I am waiting. I am waiting for God to confirm the next steps. I am waiting for God to show up in a mighty way. I am waiting for my calling to unfold, for His really big promises to be fulfilled. I am waiting because that is what He has asked me to do, and it’s hard. I know all His promises are yes and amen, but how long does it take to get to a place where I am able to say yes and amen to all His promises?
I am waiting. How about you? Have you been waiting for promises to unfold—for God to come through?
Here’s a question – What does waiting even mean? I often feel like when we “wait” for God, we just kind of sit around, idle, not doing much because we want to experience some significant revolution or an overwhelming flood of emotion, but what if that’s not what God knows we need? Do you think God suddenly stops using you to influence those around you in waiting seasons? When did we get the idea that we could just sit around a wallow in our frustrations that God hasn’t “come through” yet? I’ve done this one too many times and missed out on a lot of things God wanted to do through me in the waiting. Take my advice, and don’t miss out – I wonder where I could be, where you could be, if we hadn’t stalled God’s work in the waiting. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of prolonging the waiting because I’m too stubborn for too long to grow through it. God doesn’t prolong seasons of waiting or grief or anything like that because He doesn’t love us but because we haven’t done the work necessary to grow enough to get out of those painful places! God does not like to see His children in pain, but He lets us walk through those places because growth and faith are unequivocally important to our walk in this life! 20 years from now, it won’t hurt as bad, but the growth you experienced will have pushed you farther than imaginable if you hadn’t walked through the waiting and the pain. Abraham waited for more of his life than he experienced his destiny, but how great a destiny was being formed in the years he waited! His waiting influencde us – you never know how pressing in to the waiting season could affect someone else. Plus, you can bet on growth in the waiting if you press in; don’t just sit idle, hoping God will appear in a pillar of fire to tell you what to do. He has appeared that way before, but you best be knowing Moses wasn’t just sitting idle for the decades of waiting leading up to God showing up in the desert like that.
Even knowing all of this, I often find myself frustrated in seasons of waiting instead of embracing them as an opportunity to grow in intimacy with the Lord. Brian Johnson, one of the worship pastors at Bethel, said something to the tune of: Abraham waited, Moses waited, Jesus waited… if you are waiting, you’re in good company.
You know who else waited? King David. David was anointed when he was a young teenager, and he spent years and years running and hiding and waiting to step into the kingship he had been anointed with so long ago. Even as David is running from a man desiring to kill him, he is reaching out to God, pressing in, calling out in desperation. And through it all, he is intentionally screaming out the truth of God’s character. As he was waiting for breakthrough, David said this: “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)
David was waiting for breakthrough, and so am I – maybe you are too. You know what David did about it? Instead of wallowing in misery, he cried out to the only One who could remedy his seemingly impossible situation, but he didn’t end any of his prayers with desperation – he ended them with praise. If you are looking for breakthrough in your season of waiting, praise and thanksgiving are key. Even if the breakthrough doesn’t come as quickly as you want, I promise your attitude towards, not just your waiting-situation, but every situation will change for the better because you will be living in a mindset of thankfulness. It’s hard to wallow when you’re really thankful and living a life of praise.
And, here’s the thing that we often don’t realize—waiting is good. I know, shocking. Waiting is actual a good thing. C.S. Lewis chimes into this waiting conversation with this:
“I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.”
That being said, can you find the good in your waiting? (Or, here’s an idea, are you waiting on God or are you avoiding a calling He’s already placed on your life – persisting the waiting yourself?)
I’ve learned something very valuable about waiting – I often find God to be most tangible in my life when I’m pursuing His presence in the midst of the unknown. I find the greatest communion with God when I’m clinging to Him because I don’t know what’s next or where to go. He is my only plan. I think God uses the waiting to eliminate our other options. We become completely reliant on Him when we aren’t sure of the next step, and we can’t rely on other people to tell us. He begins allowing things to slip out of our grasp that we rely on. Not because He is punishing us but because when we rely too heavily on the things of this world, they (naturally) collapse. You’re waiting—for that job, that relationship, those friends—fill in the blank. Or maybe you don’t even know what it is you’re waiting for, but God has said there’s something coming, and so you’re just waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
It’s hard! Waiting is hard, especially when it’s induced by circumstances that are less than ideal, like losing a job, a friend, or a relationship. Not only do you have to grieve, you have to wait in the midst of your grief, and that can make the waiting even worse. Intentionally pressing into God as you wait and grieve—it’s difficult. Sometimes, you, and I, want an answer right now. But God says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts… And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Knowing this, here’s a thought – what if I started saying yes and amen in the waiting, knowing He is faithful and just to fulfill all His promises? That is a completely upside-down way to approach waiting. When you look at the world, people don’t wait. If you have any part of your life unplanned or left up to something other than yourself, you’re supposed to freak out because that means your life is over and you’ve ruined everything… from a worldly perspective. People don’t just wait. The Bible counters this concept with Psalm 37:7: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” God will provide, and I think we’re all too familiar with thinking God won’t come through. It’s funny though, because every time I’ve waited on Him, every time He’s said He would provide, He has come through. And when I’ve tried to take over His job, I do not have the track record He does – in fact, I’m pretty sure I always end up in a really frustrating place when I try to take control from the only One who can handle it.
He has come through, He has come through, He has come through.
“Your promise still stands, great is your faithfulness, faithfulness. I’m still in Your hands, this is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet.” (Elevation Worship)
What if we actually trusted God? Because when we trust God to come through, He always does, and then “our faith becomes experiential knowledge” (Jordan Verner), and that is how our spiritual journeys develop. When we rely on God, He doesn’t just say, “I’m going to be faithful.” He actually is faithful. He actually does come through. He practices what He preaches.
I’ve come to a point where I’ve seen too many miracles, heard too many testimonies, and lived too much life to ever say God is not faithful. God is faithful, but instead of trying to take over your uncertain situation, wait. Wait. Because the waiting, struggling, letting yourself be unsure, will put you in a place of vulnerability with God. And I promise, He will come through because, as the lovely Tammy McOmber says, “He loves us because He loves us because He loves us”.
Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing
Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun
(This song by Bethel is a perfect summary of what it looks like to wait – I would encourage you to meditate on it – Take Courage)