When God says ‘wait’
You know what I really love? Being made to wait.
– Said no one, ever.
Yet, one thing is certain. In this life, you will wait. You will wait for the bus. You will wait for that pay cheque. You will wait for that career move. You will wait for what you want. Sometimes days, sometimes months, sometimes even years. And at some point it will frustrate you. But eventually, you will get tired of being frustrated. And you will seek to understand why it is necessary to wait. In this moment you may even cease from idly watching the clock and grasp how to find peace in the waiting season. Maybe, just maybe that moment could begin now.
“Just wait” – the unofficial swearword, (along with “not now”, “later” and “we need to talk”). There’s just something about waiting that riles up our flesh and stirs our emotions. But with the knowledge that waiting is one of the inevitable features of life and won’t be going away anytime-ever, we might aswell sit tight and enjoy the ride, right?
So as Christians why do we wait and what can we learn whilst sitting in the waiting room?
1. Waiting teaches us patience
Think back to something you had to wait a long time for. Maybe it was your licence, a car. That last exam. The day you would finally graduate. Whatever it may have been, when we’re made to wait a long time, there often comes a turning point when you accept that there is a time for everything and thus you have no choice but to learn patience. As we mature, we find that it’s no longer acceptable to throw all our toys out of the pram when things don’t go our way, or as quickly as we would have hoped. That’s what childhood was there for; to get all those hissy fits and melodramatic monologues out of your system.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – 1 Corinthians 13:11
When a hungry baby cries it is not because they are experiencing any physical pain so to speak, but simply because they lack the patience to understand that food prep takes time. Now that you are an adult, I dare you to try turning on the waterworks because the Nando’s queue is long. I promise you, it won’t be a pretty sight.streaming Life 2017 movie
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
Sometimes, we are made to wait simply to learn patience and often times, we won’t get past that test until we begin to embrace the refining fire, and exchange our old habits for the fruits of the Spirit.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. – Ecclesiastes 7:8
You may feel like God has had you on hold for a minute. It’s not that He is mad at you, on the contrary, God, your Father is lovingly teaching you, refining you and preparing you for what is to come. In doing so, when that thing you have patiently waited for arrives, you will be able to enjoy it all the better with a more mature and wise mind, lacking nothing.
2. We often value more, the things we had to wait for
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a mother or a father. Maybe you are. If you were to give your child everything they wanted, exactly when they wanted it, what do you think would happen to that child? No matter how “good” of a Christian you may be, give a man or a woman everything they want as they want it and watch as gratitude withers away with every gift. As humans, if we get something easily we often let go just as easily.
To assume that we can get everything we want as and when we ask, would be selling ourselves a dream. Furthermore, you’d only be setting yourself up for continual disappointment. Nobody likes a spoilt brat. God is not a genie. Neither is He your magic lamp. The sooner we begin to understand this, the sooner we can learn how to wait well and consequently value the harvest the more when it comes into fullness. We all know the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Simply put, nothing great came easy.
So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. – Galatians 6:9Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
It’s the principle of delayed gratification. Seed time and harvest. Seed t-i-m-e (the waiting season) and harvest. I believe Joyce Meyer put it wonderfully in an article titled “When God’s Timing Is Taking Too Long”:
“Between seedtime and harvest comes a time of waiting. After a seed is planted, the heat, moisture and pressure of the ground finally cause the outer hull to crack open. Then roots shoot down, digging their way through the ground. It takes time for this to happen, and it takes place underground. Above the ground, you can’t tell anything is happening. That’s the way our lives are. After we plant seeds of obedience, we feel like nothing is happening, but all kinds of things are happening inside where we can’t see. And like the seed that finally bursts through the ground with a beautiful green shoot, our seeds of obedience finally break forth into a beautiful manifestation of God in our lives.”
It may be painful waiting, but if it means that much to you, the reward will always be worth the wait.
3. Waiting reveals the true nature of your heart
You want to see the reality of someone’s character? Make them wait – long, for something they really want.
