The Bible’s Worst 4-Letter Word


Say What?

There are many 4-letter words, some worse than others and many not bad at all.  For example, “Love” is a great 4-letter word.  But there are words that you just don’t use in polite society.  In our modern Christian experience one of these nasty words really stands out when used within the Holy Scriptures.   Our reaction is so strong toward this word that it’s amazing we find it in the Bible at all.  But… it’s all over the place!

In my opinion the worst 4-letter word in the entire Bible is the word “wait.”  It’s the very last word I ever want to hear. Yet it is the word God uses over and over again when describing His suggested approach to any difficulty.

“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.”   Psalm 25:21

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”   Psalm 27:14

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret …”   Psalm 37:7

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.”   Lamentations 3:25

We all tend to be very impatient and when we’re going through tough times we are even more so. We can’t wait for the trials to be over. But God often tells us, “Wait.”

Waiting doesn’t come naturally. We live in an “instant” world: speedy loans, drive-thru tellers, quick lubes, microwave dinners, instant coffee, instant messaging, and a whole offering of drive-thru food establishments.  All because, heaven forbid, we might have to wait one moment longer than our schedule permits!  When kids are asked why they have pre-marital sex they reply, “Why wait?”

We want instant action on everything in our lives and we rebel at the thought of having to wait for anything we want.  Even when we pray, we want instant answers. Most of the time, instant answers are not what God has in mind (remember God is not an ATM… “insert prayer in one slot – out pops the answer from another”). Therefore, the Lord often puts us into situations where we really have no choice but to learn to wait on Him. It is for our good to teach us the “peace” of being still and waiting on Him.

None of us is “naturally” good at waiting.  But, if we are obedient and wait on the Lord for His guidance, provision, and blessing, we will be able to “fly through” the weariness of our trials.

“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”   Isaiah 40:31

In the midst of our dark trials it is essential that we remember who God is.  Remember that these tests are only temporary.  In church one Sunday we sang a song containing the lyric, “There has never been a night without a dawn.”  By trusting in Christ the dawn will come.  Then, finally, when we leave the trial, we look back at the path we’ve been traveling and see only a single set of footprints in the sand.  It’s then that we realize we didn’t have Jesus walking next to us… that one set of footprints means the Lord was carrying us all the time!

When waiting, it is not important that we know what we’re waiting for, but it is so very important to know whom we’re waiting for.  In the midst of life’s troubles we should be spending significant amounts of time in prayer and Bible study.  Talking directly to our Lord and telling Him everything that’s on our hearts and minds.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.   His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

After we pray, we can’t forget to read God’s word.  That finishes the conversation.  The Bible is how God speaks to us and directs our lives into what He wants for us.  In our prayers and in our reading of His word, we seek His presence, His fellowship, His enlightenment and His blessing.

To “wait” on God is essentially to pray and meditate on His word, letting Him speak grace and peace into your heart.

Oh Lord,

You are God.

You are my God.

You are my strength.

You are my savior.

You are my sanctifier.

You are my protector.

You are my hope.

You are in control.

I surrender to You, Father, and to Your loving-kindness toward me.

I wait on Your schedule of relief and blessing.

Your will be done.

Amen and Amen!

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.”   Psalm 68:19

“I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.”    Psalm 40:1

Think about it…


  • Greg Melton says:

    I sure miss the days before computers, smartphones, and instant access. Everything from the way we drive to our impatience in line at Walmart backs this up. Satan is stealing our joy with business. Big question is this on all our stuff that we rush for, “WHAT WILL IT HAVE MATTERED 100 YEARS FROM NOW?”

    • Len Allen says:

      What will matter, even an eternity from now, is our relationship with our God. I would rather wait for God’s will in my life than try to navigate alone. He knows what He’s doing and I don’t! That’s a tough admission for some of us… but a truth that will take us into a joyous eternity with our Savior! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, brother.

  • Cecilia Butcher says:

    Since my retirement and battle w Fibromyalgia I have learned a lot about waiting but I have also grown a lot closer to God something that would have really helped me a lot in years gone by.
    During my devotionals a few weeks ago I ran across a paragraph by Spurgeon that I really loved that speaks of hope but could also speak of waiting at least to me “Don’t you know that day dawns after night, showers displace drought, and spring and summer follow winter: Then, have hope! forever, for God will not fail you!”

    • Len Allen says:

      Great comments from you and Spurgeon. Always good to hear from the greats. We believe in daylight even when it’s dark. We believe in sunshine even when it rains. We must believe in God even when He makes us wait. Better times are coming.
      Thanks for sharing Cecilia.

  • Sabrina Daniel says:

    Thank you for reminding us that God is present in our waiting. It is so easy to feel like waiting is a “waste of time” especially if it continues for a long time. I find it helpful to daily “cast all my cares on the Lord”—-to visualize my cares in a beautifully wrapped package that I put at His feet. The Holy Spirit knows how to pray when we don’t. I especially like the part of the verse that says He “daily” carries our burdens. There is a sense that He is aware everyday of the burdens we carry and He will carry them for us if we give them to Him. A Sister Trusting, Working, and Waiting For His Career Provision!

  • Matt Brown says:

    Learning to wait develops the virtue of patience in us. Stillness is a component both waiting and patience. We learn to know God in our stillness. He tells us to be still and know Him.

  • Sue Pico says:

    Had to laugh when I read your great article about “waiting”. Sometimes God shows what a sense of humor He has. I had scheduled a flight home today only to find out the reservation was made for MAR 24 instead of FEB 24! I’ll still be able to eventually get home (getting a ride when my hero husband swoops in to the rescue), but I’ll be waiting (and carrying out the things God has planned for me) a week longer than I expected! I’ve already seen His plan just in what was accomplished today…can’t wait to see the rest of the week!

    • Len Allen says:

      Things like this happen all the time. We just have to recognize these “glitches” in our schedule as God’s over-ride of our plans. He is in control all we need do is surrender and things go so much more smoothly. Proverbs 16:9 says it all… “The mind of man plans his way, BUT the Lord directs his steps. I’m glad a God who knows everything is in charge of my steps. And yours.

  • Ruth Hirt says:

    Thank you for the sharing, it is much appreciated. Bless The L_RD G_D evermore !

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