’s Timing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.