Much has been written and spoken about waiting, particularly from a Christian perspective. As we go through trials, or dry seasons, we’re told to wait on God. We’re told that God’s timing is not our timing and that His is perfect. We’re told that His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We’re reminded that He is always moving, always working behind the scenes on our behalf. We know that patience is in fact, a virtue and that the Bible is replete with stories of good coming to those who wait (and not so good to those who don’t). Despite all these reminders and encouragements…these truths, Tom Petty is right when he tells us “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” (those under 30 may not get that)!
You see, we still at times find ourselves struggling to live out these truths in a way that conveys trust and faith. We want to see evidence of His workings. We look across a dessert in hopes of seeing a shrub or tree…some indication that the pool of water we seek is really out there. We want some visible sign that tells us we really are moving closer to whatever it is we’re waiting for, yearning for…perhaps even crying out for. Let me share two points with you that may be occurring during this dessert time:
God doesn’t seem to be moving: Wait…What? Didn’t you just say God’s always moving? Yes that’s right He is, but perhaps not in ways that He’s ready for you to see. He may be working on others that are a part of His plan for you; preparing them and speaking to them to play their part in His story for you. God very often uses others to play a part in the story He has for you. If He were to move you forward before these other players were in place and prepared, the outcome could go very wrong. Read the book of Esther and see how God had to place her (and the other key players) in the right place at just the right time, so their parts in the story could have maximum impact.
God doesn’t seem to be moving: Um, didn’t you just cover that? Yes, but this time, we’re talking about you, not the others in your story. God may well not be moving you, because you’re not ready to be moved. “Oh yes I am” you say. I know you’ve said that because I’ve said it. But God is always working in us and on us. I’m sure Abraham felt he was ready to be a dad, long before God fulfilled that desire. Why did God wait so long? Perhaps He was still refining Abraham; Maybe Abraham’s parenting skills weren’t up to snuff…He needed time to read more books on parenting! I don’t know exactly why, but we know the outcome was far beyond what Abraham could have hoped or imagined…an Ephesians 3:20 delivery on the promise to be sure!
So, take heart. Whether your wait is 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years, God knows what He’s doing. He sees your suffering and He truly has your best interest at heart. Trust Him that the refining, the cultivating and the moving of the players into position, really is all happening…right now. Your role in this season may be to wait in the wings for your queue to step in and play your part. Read Isaiah 40:28-31. Read it like you mean it, and renew your hope in the Lord for 2017.