Waiting well when God seems late

25 May

If you’re anything like me, the whole idea of waiting may be something you struggle with. Whether it’s waiting for a delivery, or on a queue to have your order taken, or having to wait at a traffic light when the lights turn red, we resist anything that makes us have to wait. We anticipate that God would intervene in our situations on our own set times, and become quickly disgruntled as we watch the time tick away and days roll into weeks, months and years.

Waiting can be difficult even in the things that aren’t considered serious. Fast food restaurants can sense our impatience and have since created drive-thru outlets to enable us quickly pick up our orders and avoid the queues and long waiting times. Everything around us now is marked by speed. There’s not much room to be on the slow lane. When driving on a 30mph road, i am often overtaken by other cars, and many times left wondering if i read the road signs wrong. Nobody wants to wait. Everyone feels the need to move fast.

“WAIT”. What does the word mean? I was searching online dictionaries to see what definitions i could find and this particular one hit close:

  • be left until a later time before being dealt with.

Waiting for something to come through in our lives can be one of the toughest exercises we engage in. Life has a way of putting us on notice regarding time. There is the constant reminder that time is running out. The various life clocks tick loudly in our ears. In our private moments, our thoughts are invaded. The frustration, the pain, our eyes are also not blind to the successes of others in the areas where we are seeking fruit.

Looking back at my own life, things have not always happened for me in a “timely” fashion. It appears i’ve always had to wait. Apart from the times when i got into primary and secondary schools, most of my other milestones have taken me a bit longer to achieve. Many times, it’s felt like God has held up that “WAIT” sign in my face and has been busy attending to others, while i have been left until a later time before being dealt with. Who else can relate?

I remember when I was trying to have children. I never imagined that waiting would be a significant part of the experience. My idea of having a family was completely different from the script that played out. I recall the tears, the pain, the anger I felt at my body which would hold a pregnancy but wouldn’t carry to term. What about the shame I felt? One morning, on a wet and rainy day, as I walked to the post office to send yet another gift to a friend who was having a baby, tears flooded my face. “Lord, why are you treating me this way, why are you handling me this roughly?” I wanted to hijack the season so as to be in control of the timeline of events. Not knowing if and when to expect answers was frustrating. I loved The Lord but couldn’t make sense of what He was up to in my life.

Waiting is hard and as I examined the various times my life appeared to have been put on hold, I have to admit that many of those seasons were marked by complaining, grumbling, and frustration. As time went on, the question no longer was “am I going to wait?” but rather “How am I going to wait? It became clear that I could either wait angrily or wait well, trusting God to come through in the way He chooses. I’ve come to realize that these pauses in the journey are a necessary part of the package, not because God is trying to teach me a hard lesson which I failed to learn in the past, but because He is good, sees what I don’t, and is constantly up to something good in my life even when I don’t understand it. This perspective, which I haven’t always had, has helped me see that waiting seasons can be purposeful. In them, I have seen God draw me closer to Himself, help me lean and depend on Him completely, do a work in my heart that is holy and refining, and most importantly help me keep Him as the pursuit of my heart rather than what I am desiring.

Here are some things I’ve learnt about waiting seasons:

– They can be times of renewal of strength from all the weariness we feel (Isaiah 40:31)

– God is working in the unseen on our behalf. He hasn’t neglected or forgotten us (Isaiah 64:4)

– They can be periods of great preparation for the next season we want to enter into. In Genesis 40, we see Joseph thrown into prison for no fault of his. It seemed unfair, God could have outrightly vindicated Him, but God allowed that season to prune him, refine him and prepare him for his next season as Prime Minister of Egypt. God will not allow a premature termination of that hard season even though Joseph was becoming uncomfortable. There was something bigger Joseph was about to step into, for which he needed preparation.

– They can be lonely and hard yet have the potential to turn our eyes heavenward and help us know the deep companionship of The Holy Spirit

– God is able to use them to work out good for our lives. While our view is limited, He sees all that we don’t see and knows when to keep us on pause and speed us up to bring about His purpose for our lives (Romans 8:28)

Have you found yourself in a waiting season?

Does this dry season of your life feel so long and like God is holding out on you?

Have you become frustrated and begun to look away from The Lord, believing that He will never come through for you?

I wanted to bring you this encouragement today as I know how it feels when it seems your case has been on the waiting list and you’re yet to get Gods attention. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to any lie. Don’t let this season of waiting be one that is marked by complaining and grumbling, rather fix your eyes on The Lord knowing that He loves you completely and is working things out for your good. Stay in prayer, stay in His word, stay in community with trusted friends who would be tender with your heart and bring encouragement when you feel weak, lean completely on The Lord. Resist the temptation to compare your journey with anyone else’s. Trust me, everybody has seasons where they must wait and your journey is unique and would never look like that of any other.

There are still areas in my life where I am waiting but I’m learning to wait well and to trust Gods goodness on the mountain tops as well as in the valley. Here are some passages of scripture that have strengthened me in my seasons of waiting:

For The Lord God is a sun and shield, The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from they that walk uprightly. Psalms 84:11

Therefore The Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:18

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:13-14‬

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:17-18‬

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬

Dear friend, permit me to be the one who comes beside you, encouraging you and reminding you that this season of waiting has purpose in Gods hands. He is not holding out on you but waits that He may be gracious to you. I’m learning to treasure the work that He is doing in me much more than what I’m expecting Him to do for me and I’m confident that He who didn’t withhold His son but gave Him up freely, would not withhold anything good from me.

Like the songwriter says: “ Even when I don’t see it, You’re working, even when I don’t feel it, You’re working, You never stop, You never stop working…..”. Cheer up!! He’s working on your behalf and His thoughts concerning you are good and not evil to give you a future and an expected end so WAIT WELL.

Let me know in the comments how I can pray for you.

Love & blessings ❤️

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