I was in the self-checkout line today at the grocery store. All eight stations were full and there was one woman to attend to the constant demands of the shoppers’ requests.
When I kept getting an alert to remove the item from the bag before proceeding—and there was nowhere else to place the item—I tried to get this woman’s attention, to no avail. I got tired of waiting so I resorted to holding the particular item in my hand as I tried to ring and bag my remaining items. This happened six more items until I had no more room in my hands to hold anything, much less continue to check out. I was frustrated.
At that moment the woman finally came over and reset something on the register. The rest of my experience was a breeze. As I left, I felt convicted of how little patience I had in waiting just a few moments for her to address my problem.
When asked, most people would admit that they don’t wait well.
But may I challenge that?
I think we do wait well. Think of the last thing you wanted and waited for. Maybe it was in line to get into a sold-out concert. Or perhaps it was in the waiting room of an important doctor’s appointment. Or maybe it was just this morning at Starbucks. We wait well for things that are important to us.
So how is it that we can tolerate waiting for certain things, but not others?
One thing we have particular difficulty waiting for is God.
But isn’t He worth waiting for?
God really does want to answer your prayers. If your requests are being delayed, there is a good reason for it.
In Genesis 15, God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child in their old age. They received a promise right from the mouth of God, and even then they had no patience to wait for it. Thus, an Ishmeal was birthed. A son, yes, but not the promised son. Fortunately, the promised son did come to pass, but not without a lot of problems that could have been avoided if they had waited.
If you are in a season of uncertainty, and getting impatient with God’s timing, there are three truths to remember:
Truth #1. It will take as long as it takes.
I know this can be hard to hear, particularly if you are a go-getter. Most of us think, ‘There’s got to be something I can do,” but sometimes wait really just means wait. I don’t mean you should sit back and do nothing. Rather, simply focus on what you know to do and stop fretting over when the payoff is going to come. It will happen when it happens.
Truth #2. God will move when He sees that you are ready.
If it seems as if nothing is changing, God may be waiting on you. And if he’s waiting, it’s likely for one of these three reasons:
- He’s waiting for you to do the last thing He told you to do. Whatever it is, do it!
- He’s doing something IN you. We all want the promotion but do we have the character to keep us there? Whatever God wants to do it you, let Him.
- He’s engineering your circumstances. Sometimes, it’s not about you at all. There may be other moving parts that need to be in place. Trust me, you’ll want to wait for them to be orchestrated.
Truth #3. God is faithful.
I believe one of the reasons we struggle to trust God is because we can’t be trusted. We don’t love unconditionally, we don’t give sacrificially. We follow our feelings and when the feeling fades, we move on. Not God. God is not like us. His thoughts are above our thoughts, His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8). God can be trusted.
Whatever it is that you are in need of today, God knows, and it is His desire to answer your prayer. Will you remain faithful and trust Him? He’s worth the wait.
Want more? If you’re ready to grow in your faith, join us for a FREE 5 Day Mountain Moving Faith Devotional
Missed last week’s post? 3 Consequences of Not Waiting on God