Waiting Is Hard
There are so many ways to answer the question: How do I stay patient in the waiting? First, I’d like to start by validating it. Waiting is hard for humans. Most of the time when I think of it, I imagine something along the lines of..
It’s easy to get anxious, because I only have a tiny scope compared to the one God has. As frustrating as that can be, it’s actually a major blessing. There are solutions I haven’t thought of yet! There are obstacles I don’t even know are around me. (Waiting would be much harder if I knew every obstacle I’d face and when.) Secondly, I’d like to propose that the real question is, “What am I waiting for?”
Am I Waiting For the Lord to Speak?
Sometimes, I feel like I’m just going through a “rough phase” in my relationship with God where He seems more distant and quiet. That’s just not true. God never leaves us, and He never forsakes us. Something, I’ve noticed though, is that I’m not always being quick to listen. When I feel like God isn’t speaking, I ask myself, “What is the last thing He said to me?” Then: “Did I act on it?” If not, that’s a good place to start.
If I was obedient to the last thing He told me to do, I consider the possibility that maybe He just doesn’t want to talk about what I want to talk about right now. I’m not saying that He doesn’t care, because I know that He does. However, His perspective is much higher than mine. He knows the important things, and I can trust that if I need to know, He will tell me. If I feel like God isn’t answering my question, I just try asking another one!
Finally, if I can’t remember the last time the Lord spoke to me, I can at least be sure that He once did, 2000 years ago. That’s right! I’m talking about the Holy Bible… But seriously! I have to remind myself how important it is to be rooted in the Word. The Holy Spirit can bring about so much revelation that I forget what I was worried about. It’s hard to focus on trying to stay patient in the waiting, when I’m distracted by God’s faithfulness through the ages. Or, even better, He speaks to me through the Word, I gain clarity, and I come to conclusions!
Am I Waiting For Timing?
Unless I specifically think that God is telling me I need to wait, I would assume that when He speaks, He wants me to be joyfully and promptly obedient. However, if I do find myself in a season of waiting, I believe that God has a purpose for it. Either way, it’s a matter of obedience. God has everything I need in this season, to prepare me for the next season. I have to remember that if He is asking me to wait, it’s worth it!
Even Jesus Did It!
Sometimes I have found that the Lord is growing me in wisdom or experience in the waiting. In Luke 2:41-52, Mary and Joseph traveled through Jerusalem for a festival. Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. Three days later Mary and Joseph came back for Jesus and found Him at the temple, sitting with the teachers. His parents were anxiously looking for Him. Jesus obeyed them and left to Nazareth with them. It says in verse 52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” The next time we see Jesus in the Bible, it’s talking about His baptism just before He begins His ministry. Jesus Himself waited 18 years before starting His ministry, even though He was the Messiah from birth.
Here’s What It Can Be!
Waiting is an opportunity! If I’m waiting for God’s timing for my vision, it’s the perfect time for me to serve someone else’s vision. God puts people in my life for a reason. I can build relationships with those people, and it will not be wasted. If I really want to stay patient in the waiting, I can start by focusing on myself less. Instead, I can fill my time with being attentive to the needs of others. Everyone needs someone to help, pray for, and encourage them. I can be that for them, and they can be that for me when I need it!
Waiting is an investment! A season of waiting is a great time to invest in rest. Resting doesn’t mean that I do nothing. Resting means that I recharge and rejuvenate. I can try new things, find new hobbies, learn new skills, etc. Remember when I said that it’s about obedience? I want to be prayerful about what God wants me to invest my time in. I know He will honor those things, and use them as opportunities later. It’s refreshing how He uses my personal passions.
I hope that this ignited a spark of hope for what your own season of waiting can look like. God is setting up dominoes in your life, so at the right moment you can knock them down and everything will fall into place. You can start at any time, but if you wait until God says to, the results will be much more satisfying. I pray that you feel at peace about the season you’re in, and that that you don’t even have to try to stay patient in the waiting. Just know that even if it feels like it, you won’t be waiting forever.