In today’s world, we tend not to be very good at waiting. Standing in line for more than a few minutes or so can very easily annoy us. Sometimes, we lack the patience to wait until next week’s episode of the awesome new TV show we’ve got ourselves hooked on. Waiting is frustrating.
Even more frustrating is waiting on God. Trust me, I know. I’ve been waiting almost three years for God to heal me from a second bout of a chronic illness that I first had when I was just 16. I’ve been waiting about 15 years for God to send me the man who will become my husband. I’m currently waiting on God to bring a dream to fruition that He placed in my heart a couple of months ago that I didn’t even want but came to accept and rejoice in, only to have what I thought was an open door slam in my face. Waiting is HARD.
I complain to Him about it often. I cry about how unfair it is that everyone around me seems to be getting their hopes, prayers and dreams answered when I don’t. I get anxious about whether God is punishing me for something. Sometimes I shut him out altogether because I just get so cross that he seems to want to make me wait so long. People keep telling me that having to wait builds character and develops patience. But after 15 years (and counting) of waiting for a husband while everyone around me seems to be getting married and having babies, I feel that I’ve developed enough character and patience to last me a lifetime!
But recently I’ve been learning that, while it’s ok to feel like that from time to time, I also need to think about how I can best use this waiting period. I need to allow God to teach me to trust in Him completely and whole-heartedly. I need to allow God to show me how to rest in and be at peace with His perfect timing. I need to allow God to prepare me for the challenges that will almost certainly come through having my dreams realised. And yes, I need to allow Him to continue to build my character and develop my patience as much as HE feels I need!
While listening to the Rick Warren sermons online (you may have learnt by now that I find these super helpful and inspiring!), I’ve been learning about how God doesn’t make you wait for the sake of it. He delays things by design. For a purpose. It’s not that He’s forgotten or forsaken me. He just wants me to trust that He has the absolutely best plan for my life and that His timings are flawless.
I’m not saying that waiting on God won’t still be hard. I think it will always be difficult and frustrating and unnerving. But I want to make better choices about how I respond to the waiting period. I want to get to know Him more and give all my worries and frustrations about the waiting to Him so that I can focus on receiving His love and grace.