I’ve prayed and I’ve waited.
I’m guessing you have too.
- A job.
- A child.
- A restored relationship.
- A spouse.
- A home.
The problem with big waits is we start to ask “what if.”
What if I never get pregnant?
What if I never get hired?
What if I never get married?
What if I never get out of debt?
Rev and I have waited on God more often than I can count. Some times were easier than others. Some times we waited well, other times not so much.
Thankfully, God’s patience with me doesn’t depend on my ability to wait well. He always meets every need in His perfect timing. Always has and I trust He always will.
I have learned a few things about waiting. Some from ridiculously bad behavior . . . so, I’ll start with the things NOT to do while you’re waiting on God.
Don’ts for waiting when waiting is hard.
- Don’t Panic – I’ve let fear whisper never and tell me that God’s wait is a no. I’m learning to live this day with God’s help and embrace His powerful peace.
- Don’t Pout – I don’t know about you but I’ve been known to throw a good pity party and it isn’t pretty! Pouting has never changed a thing; it just made me miserable.
- Don’t Plot – After I’ve panicked and pouted . . . I plot and strategize. Also known as, manipulating things to get what I want.
- Don’t Plead – And if none of that worked, I would plead with God and beg Him to fix my circumstances. I tell Him my plans and beg Him to get on board and make them happen. Not His will . . . but mine!
The truth is this approach is ugly. It makes me difficult to live with . . . I don’t even like living with me.
And even when all my panic, pouting, plotting, and pleading got me what I wanted . . . it rarely if ever turned out well. Living outside of God’s will and timing is never a plan for long-term peace and joy.
Let me say that again…
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I believe there is a better way to wait on God. One based on this quote by Charles Spurgeon:
“Stand still” – keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”
Helpful Ways to Wait on God When You Don’t Want To
1. Stand still and upright – Don’t doubt. Don’t listen to what ifs and nevers, but keep trusting . . . completely surrendered to the One who is working everything for good.
God says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be praised in all the nations; I will be praised throughout the earth.” Psalm 46:10
2. Be ready for action – Do God’s will. Serve Him. Help others. There is always something to do and helping others will take your mind off your problems for a while. It will also glorify God as people see you surrendered during a difficult time.
“Be dressed, ready for service, and have your lamps shining.” Luke 12:35
3. Expect further orders – Be prepared. Live with hope. You and I are eternal people. This is not the end. It’s never the end. Trust God to guide you through this time of waiting.
Happy are those who listen to me, watching at my door every day, waiting at my open doorway. Proverbs 8:34
4. Be cheerful and patient– Determined to stay focused on positive things. Do everything you can to limit the amount of time your anxious or upset. I use something I like to call “sadness appointments.” (I set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to cry, cry out, and generally be miserable if I need it and then I choose to return to cheerfulness.)
But let everyone who trusts you be happy; let them sing glad songs forever. Protect those who love you and who are happy because of you. Psalm 5:11
5. Listen for God’s voice – Remember His promises. Let Him remind you of His love for you. Let Him encourage you with hope and give you His peace.
Tell me in the morning about Your love, because I trust You. Show me what I should do, because my prayers go up to You. Psalm 143:8
6. Go forward and PRAY – Praise. Repent. Ask. And Yield!
Praise God for who He is and all He does. Repent of your panic, pouting, and plotting. Ask Him to meet this need graciously as He has done so often in the past. And then Yield . . . remember He love you and wants all things to work for your good and His glory. Pray and surrender.
Not my will, but Yours, Lord. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5–6
I’ll admit it’s not easy. But it’s best. God’s best. And I want God’s best, don’t you?
His best for us includes molding us into who He wants us to be and sometimes that takes waiting.
Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.” ~John Ortberg
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