waitThat’s a four-letter word.  I don’t like it.  Waiting isn’t an easy thing to do when you see the goal you want to reach.  Being still and patient takes a lot of discipline.  I haven’t always been good a waiting.

So what’s up with waiting?  Is it a game that God plays with us?

Many thoughts go through you mind when you are put on hold. Believe me…I  have been in many holding patterns during my lifetime.  In the end, after that waiting has passed and I look back on it I see why I had to wait.  Instead of doing what I thought should be done I usually see how it was better that God worked it out HIS way instead of mine.  I’m sure He gets a good laugh from my plans.

I still don’t like waiting and I never will.

Psalm 27:14 tells us to “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

I can love that verse and quote it all day long unless I’m having to live it.   I have to remind myself of past times of waiting.  I also have to caution myself about making things happen or trying to take matters into my own hands.  Hopefully I have learned how I have either messed up or delayed things longer.   Sometimes you just have to do the hard things to get to the end.

I always quote the Apostle Tom Petty (I’m kidding of course) when he sang “The waiting is the hardest part.”   There is no way to describe the feeling when the wait is over and your answer has come.  In our time of instant communication, instant food and instant conveniences, we are not always capable of having a good attitude when we are forced to wait.

In case you wondered, I am in a position where I am waiting.  My wife and I both are trying to keep positive during this time of waiting.  I may not show it but I have a lot of mental hand wringing going on in my mind about the situation.  It is a situation where I have absolutely no control and all we can do about it is wait.   It’s in these times I try to remind myself of past experiences.  He’s the same God.  We don’t know what He’s doing or why He’s doing it but obviously there is a reason for it.  My feeling right now is that it has to do with timing.  This situation is also dependent upon other people and God isn’t going to force them to do what they don’t want to do.  Pieces have to be moved around and timing is crucial.

You know I would love just to know what’s going on.  I think that’s what makes waiting so hard.  We don’t see what’s going on or how much longer we have to wait.   I suppose that’s why He’s God and I’m not.

I’m sure Job would have liked to know when his suffering was going to end.  I know that Joseph would have liked to know he would eventually be released from prison.  These guys didn’t have the luxury of knowing the whole story like we do now when we read about them in the Bible.  They simply continued trusting God and believing that He would come through for them.

So I wait.  I wonder what will happen next.  Will we reach the goal or will it be changed to something else?  The unknown is scary.  Having no control over the situation makes me anxious but I take heart and only do what I can do.  That’s all we can do when we are waiting.

If you are waiting on something and feeling anxious, hang in there.  Don’t forget to remind yourself of past experiences when God came through for you.  It’s so easy to focus on what we need now and not what God has done before.   What He has done before helps our faith for what we are going through now.

I never like the waiting part but somehow it always works out.

There Is A God And I Ain’t Him

It’s hard to wait on God to do something.  You pray the prayers and engage your faith yet you wait.  I don’t know about you but I’m not any good at waiting.  

I have even found myself telling God how He could get something done.  Yeah, I’m sure He had a good laugh at that one.  I had a pastor once that liked to say that there is a God and we ain’t Him.  It’s funny how we can forget that little fact.  

I’m good at figuring things out for God but the truth is that I have no clue and I’m certainly not God.  For me, it’s hard not being in control.  The waiting and seeing nothing change is quite frustrating.  It’s like you see where you want to be and simply want to get from Point A to Point B.  

God doesn’t work like that.  

If there is one thing I think I have learned in time I have had to wait on God is that He has his own timing and ways in answering prayers.  It is evident that to answer prayer which involves people that God won’t force people to do things.  There is still that wildcard of free will.  This is where some times where God has to work in His mysterious ways. The dynamics of everything working together can get quite complicated.  

So I’m still waiting.  What can I possibly do while I’m waiting?

  1. Accept it.  There’s nothing I can do to change it.  Even if I did I could make it worse.  The best I can do is be where I am now. 
  2. Keep the faith.  Faith can waver. Some days it’s really strong and other days it needs a little boost.  What helps me is to look back when God has helped in the past.  
  3. Be thankful.  Instead of constantly asking and repeating my petition it is good to be thankful on how I got to this point.  Being thankful actually strengthens your faith. 
  4. Be ready.  Look for the answer and be ready when God opens the door.  

It’s hard not being in control but it’s better to let God do His job.  Nothing surprises God and it’s certain you would never hear him say “Oops”.  He knows what He is doing.  

Another good thing about God is even if we get in the way and mess things up, God can still take our mess and work it out. Of course, it could delay things but He’s still able to work it out.  

Do I like waiting?  Heck no.  I see the answer but there is no way to it yet.  I have to keep calm and not stress out about it.  It’s a delicate balance.  I have also reminded myself of times past when I thought I knew the plan but it turned out differently but later saw how it worked out like it should.  

