Let’s face it, we don’t like waiting. We can’t stand sitting in traffic; even the Starbucks drive-thru line takes too long. We approach a red light and the first thing we do is reach for our phone because who wants to just sit and wait at the light for a whole 60 seconds. When we’re forced to wait often times it makes us feel stressed, anxious, annoyed, or bored.
Most of us have been in a season of waiting before or are currently in one. Times of waiting on God are inevitable and should be expected, yet, somehow, when they come it can catch us by surprise. My family is currently in a “waiting season” and thought it’s “only” been two and a half years it seems like it’s been 10. As my husband’s health attack prolongs (and prolongs and prolongs) I’ve seen tremendous weaknesses in my faith but I’ve also seen God grow me in ways I never would have had it not been for this season.
WHETHER WE ADMIST OR OR NOT OUR BUSY ON-DEMAND LIFESTYLES HAVE CARRIED OVER INTO OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES.
We come before God with our list of prayers, dreams, requests, and hopeful expectations to see Him work; but soon we find ourselves discouraged and disheartened because we don’t see the answer to our prayers fast enough. We expect God to work in our time frame and, if we’re honest, we get frustrated with Him when He doesn’t (and He usually doesn’t).
IF GOD PROMISES TO WORK MARVELOUSLY FOR THOSE WHO WAIT FOR HIM (ISAIAH 64:4) THEN IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT THAT WE LEARN TO WAIT WELL.
All of us will have to wait in God’s line in life where no “cutting” or shortcuts are allowed. It’s up to us whether we will wait with joy and hope, or kicking and screaming. Waiting for God to work on our behalf is hard because we want immediate results, immediate answers, and immediate change to our difficult circumstance.
God knows how hard it is for us to wait for Him and that’s exactly the point. God is more interested in the journey we take to get to our destination than the destination itself. God graciously walks hand-in-hand with us through the journey, but has much to show us about Him and ourselves along the way.
The journey of waiting is the place He uses to prepare us for what He wants to give us. In the journey we are equipped with the capacity and strength to fulfill what God has for us at our destination. Waiting develops our faith muscles so when He gives us our land of promise we are strong enough to defend it.
What It Takes To Wait Well
1. It takes strength to wait well – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14). “Be strong and take courage” are words associated with fighting on the battlefield or in connection with a difficult endeavor yet, these same words are used to encourage us to wait well on God. Prolonged periods of waiting can feel like exactly that, a battlefield, and just like in any battlefield, we must take up our armor in order to defeat the enemy of “shortcut” and “detour”. We must exercise strength and discipline to stay focused on our path ahead and not get sidetracked by another that seems to be moving faster.
2. It takes patience to wait well – “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). The word "patience" is derived from the Latin word for "suffering". It implies the idea that we are constrained by a power that we are unable to free ourselves from. No wonder being patient is so frustrating: because waiting can bring about feelings of total helplessness and complete inability. We may not have the power to change our circumstances but, through patience, we have the power to wait well on the only One who can. Learning to wait patiently brings us into perfect rest and peace because we have the assurance that God is working in our waiting. Real patience is replacing our self-will with His perfect will.
3. It takes obedience to wait well – “Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you” (Psalm 37:34). While we wait, there are many inner virtues God cultivates in us such as patience, endurance, hope, and contentment, and our public life can only be sustained by what God is doing in our private life. We can only outwardly clothe ourselves with the clothes that come from inside our closet. In the same way, we must clothe our character with the material that God is working from within us. If we continue to follow God’s ways, the waiting is never in vain. Living a life of obedience to God when the fruit of our life seems barren can make us feel like we’re on the wrong path but the path to our destination is never apart from the path of obedience; as we obey, we will bear much fruit to the glory of God (John 15:8).
Day after day I continue to find myself in a season of waiting on God to heal my husband and fully restore our family, but as I wait I might as well encourage myself to wait well. Thus far, I have seen how this journey has strengthened my faith in God, increased my patience, and grown my endurance to persevere no matter what my circumstances look like.
WAITING ON GOD USED TO FEEL LIKE A WASTE OF TIME BUT NOW I REALIZE THAT TIME SPENT WAITING ON GOD IS NEVER TIME WASTED.
Tell me, how do you wait well on the Lord?