What Are You Waiting For?
How waiting on God can be a blessing.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 NKJV)
What are you waiting on God for? An answer to prayer? Provision? A breakthrough? Healing? Whatever it is, waiting is an unavoidable part of life. It’s therefore not a matter of if we wait, but a question of how do we wait?
"Waiting on God is not a passive thing."
I was recently faced with an intense season of waiting on God which was filled with uncertainty, rollercoaster emotions, hard choices, challenges, and in the end life-changing breakthrough. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that waiting on God is not a passive thing. It actually requires us to partner with God and press into all that He has for us in our time of waiting.
I found that it’s not simply about passing time until God drops an answer into our lap, writes it in the sky or gives us what we want (as ideal as that may seem). He wants to bless us in the waiting, give us joy and bring us life, and that in itself could actually be greater than the thing we are waiting for.
As more time passed, I felt disappointed and frustrated that my prayers didn’t seem to be availing much (or there was no writing in the sky and nothing dropping into my lap). But I had become so focussed on what I was asking for that I lost focus of the One I was asking. I was seeking God’s hand before His face, and He showed me (lovingly, of course) that in making the request my goal, I was striving to be ahead which caused me to completely miss what He had placed around me. God began to challenge me: “Seek Me in your waiting. Trust me with the rest. Let me prove my faithfulness to you.” Did I know how long I would wait? No. Could I see or understand what God was doing? No. So what happened? God did what He said He would. And also radically transformed my heart, strengthened my character and taught me to trust Him.
"Though we may not have control over when we receive the answer we’re waiting for, we do have control over the attitude we maintain in the time of waiting."
I followed His lead and began to embrace where I was and press into all He had for me in the waiting. He promises to those who seek Him that they will find Him. And I found God to be closer than ever.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” (Lamentations 3:25 NKJV)
Waiting on God presents us with a choice. Though we may not have control over when we receive the answer we’re waiting for, we do have control over the attitude we maintain in the time of waiting. We can choose disappointment or hope. This choice can determine whether a season of waiting becomes an empty time, or one of immense growth and intimacy with God.
Living in disappointment can create a victim mindset where we think, “God is withholding good from me... This isn’t fair... If only...” Disappointment steals our joy, causing us to miss God’s blessings in the time of waiting. We can end up grieving what we do not have instead of celebrating what we do have. In the times that I chose disappointment, I felt distant from God and life seemed empty and painful.
"His timing really is perfect, whether we understand it or not."
Hope, however, is a beautiful thing. Hope looks expectantly to what is to come, anticipating not just when God will move (or write in the sky) but it also turns our attention towards what He wants to do in our hearts while we wait. Disappointment narrows our focus to ourselves, whereas hope directs our attention to God. This is when we learn to trust Him because we see that He is so much bigger, more powerful and sovereign - even when it’s painful, when we do not understand and cannot see.
We know that life doesn’t always happen the way we expect. My waiting felt pointless and endless. But when I chose to hope and began seeking God first, He blessed, healed and restored beyond what I ever thought possible. That filled me with immeasurable joy worth so much more than the thing I was originally contending for. God was faithful as He promised, and He provided. But that wasn't the source of my joy. He was.
Looking back, I would not want that time of waiting to have been any shorter, because I wouldn’t have learned all that I did or experienced God in the same way. His timing really is perfect, whether we understand it or not. God is, after all, the One who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask, think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I never asked or expected God to bring restoration and healing, but that was part of His better plan. What does He have for you? Sometimes what God has for us in the waiting can actually be greater than the thing we are waiting for.
"And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” (Psalm 39:7 NKJV)