Doesn’t it sound like an oxymoron? I mean, who likes to wait? I find myself getting anxious and discontent when I am sitting in the waiting room for my doctors appointment and it is already 5 minutes past my initial appointment time.
We are a people who do not like to wait. Heck, we even have apps where we can pre-order our vanilla lattes from Starbucks just so we don’t have to wait in line when we pick it up. We live in a fast-paced society that thrives on instant…anything!
So, obviously when we hear the term “waiting well” it would sound foreign and even impossible for us to accomplish in our lives.
There comes a point for each of us when we will face the inevitable… a longer waiting season than waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, or in the bathroom line during halftime at the NBA finals game.
These longer seasons are hard. Whether it is waiting for that next job opportunity, wondering how you are going to provide for your family, waiting for the college acceptance letter to your dream school… Or going through numerous pregnancy tests, waiting for one to show up positive… Or waiting for a broken family to be restored again. These waiting seasons bring a lot of pain and heartache. Sometimes even a lot of tears. We question God and wonder if He will ever fulfill His promises in our lives. It is our human nature to feel frustrated and anxious because we lack control over our circumstances. You see, when we are waiting for something it seems that someone else is disrupting our progress. We cry out like David did in Psalm 13:1-2, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?”
How many times have you cried out, “How long, O Lord? How long am I going to have to wait?”
I have to imagine you even feel forgotten sometimes. I know I certainly have. You feel angry and rejected by God. You feel confused because you haven’t gotten any answers. But beloved friend, I am here to encourage you to take heart because there is always hope with our Almighty God. He is doing a work inside of us that cannot be accomplished any other way except to endure the waiting season.
Charles Stanley said, “waiting on God is one of the most difficult lessons you and I will ever learn.” I have to agree with him, but it is in this season where God wants to cultivate in us a character of praise, patience, and peace. It is when we embrace the growing pains and let God do His work in us that we begin to find ourselves waiting well on God.
During seasons of waiting, here are 5 things to remember that will help encourage you to wait well on God.
1. God is always on time
While it seems that God is delaying according to our timelines, we need to understand that God is never late. We try to limit an infinite God to our time schedule, but He is outside the realm of time. So, God may require us to wait because what we are praying for may not be ready. You see, God is orchestrating so much in the unseen. He is moving people around and changing circumstances to get things in place to answer your request right on time. We need to trust and patiently wait for His perfect timing. Kent Crockett said, “The Lord is more concerned about you receiving His best than about how quickly you can get it.” Let’s rejoice and praise God for preparing His best for us.
2. Wait actively
Waiting is just downright hard. But it is in these seasons where we can choose to grow or retreat. God is trying to grow you exactly where you are. God is establishing a deep root system in us during this time of waiting. Don’t passively wait through this season but choose to grow through it by accepting the assignment God has for you today. Ask Him in prayer to reveal the purpose of this waiting season and what He wants you to be focusing on. God wants to see us be faithful with the portion He has already given us.
3. God withholds no good thing
Psalm 84:11 says, “The Lord God is a sun and a shield. He bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” I came across this bible verse in a season of waiting. It took an incredible amount of strength to believe it but the more I claimed it over my life the more I began to see a heart change. I have learned that if God is withholding something, perhaps, it is not a good thing (at least for right now). Our God longs to give us good gifts, that is in His nature. So, while it may seem that God is withholding something from us, we need to lean not on our own understanding, but trust in His wisdom and timing. We must surrender our limited knowledge and trust in our infinite God.
4. God wants an intimate relationship with His children
In my season of waiting, I have learned that God will allure us into the wilderness just to get our attention. He longs and desires to have an intimate and loving relationship with His children. Sometimes He will delay answering our prayers in order to keep our eyes and heart focused on Him. God wants us to seek Him, so He allows a yearning to surface in our lives. He delays so that our search for Him would grow more deeply. Eventually, God becomes more important to us than the original need. It is God that satisfies the longing of our hearts in a way we could have never imagined. We tend to get too focused on the gifts rather than the Giver of the gifts, our Lord God. He is teaching us to rely solely upon Him. So, keep seeking Him in this season of waiting.
5. God values persistence and perseverance
You may be tired of waiting but I am encouraging you to take heart and not lose hope. God delights in us when we keep on seeking, keep on asking, and keep on knocking. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” The key is to not give up! God isn’t just randomly making us wait. There is purpose in these seasons. Remember, He is working out the answers we seek in the unseen. Our persistence reveals the depth of our desires and burdens. So, be that persistent knocker seeking God and taking your requests to Him. We honor the Lord by persistently praying. He desires to have us trust Him enough to continue praying even if we have prayed about something countless times.
He is teaching us to rely solely upon Him. So, keep seeking Him in this season of waiting.
Kelsey Adam is a wife, author, and follower of Christ. She loves people well and is an expert at bringing shy people out of their shells. Currently she and her husband Jason are students at the Kanakuk Institute.