Oh Lord, I know you have a plan for me. For us. For this.
Battling waves of frustration, I wait. Oh Jesus, if you say your promises hold firm, why does it seem like they vanish in the thick of when I need them the most? For years, I sat in unfaithfulness waiting for a faithful God to show up and spent so much time wishing that I could trust in God when my story laid completely unfinished. Don’t we all? I grieved the loss of hopes and dreams and I grieved the loss of trusting in a faithful God when I was once again left hanging. There is essential groundwork for God's abundant goodness and we must not take it lightly, as I was doing.
When does waiting NOT feel like a burden? Exhausted prayers, weary knees, and a diligent countdown for a simple “Yes” from our Jesus. These seasons force us to face our deepest insecurities in a raw, honest way.
In my frustration, I find myself throwing so many questions at God, “Why?” “When?” “How?” and so forth. God doesn’t owe us any sort of explanation, but in some twisted and sinful way, we believe He does.
So the true question that decides the tone of our waiting is, “Is Jesus trustworthy?” My Bible tells me He is and so do fancy-looking faith magazines, but do I truly believe in my heart that He is?
Sweet friend, there is nothing more true. There is sweetness in His sometimes-hidden grace and yes, He is trustworthy even in those foggy seasons, too. In our desperate need for deliverance, He delivers, just maybe not in the way we thought He would.
Tick tock on the clock. I think we are all waiting for something, aren’t we? Maybe you are waiting for answers from a medical scan, maybe you are waiting for your dream job, a relationship to be healed, waiting for the blessing of a child, a financial breakthrough, or maybe you are waiting for healing. The list could go on and on and on. Whatever it may be that you are waiting for, I know it is frustrating and grueling. In fact, I am in the thick of the waiting room right now for an answer and man, it is hard! And crazy enough, our lives, as followers of Jesus, require an immense amount of waiting and trusting!
I was sitting on my bed last night in my time with the Lord and one phrase kept coming to my mind, “My absolute best for you requires much time and preparation. Time on my clock, not yours.” That is NOT what I wanted to hear, Lord! Have you heard this quiet voice in you, too?
Sometimes I think God’s clock is off… sometimes I feel like the second hand is really the hour hand and so forth. Not sure about you, but running on God’s clock feels much like running a marathon. If God is all-powerful, why would it take THIS MUCH time for Him to complete His promise? That is a question I have wrestled over for as long as I can remember. I have waited for desperate healing in health situations and relationships, I have waited to move overseas for missionary work, I have waited for wonderful jobs that God has provided, and the list could go on and on and on. Waiting is actually the best thing for us. The Word of God proves that to be true over and over again.
I always come back to the story of Abraham. If anyone was a waiting expert, Abraham would be the guy for the job! We see the promise so clearly in front of us that God would give him countless descendants. He was growing older and older and still, not one single child. A barren wife with no direction at hand questioning the faithfulness of God. Talk about a waiting room! The promise of God is evident to us, yet couldn’t be seen or understood by them in the thick of the moment. In hindsight, after reading the passage, we can see how God was working behind the scenes. Don’t you wish that a book could be written for us that tells us what God was doing behind the scenes in the thick of our pain and frustration?
Genesis 17: 1-22 says,
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” When He had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
I don’t think we will ever truly understand why it takes so long for all the puzzle pieces to fit together or for the answers to be answered that we so desperately ask Jesus for.
Sweet friend, above all else, it is essential that we trust our sovereign Jesus. Knowing that in all things, He is faithful in every single moment— easy seasons and hard. Even when we don’t see any movement on His side of the promise, there is always movement that we can do on ours to bring Him glory through the waiting. The waiting room, though frustrating, is not actually a bad place to be. In fact, we find that it is one of the most fruitful places that we can be.
Oh Lord, take me deeper through my waiting. Take me deeper through the process of quitting my job and moving 10 hours away to another state with my husband. Take me deeper through the process of pursuing missionary work. Take me deeper, Jesus. Deeper than my feet could ever wander. It is only you that I desire.
We have made such a terrible mistake. Our hurried hearts search for God in shallow ways when all we want to do is get out. When are we ever going to learn to soak in these precious, yet tough, seasons of life? When are we ever going to use these seasons to not just lean on God, but lean into Him?
Are you in the waiting room, too? My goodness, sweet friend, don’t just sit there! You will end up in a hard and desperate place with no way to be set free. Be intentional. Wait with eyes that are focusing on Jesus instead of your circumstance. Go out to coffee with a friend. Volunteer at a church. Start a Bible study with your neighbors. Whatever being “intentional” looks like in your own life, pursue those things faithfully. They will keep you from drowning.
But really, deep down, do we want Jesus or just the answer?
In this season of waiting, let’s change the words of our prayers. Not necessarily praying for the answers alone, but thanking God for His sufficiency and sovereignty in our lives. Thanking Him for His never-ending grace and deliverance when we are hurting. Though we feel like the aimless Israelites in the desert sometimes, we are never truly lost when we are following the Savior, though the path He sometimes chooses for us is nothing short of a cause for confusion.
Waiting is a holy assignment. Are you ready to take it on? Are you laying the groundwork for God's abundant goodness?
Oh Lord, I know you have a plan for me. For us. For this.