My original title was “Lady in Waiting”, but I began to consider that there may be men as well as women who read this, and waiting is a universal right of passage.
I don’t consider myself to have been a good “wait-er” up until this point. I don’t know if it is being part of the so-called “Microwave Generation” that I don’t like to wait. Or maybe I missed out on the fundamentals of life in the area of patience when I was growing up. Or maybe it’s just a timeless struggle of humanity, to want something and figure out our own solution as to how to get it, versus waiting on God.
We can’t pay money to pass through appointed times. When God has established a time of waiting, the price we pay is having faith and letting it work through the way of patience.
To the one who doesn’t believe in God or really desire to follow Him and please Him, this topic is probably pointless. When you’re the god of your own life, you call the shots, create your destiny and do what you perceive necessary to accomplish whatever goal is in front of you. I’ve been there, and I can look back at every time I have felt the need to wait but I didn’t, some kind of damage came.
Followers of Christ, though, have received precious promises to live out the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Living in the divine nature involves acknowledging God has a master plan for us and our surroundings that involves times and seasons.
Esther was declared to be “born for such a time as this” when she was divinely placed in a position of authority in a kingdom that was about to attack the Jewish people.
Even Jesus had an appointed time to come, a period of waiting. He didn’t just show up one day unexpectedly; God prepared the way for His purpose and appearance by declaring His plans.
Thinking about history, (His story), there are loads of examples of God speaking promises and then there being a period of time until the promise appeared.
Joseph- Personally, my favorite example of what waiting looks like. His waiting wasn’t pretty at all, but it was purposeful. Every step, even the ones that seemed to move him backwards, were actually divine placements that eventually landed him in a position of power in a kingdom that had the resources to feed nations during a famine. Oh, that we would have the perspective Joseph had when facing the countless trials. He was continually an obedient servant, no matter his predicament.
Sarah- She quit waiting on the hope that she would bear children for Abraham, and offered her servant Hagar to have a child for him. This wasn’t God’s plan, for when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, God declared specifically that Ishmael was not the covenant son He had in mind and that Sarah was still a part of His plan to birth a nation. Sarah later laughed when she was told this, but God still delivered on the promise. May we have the eyes to see and the faith to believe that God can still do the impossible. Instead of laughing at the promise as if it’s a dream, may we hold on to it and trust the God who gave it.
These are just two accounts; and just as we can read stories in the bible of God’s promises coming to pass, we have them around us, possess the testimony within us, and are living the process out right now.
Some of us have had God speak promises to us in the secret place. Like Joseph, we might have told some of our closest people, who, in turn laughed. But like Joseph, don’t doubt what God said. Continue to be faithful and remember the dream no matter where you are.
Some of us had bold declarations spoken over us publicly and we end up going through the pit soon after. It doesn’t mean God’s didn’t mean what he said. We have to contend for the faith and war over the prophecies spoken- both individually and corporately. This is when we have to see what cannot be seen.
The manifestation sometimes hangs in the balance of faith. God is looking for people who will believe him.
I’m challenged with this topic and with faith to see the unseen, but I’m ready to create new history with God. Some of us have had more exciting seasons in the past than we’re having now. We used to see prayers answered more often. Faith was easy. Prayer was intimate. But something has come in the way. Perhaps disappointment. Perhaps doubt.
But as I have been quiet before God listening about waiting, I wanted to share with you a few things I perceived on learning to be one who waits well. A lot of it deals with battling disappointment and cynicism.
Remember that He hears you. When we are in the process of believing God to open doors, bring healing, bring a spouse, etc., there’s the tendency to quit praying after the first, second, or third time. We think He has quit hearing us. Sometimes He just wants to see if we really believe. It’s easy to believe for a day, but what about a month, or a year? Will we have the same faith as we did at first? He wants us to remember that He hears our prayers. He’s listening. He never sleeps or slumbers.
John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.