How do you behave when you are made to wait? How does what you say change? Go from 0-100 real quick?
Next to pressure, plenty and lack, I’m convinced that waiting has to be one of the most powerful revealers of character.
As Christians, many of us will wake up, bless the Lord for a new day, read our Bible, meditate, play 1-2 worship songs and then get caught in traffic and turn into the spawn of the devil on the morning commute.
Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold–gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away–and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:7
Whilst you’re in that waiting season, take a good look at your heart. Don’t grumble like the Israelites did whilst they were being directed to their blessing. Vow to become better in the midst of your waiting. Pass the test. Repent and ask God to renew your heart and mind. It is possible to wait and have peace.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3
4. Waiting reminds us that God’s timing is sovereignly perfect
If you ever feel like you’re the only person on earth being made to wait, consider this;
- God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. He was 75 at the time. It wasn’t until Abraham was aged 100 that Isaac was born.
- At 17 Joseph was sold into slavery. For two years he was imprisoned. At 30 he was promoted by Pharaoh.
- Job’s servants were slaughtered. He lost all his possessions, his children and his livelihood. It wasn’t until the last chapter in the book that God restored Job two-fold.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. – Job 42:10
Once we journey through the waiting season, we find God in all the details and the bigger picture. The more we journey with God, the more deeply we discover that He knew what He was doing all along and that His timing is always perfect. Not a moment too soon, nor a moment too late.
5. It is through waiting that we learn contentment
Sometime last year, I cried out to God about a strong desire of my heart which I had dreamt of for years. Probably one of the biggest things I have had to wait on God for. I recall growing weary and fighting bitterness as I witnessed my friends live out the same opportunity, one by one. Honestly, in-between fighting to genuinely celebrate others and consoling myself, I began to consider that maybe I would never see this answered prayer. For a moment, I felt forgotten. Now frustrated and fidgety, I had longed for the opportunity for so long that I didn’t consider the idea that maybe I wasn’t yet ready? Maybe the wait was actually necessary and for my own protection. That day in July I hit a brick wall during worship. I’ll never forget what happened next. All of a sudden, God spoke and planted a word in me so strong that I fell to my knees crying. As He began to speak I hurriedly jotted everything down in my journal. The heart of the message can be summarised with this one scripture:
“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” – Phillipians 4:11-12
Looking back, I wasn’t ready for what I was praying for. I was miserable, ungrateful for what I did have and incredibly discontent with my present. It wasn’t the right term for that specific harvest. Yes, I would have been happy but with the bad “give-me-everything-now” attitude I had developed, it would only have been momentary. Furthermore, I needed to first be rooted in the love of Christ lest my love for that opportunity turn into an idol.
For so long I had subconciously put a pause on my happiness saying to myself “I will be happy when so and so is in place…” and we often do this. Why not start being happy now?
You don’t have to have a rough plane ride on the way to your dream destination. Journey well. Ask God to show you how to be content in your current phase of life. That way, when the blessing comes, your contentment will be firmly grounded in Christ.
6. Waiting develops your dependency on God
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
We learn to trust God when we pass through seasons that require our waiting. As God continues to prove His faithfulness, we begin to let go of any confidence we had placed in ourselves, and gradually we place our trust in Him, almost by instinct. Looking at it like this, it is easy to see how timing plays an important part in learning to trust God. If He did everything we asked for immediately, we would never grow up as Christians.
With experience comes wisdom and a positively renewed reaction to difficult seasons;
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phillipians 4:6-7
Recently, following the tragic death of Dr. Myles and Ruth Monroe, their son, Chairo said something exceptionally poignant and profound which I believe is relevant here;
“God may not explain Himself but He will reveal Himself.”
Time often reveals truth. Time enables us to come to understand what is His good and perfect will. Time shows us the character of God whilst encouraging us to examine our own. So don’t rush the perfecting. It hurts, but don’t fight the pruning. It’s been a long road, but don’t abort the journey.
If you can just hold on a little longer, see Jesus a little clearer, it would amaze you what’s on the other side of your waiting.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18