I need to be a bit transparent here. The season of waiting on God that I’ve been in for a very, very long time is talking a toll. I’m finding myself working at times to push things that I can’t really move. Other times I find myself trying to command things and situations that truly belong to God. Things I can’t really control.
Sometimes I feel pressure to make these things happen because of months on the calendar passing by. Occasionally, I feel burdened to push things along because I don’t want to let people down.
The burden and the pressure of not letting others down aren’t even due to any outside influence. Not because someone said or did something. It’s all self-imposed. Maybe you can relate…
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Waiting, But not Well
I’ve a tendency to punish myself to no end. That’s particularly true when I feel like I’m not performing to some usually imagined but sometimes real measure or goal. In this case, it’s a non-existent deadline that I can’t even pinpoint.
It feels like Moses in the desert at year 37. Or did he feel this way at just year 7? He didn’t know if it would be 1 more year or 40 when God would make His next move, and that’s the point.
This is Kingdom work in a nutshell: God is in control, even when I think I am, and I am not God.
Of course, it’s not always bad to feel a burden to achieve, but it can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it helps to ward off my other tendency of laziness. On another hand, if my calendar is empty, I stuff it with tasks. Is that you, too? Over committing to a lot of things and not getting many of them done well is something I continue to learn about.
Waiting on God
Then there’s the part where God frequently tells His children to just wait. Oh, I’m terrible at that, but it’s getting painfully better!
Scripture gives us more examples than I have room to unpack in one post. There’s the obvious waiting of Moses in the desert, and again with Israel in the desert. We have Joseph in Egypt, kings of the Old Testament that waited for deliverance from this enemy and that, captives who waited for generations to return to their homes, and David who anguished in Psalms over waiting. Creation itself has been waiting for things to be made right with God’s promise of a new Heaven and Earth.
Waiting seems to be a big part of following God. I don’t know about you, but I’m learning and re-learning that difficult lesson. I also admit that it’s most difficult when I’m the one trying to control things.
What we need to understand though is how we wait is what’s most important.
I’m writing to those of you who, like me, are in a season of waiting on God, to all of you who will soon be waiting on Him and may not yet know it, and to all of you who might not do that so well. In other words, this is dedicated to you!
Learning to Wait Well
Waiting on God can be most difficult. There are moments when faith abounds and you just know the Lord will move any minute now, and then there are times when you wonder if He has forgotten. By the way, it never hurts to know when and how to keep your eyes on the Lord.
Be assured, He hasn’t lost you in the crowd. He still knows who you are, where you’re at, and what you’re waiting for.
Regardless of that encouragement, I’ll be the first to agree with you that there are certain moments that can suck the air right out of you. This is when places like Psalm 25 become oxygen for your heart and soul. Spend some time in that chapter reading and re-reading it and experience that for yourself. For even more encouragement, you could also check out these 10 verses on new life.
“Waiting is no waste in God’s economy.” David goes on to encourage us saying, “It is in the delays and the pauses, and in becoming aware of our lack of patience, that he works to save us from self-reliance and revitalize our faith and hope in him.”
That totally reminds me of another thing that I’ve come to realize in waiting. That is, when it’s a specific thing you’re praying and waiting for, sometimes it’s not the object of your prayer or that need that you’re really waiting for. It wouldn’t surprise me if more often than not what God is answering your prayer with is more of His presence.
I’ll try to explain
I’ve been in prayer and waiting for 12 months for a specific thing that only God can provide. I and my colleagues have tried to push here and there and we each arrive, apart from each other, at the same conclusion. There truly is nothing we or anyone else can do to move this along. We can’t do anything but wait on God!
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
As we approach what feels like may be the final hour before God moves, I’m learning new ways of what it means to be content in Him and in His timing. He’s showing me that the actual answer to this prayer isn’t the physical thing we need, but spiritual: more fellowship with Him.
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My Soul Waits for God Alone
The reality is when we’re Kingdom focused and setting out to do Kingdom things, the battle is the Lord’s. He alone says who, when, where, and what.
Waiting on God is like King David in Psalm 62. You’ll have to wait well beyond that place where you cry out, “My soul, wait thou only upon God!”
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62:1
After that, I don’t know what more God will do in your waiting. I just know that there are deep things to be learned in these seasons of waiting on Him. If there weren’t, then why would the Bible be so full of God’s people waiting and waiting?
It’s also unlikely that God would frustrate you or me with periods of waiting for no reason. Meaningless is just not one of His attributes! I think about Joseph in Egypt. A lot of good came from his waiting. Or about Jesus, who waited 30 years to begin his time of ministry. The perfect time. What if one thing was not “just right?”
“Even in the regenerate man there is no power of goodness in himself: he has and can have nothing that he does not each moment receive; and waiting on God is just as indispensable, and must be just as continuous and unbroken, as the breathing that maintains his natural life.” Andrew Murray, 1828-1917