I prayed until my knees were raw. Day after day, week after week and months led to years and the wait never seemed to end.
I imagine you’ve experienced a time when you have had to wait on God too. Maybe your going through one of those times right now.
Your heart longs for:
- A job.
- A child.
- A restored relationship.
- A spouse.
- A home.
- A ___________.
But one of the problems with long waits is that too often we fall for the enemy’s “what if” taunts.
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 prayed and waited and waited and prayed more times than I can count. Some situations were easier than others. Some of those times we waited well and other times not so much.
Thankfully, God’s patience with us doesn’t depend on our ability to wait on Him.
When God makes you wait, He will always meet every need in His perfect timing. I believe He always has and I trust He always will.
I will admit, however; that through our experiences, I have learned a few things about waiting on God. Some from my ridiculously bad behavior . . . so, let me start with some of the things NOT to do when you have to wait on God.
4 Things to Avoid When God Makes You Wait
- Don’t Panic – I’ve let fear whisper never and tell me that God’s wait is a no. But the truth is, God is able to give us what we need today. With His help, we can embrace His powerful hard to understand peace and trust His perfect timing.
- Don’t Pout – I don’t know about you but I’ve been known to throw a good pouting pity party when I don’t get my way and it isn’t pretty! And pouting never changed a thing; it just made me miserable and it made the people around me miserable, too!
- Don’t Plot – After I’ve panicked and pouted . . . I have on occasion started to plot and strategize. Also known as, impatiently manipulating and forcing the circumstances to get what I want.
- Don’t be a Pitiful Promiser – And if none of that worked, I’d take my self-pity up a notch and add all kinds of “promises” to try to get God to end my waiting. The problem was it was all about my will . . . not His!
Unfortunately, the end result of all my panicking, pouting, plotting, and pitiful promises rarely if ever turned out well. Living outside of God’s will and timing rarely does. Stubbornly fighting for our own selfish desires is never a plan for long-term peace and joy . . . and it also makes us unpleasant to live with and ruins our witness.
Whew! There has to be a better way to live when God makes you wait.
I love this quote by Wayne Stiles in his book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing.
“Waiting is a very active part of living. Waiting on God, if we do it correctly, is anything but passive. Waiting works its way out in very deliberate actions, very intentionally searching the Scriptures and praying, intense moments of humility, and self-realization of our finiteness. With the waiting comes learning. I can’t think of much I’ve learned that’s positive from the times I’ve plowed ahead without waiting on God.”
Helpful Things that will Bless You When God Makes You Wait
1. Be still and know – Don’t doubt. Don’t listen to the enemy’s what-ifs and nevers, but keep trusting . . . completely surrendered to the One who is working everything for good in His children’s lives.
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 willing and faithful – Do what God wants you to do today. Serve Him. Help and encourage others. When you and I are busy helping others, we automatically spend less time thinking about ourselves. It can encourage us to know we’re not the only ones going through s difficult time and encourages them to our faith, hope, love, peace, and joy when we could be whiny, cranky, and pouty.
3. Be prepared and expect further orders – Keep growing in faith and live with hope. You and I are eternal people. This is not the end. It’s never the end. God has promised to guide us and give us the courage, strength, and patience we need each day while we endure the wait.
Happy are those who listen to me, watching at my door every day, waiting at my open doorway.Proverbs 8:34
4. Be patiently focused on the good and lovely – This is the hardest one for me. So, I do my best to limit the amount of time I allow myself to be anxious and 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 intentionally make every effort to focus on my blessings.) That is how I named my site Counting My Blessings. I was going through a very painful time and needed a specific way to hold myself accountable to focusing on the good things God was doing in my life … even in the midst of the pain.
Give “sadness appointments” a try and let me know how it goes for you.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8
5. Be attentive and listen for God’s voice – Read God’s Word and learn His promises. Let Him hold you close and remind you of His love for you. Let Him encourage you with hope and give you His peace.
A huge event God used to help me heal during the painful time I mentioned above, was the moment when He quietly whispered to my heart, “you have no idea how I’ve protected you.” I was flattened. What I thought was the worst God had used to protect me from what He knew really was the worst.
He promises that He will never leave, that He will hold us and give us everything we need each day.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.John 14:16, Isaiah 41:10, and Luke 12:31
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.
6. Be a Prayer Warrior – P.R.A.Y = Praise. Repent. Ask. And Yield!
Praise and thank God for who He is and all He does. Repent of your panic, pouting, plotting, and pitiful promises. Ask Him to graciously meet this need as He has done so often in the past. And then Yield . . . remember He loves you and it’s His desire to work all things for your good and His glory. Pray and surrender your circumstances to Him in faith.
Like Jesus, you can pray…
“Father, Not my will, but Yours be done.” Amen.
And tell Him you trust His plans for you.
I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
I’ll admit it’s not easy. No, I’ll admit . . . it’s really hard.
But it’s best. It’s God’s best. And I want God’s best, don’t you?
Because His best for us includes teaching us that we can lean into Him in faith, trusting His perfect will and promises. And sometimes that means making us wait.
And finally, I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon:
If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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