Yeah, I think I’m going to let God do His thing and try to stay out His way.  

Do You Have A “Wait” Problem?

waitIn this instant credit, microwave age that we live in, it is difficult for us to wait. If we see it, we want it. If there’s a problem, we want a solution immediately. We get spoiled with any expectation where we have to wait on the things we want. Unlike the world, God  doesn’t work in the same way. Everything is on His timetable, not ours. As shocking as it might seem, the world doesn’t revolve around us, it revolves around Him and His purposes.

The ability to wait and maintain patience is so vital in our lives. We are told that the trying of our faith exercises our patience (James 1:3). Much like our muscles. You can’t build your muscles unless you exercise them. If you resort to being a couch potato, your muscles will never develop to their full potential. The same is true for our individual lives. Without the trials of life, we can never fully develop our faith in God. If God gave us everything we asked for immediately upon our requests, He wouldn’t be much of a God. We wouldn’t see Him as our eternal father but like a genie in a bottle who we bring out whenever we need to ask for something. The sad thing is that many times we don’t have a relationship with God until we are in need and have nowhere else to turn.

James 1:4 tells us to “let patience have her perfect work”. The word “her” injected into this verse could relate to a woman who is carrying a child. Although she may want to give birth after six months, in order for the baby to fully mature, she must wait expectantly until the full term. This tells us that waiting well is good for us. Patience will have a place in our experience to mature us and increase our wisdom in life. If you want to find consistency in your life, you have to be good at waiting. It will never be easy but you can recognize that waiting is something that is good for you and not something that you should look upon with dread.

I’m sure you have realized by now that you can’t force God to answer your prayers. Nothing you can say or bargain will forcibly move God on your behalf.  He’s not looking to make any deals with you.  When He moves and answers, He does it out of His love for you. Nothing else.  You don’t have a monopoly on God. This also means that we can’t make God move any faster in answering us than He is willing. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that He sees the future and He knows the whole picture. We only have a portion of the big picture. We are not able to understand how the portion we have will fit into His plan. We aren’t given that information. He will only give us that knowledge on a need to know basis. He’s the one that determines that, not us. We deceive ourselves if we think we are so smart and have God figured out. Sometimes waiting is a part of that plan.

Does God make us wait just to mess with us?  It would seem that way but – no – He isn’t trying to punk us. If anything He does, He has our best interest in His heart. There are some who will rationalize that if God loved you that He wouldn’t leave you at your minimum wage job or driving a junker around town. Surely, if you are a Christian, He would bless you and you should have a big job with a fancy title and two of the latest model cars in your garage. Don’t fall into that thinking. The name-it-and-claim-it plan is not what God is all about. He is about developing you as a total person in His plan. Just because He doesn’t open up an opportunity for a better job doesn’t mean He isn’t using you where you are at. You can’t be promoted to something big until God can trust you with what you have now. (Luke 19:17). If you can’t be thankful in your minimum wage job, why would God promote you to making $50,000 a year? Would a quick promotion keep you in a relationship with God or would you be tempted to believe in your own abilities rather than God? God’s blessings on His children are not dependent upon our material possessions. Yes, God will favor you and bless you but you must prove trustworthy to Him and recognize the opportunities you have to serve Him were you are.

In 2014, my wife and I moved to Tampa, Florida because we thought that was going to be our place.  Shortly after our first month there, we knew that it wasn’t the right fit for us and we were looking to relocate.  It took two years to move from there and that time of waiting seemed like a decade.  I rode the bus to and from work everyday.  That ride was depressing but I held onto my faith that God would open a door for us to leave.  Some days it was difficult waiting especially those days when I saw nothing  happening.  One day that door opened and we were able to relocate to where we are now.  Although I may have been puzzled about God’s plans, He saw what was ahead and I was forced to wait. Was the waiting a waste? No, I can look back and see what His purpose was for me during that time.  Yes, it would have been nice to know it but it was a process I had to go through.  Today in my prayers I can point to that time in waiting as evidence that God can do anything at anytime He wants to do it.

Waiting requires that we stick with it and don’t give up.   The Bible urges us not to grow weary. Remember to “always pray and not faint” (Luke 18:1) and “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)  If we want to reap then we can’t let ourselves get weary.

Maybe today you are wondering why your life is in a holding pattern? Surely God could open a few doors for you. What is taking so long? When is it going to happen for you? Don’t be frustrated in the waiting. God is moving people and circumstances on your behalf. Trust in His timing. Don’t move until He has made the move. He is your tour guide for life. Don’t stray away from Him and do your own thing. Develop your ability to wait. Be good at waiting. God will reward you and your faith will be strengthened by it.