Have you ever waited on something so long that you wondered if God forgot about you?
I’ve never been one to wait well, but there was one time in my life that was especially trying my patience. It was several years after my divorce and I was a new woman. I had spent years in counseling, women’s groups, and in God’s presence, and could truly call myself renewed. It was glorious and I felt ready to venture into the treacherous waters of dating again.
After all my hard work, I foolishly figured finding a mate who loved the Lord the way I did would be easy. There are Christians everywhere, right?
Wrong! I found myself on dates with one ‘Christian’ toad after another. It was discouraging.
I remember one day crying out to my friend in frustration, “If God has what’s best for me, where is he?”
And what she said slapped me right out of my pity party.
She said, “Kris, maybe it isn’t about you. Maybe God’s still getting him ready”
Wow, that was a thought that never occurred to me.
I soon snapped out of my “When, God, when” whine and realized that when God is ready, He will move. The scripture that grounded me was Psalm 84:11: “For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”
Waiting can be an enormous test of patience. At some point we all find ourselves waiting. Whether we are longing for a prayer to be answered or a justice to be served, waiting on God is an inevitable part of life.
As frustrating as waiting on Him can be, our goal shouldn’t just be to get our prayers answered, but to grow in faith while we wait.
Here are two types of waiting on God that will only keep you lingering longer.
Aggressive waiters are quick to respond, slow to listen. The Apostle Peter would be an example of this type of waiting. Whether speaking before he thinks, jumping off of boats, or contradicting Jesus, Peter thought he knew the way. Peter was a man of great faith, but his ‘fire, ready, aim’ technique landed him in trouble on more than one occasion. If you are an aggressive waiter you likely feel stressed, overwhelmed, and under-accomplished. Continuing to get ahead of God will likely create bondages in your life, as your soul is ruling, not your spirit
Passive waiters are often eager to listen but slow to take action. Abraham is a good example of a passive waiter. Instead of allowing God’s timing for the promised son to prevail, Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands. On the surface this may seem like the aggressive waiter, but the problem was that Sarah was more aggressive and Abraham was too passive to speak against her plan and for God’s. His patterns repeated as he stood back allowing Ishmael to be cast out and Lot to call the shots because his passivity couldn’t tolerate confrontation. Passive waiting can result in laziness and confusion. Continuing to pray but not act will likely lead to missed opportunities.
Both types of waiting can keep you stuck in God’s waiting room longer than you’d like.
If you want your way out of the waiting room as fast as possible, you’ll want to follow this type of waiting.
Active waiters have just the right balance of peace and purpose. They are like soldiers ready for their next marching orders. Jesus was our master example of active waiting on God. He said, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.” John 12:49
Jesus waited with expectancy for what the Father was saying to him. He was sensitive to listen and quick to take action. He didn’t contemplate, vacillate, or deliberate. Rather, he was quick to activate. That’s the way we should model our lives. We are called to do what we know to do and trust God for the rest. When you are an active waiter, peace and relief comfort you like a warm, fuzzy blanket. To remain a steadfast soldier, grow in sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and in the courage to respond to His words.
Waiting is to be expected in life. Some of the greatest people in the Bible had to wait for God’s promise to come to pass.
My friend was right. If God wanted someone in my life, he would be there. I didn’t know what God was doing, maybe he was preparing me, perhaps preparing him. Whatever it was, it was for my good.
But God did show up in my waiting room and brought me the man he had for me at just the right time. But more than that, my time in God’s waiting room took me to new levels of faith and prepared me for what He’s now doing in my life. I wouldn’t change that time for anything.
Will you trust him in the waiting room?
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Hi, I’m Kris.
As a Christian speaker, I teach the practical steps for renewing your mind, growing in faith and discovering your God-given purpose to help you live an abundant and joyful life.
I know this 5-day Devotional Email Series will be a huge step in faith.