Psalm 121:4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Believe with ALL your heart. This is another area that can weaken our patience. We may not always believe with all of our heart. When we only believe with a fraction of our heart, the other parts are left uncovered, left to search for other answers, other options, and hold other beliefs. There are warnings about being divided, that we should not expect to receive anything from God when we’re divided (James 1:7-8). We must gather up our whole heart, and bind it up to God’s promises and fight the good fight of unwavering faith. Again, God wants to know if we really believe. – And this faith workout is for our own good.
Align yourself with God and your prayers. One thing I’ve begun praying about recently is being a better steward of my finances. As I’ve prayed, I’ve experienced conviction of areas I need to change. In these moments I have the choice to align myself with the direction God is leading me as an answer to my prayers, showing that I’m serious about what I’m praying about; or, I can ignore the conviction and keep praying for God to help me with my finances not getting very far, because I’m not responding to his initial instruction. Just think of in life, when someone asks for help and you give them a solution, but they don’t do anything with it. Then they come back a week later, asking for help again, still not doing what you told them to do last week. That’s what it’s like when we pray but then don’t do what we’re lead to do.
Sometimes the first steps to an answered prayer are nothing like we expected to hear. In 2 Kings 5, there’s a perfect example of this. Naaman was a commander in the army of the King of Arman. He had leprosy and had heard of a way for him to be healed in Israel. Elisha overheard the commotion of a man seeking to be healed and said, “Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
If you’re in waiting, perhaps look back and see if you can remember any instructions or leadings that you didn’t respond to. Repent if necessary, and obey the last instruction you can remember. He’s a good father and is not going to give us a snake when we ask for food, but He is also a wise father, and a loving one, who is willing to discipline us, for our own benefit.
Remember his past faithfulness. This is something that can help us remember that He does hear us. If you’re currently believing for some specifics, look back to be encouraged of the times of His faithfulness before. Thank Him for his hearing you and answering you and meditate on this truth that He is aware of your need. But beware of cynicism. It can make you call miracles coincidences and not keep you from recognizing that it truly was God answering your prayers. I love this short blog with practical tips on fighting ”spiritual amnesia” : https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/remember-his-goodness
Remember, HE will finish the good work He started in you. (Philippians 1:6) Trust your life and your promises in His good, good, hands and in his fulfillment power. If He was the one who started the work in you, don’t think He’s just turned you loose to wander this life apart from Him, expecting you to finish well on your own. So as you’re waiting, partner with Him in the process. Don’t lose sight of His goodness and believe it will come to pass.
For the One reading this who is actively and faithfully waiting, I ask that you continue to reveal your goodness and your plan as they keep their eyes set on you. I also pray that their life is full as they wait and that they tarry well, living life in the midst of their waiting. Send them nuggets of confirmation that they’re on the right path and that they’ve made the right decision. Don’t let them get discouraged or impatient and may they see the thing they are waiting for.
For the One who has given up on waiting. How I can relate with them. Forgive them for their impatience and possible ignorance. I thank you God that your gifts and callings are without repentance and that You are faithful, even when we are not. I thank you that Your mercies are new every morning and that it is your desire to give good gifts to those You love. May they be comforted as they’re reminded that they are well loved by you. I pray that they have the mental clarity to pick their promise up again; I bind confusion that has come through doubting. I pray strength over their heart that they can carry the promise again, with Holy Spirit in them, and renewed boldness and vitality to believe again.
For the One who has never sought to believe you, for whatever reason. I pray You heal any wound that has caused them to be afraid of You. I pray You would enlighten their understanding that they may know You, and I pray that their eyes be opened to interpret what Your promises are for them, both generally and specifically. I thank You that Your perfect love casts out all fear and that in You we are complete. Thank you for this One who is deciding today to begin to make history with you.
May we continue writing history with you, having new stories to share and tell. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the author and the finisher of our faith, and the One who’s coming we look forward to. May we live our lives well in the remembrance of eternity.
– Janelle Bush