Waiting is a part of life. We wait for routine things like doctor’s appointments and to be checked out at the grocery , but we also wait on bigger items– life changing events like moving out on our own, getting a promotion, getting married, and starting a family. We even wait on non-tangible things: another person’s acceptance or forgiveness, a relationship to be reconciled, a friend or family member to receive salvation.
In any situation waiting can be less than desirable. We live in a culture that prefers instant gratification and therefore we don’t happily embrace the idea of having to wait for things. This can lead us to view waiting as a negative thing.
For me, the hardest thing about the waiting process is not knowing when it will end. How long will I have to wait? Weeks? Months? Years? You can never be sure. It can be difficult to fully embrace the present when the future seems more fulfilling.
Although it’s not a comfortable or desirable process it is crucial to our personal and spiritual growth. I’m speaking from experience. I’ve been unemployed and searching for a job; I’ve endured the process of getting over a heart-wrenching break-up. Like many of you, I’m currently wondering when specific God-given promises for my life will come to fruition. Through it all I’ve learned a lot about waiting and why it is good (though not easy).
Waiting Helps You Grow
Nothing changes for the better without being challenged. Waiting challenges us to forsake our own will and timing and trust God’s instead. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), but when we choose to trust Him (especially when we don’t understand his plan) we grow in our faith.
As we draw closer to God we become more dependent on his strength and peace to sustain us. When our hearts grow anxious in the process we’re reminded that our hope is not found in an unknown future, but in a known God.
“I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do enter your room, you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise.” – C.S. Lewis
Waiting has a Purpose
Life doesn’t start when you reach a certain goal. Life started the day you were born; abundant life the day you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. As believers we wait for the day when we will be reunited with Christ and spend eternity with Him. In the meantime what do we do? Sit at home as if our earthly lives have no purpose? No, we live – love others, share the gospel, raise families, start businesses, travel, and enjoy what God has placed in front of us. The same is true about any waiting period. You may not be where you want to be, but God has a purpose for you right where you are. You don’t have to wait until someday to impact the world, you can start right now.
Waiting isn’t Passive
The waiting period is for preparation. It’s not how long you wait, but what you do during the wait. Now is not the time to sit back and do nothing. Are you wanting a new job or promotion? What are you doing to develop the skills and experience needed? Do you desire to be married? Now is when God wants to prepare your heart to love another the way He loves you.
We should not waste the time we have today simply longing for tomorrow. Be faithful and fruitful where you are. Better yourself, pray, fall more in love with Jesus, and allow him to use your present circumstance to shape and equip you for what’s next.
Waiting on God isn’t easy but it’s necessary. I encourage you to stop enduring the wait and start embracing it. There is so much God wants to do in you and through during this time.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him – Psalm 37:4-7