A lot of life is spent waiting. For children, time seems to move at a snail’s pace. Everything takes an eternity. This includes car rides to Disneyland, waiting for birthday parties or first dates, and even something as ordinary as dinner.
Adults have a bit more patience, but unmet desires of the heart are still painful during the expectant waiting process. God seems to have an intentional time lapse built into every circumstance and life equation. Waiting requires patience and this fruit of the Spirit entails exercise and time to grow.
Lamentations 3:25 reminds us that, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.” While we wait for the fulfillment of our longings, we out to seek God. Soliciting His advice is always a good idea as well as examining our motives to see if they reflect His will. Waiting on God to heal our heart, soften our heart, and change our heart (if it is not aligned to His purpose for us) is not easy but necessary.
“Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 (NKJV)
Our God is so very patient. He waits to the point of tears for man to recognize and serve Him. Over and over He forgives the sinner and cries out to the rebellious soul. Persistently, He seeks the wayward lamb and guides him/her back to the path of righteousness. With restraint, He tolerates our prideful acts of self-acclaim and downright disrespect.
Throughout the Bible there are stories of people asked to wait. People, whom God required a time of stillness as they waited for Him to speak, act, guide, direct, reward, and punish. Consider Abraham and his promised son. Moses had 40 years of voluntary exile in Midian before returning to Egypt and then another 40 years of wandering the Sinai desert before reaching the Promised Land. Even then, he was not allowed to enter into the location, he merely viewed it before his death. The Jews waited for their Messiah (and many missed Him), a father waited for his prodigal son, a Elizabeth waited for God to open her womb, and Mary waited as her Son died on a cross only to resurrect three days later.
Waiting means that time will pass. Often, the pressure of a deadline leads to a premature decision. Good things are worth waiting for and honestly, some deadlines have been set by our own design. If marriage is in your future, there is the possibility that you will not meet your spouse until you are middle aged! Do not let the fear of missing out drive your decision to marry the wrong person or make a move when God has called you to stay put. Additionally, we must be leery of the “once in a lifetime” deal and the lure of instant gratification. Basically, a good policy is, “when in doubt… leave it out.”
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV)
“Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” Proverbs 19:2 (NIV)
Waiting gives us time to reflect upon our motives. We all have blind spots and time provides God important opportunities to instruct us and reveal the error of our ways. Waiting requires self-control and this fruit of the Spirit is worth its weight in gold. The refining process is accomplished in many ways, including trials that strengthen our faith.
If you find yourself in a holding position, do not grumble or complain. Instead, ask God why He has pressed the pause button. Consider where He has you and the possible reasons for the delays.
“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” Proverbs 10:17 (NIV)
“The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.”
Proverbs 14:15 (NKJV)
The path of life is often an upward climb so times of rest are necessary. God may be using this season to equip you for a future ministry. My encouragement today is to lay down every personal deadline you have established and ask God to arrange the timeline of your life… according to His purpose and will. If our will is aligned to His will, joy will fill our hearts. Contentment will rule our life and peace will give us rest.