Wait as – becoming spent, a painful hope
(Yachal, Perimeno, Tsaphah, Chuwl)
Category three is one to which many of us can relate. Depending on what we are waiting for and how long we are waiting – the exercise can leave us dried up. Waiting can and does suck the desire out of us for that which inspired our wait. That is why it is always wise before making a purchase, large or small, to ‘sleep on it.’ The small extension of time, the short wait, has a way of stabilizing our desire and proving it to be worthy or not of further action.
In a deeper sense this wait also has to do with relief. Whether it is waiting for a trying time to be over, a sickness to end, or a loved one to return these sort of waits can be painful. We “writhe in pain” (Mic 1:12) and come to the end of ourselves during the delay (Job 14:14; Psalm 69:3).
The previous categories highlighted the one waiting, this one focuses upon the one we are waiting for. Just as trials refine us as fire refines gold (Job 23:10), so waiting refines us by disengaging us from those things unworthy of our wait. This pain and desire for relief will not be satisfied by lesser things. During a wait, one is forced to evaluate the worth of the object of their wait. Does the end justify the means, in one sense. If it does, than the pain may be understood as an investment reaping back many times its worth, if the object is not worthy, than the wait should expire prematurely and the focus be repositioned upon something more immediate or more valuable.