I suppose that’s not actually true. Sometimes I have no alternative but to WAIT! But what I can’t do is wait…PATIENTLY!!! Yes, I am terrible at waiting, at least for a lot of things. Of course, I can wait as long as you want me to to have a shot or to pay my taxes or to go on that much needed diet. But you know what I mean!
I was the child who got ants in her pants when Oct. 1 hit. Couldn’t stand waiting for Halloween and Trick-or-Treating. Then, soon as that was over I realized I had 2 WHOLE MONTHS to have to wait for Christmas! I suppose most kids are like that, but (unfortunately) some of us still carry that difficulty of waiting into our adult years.
But whether you wait well or (like me) you wait impatiently, waiting is just a part of life. In fact, it seems we are forever waiting on something:
*When we are kids, we can’t wait till we’re teenagers
*When we get to be a teenager, we can’t wait till we are 16 so we can drive
*Then we can’t wait till we graduate and go off to college where we think we’ll be free to do whatever we want without our parents around
*then we wait on that first job, marriage, a house, and kids
Those are all GOOD things to wait on. But sometimes there are NOT SO GOOD things we have to wait on like:
*the results of medical tests
*if our loved one will be healed
*if our kids will turn out OK even after taking a few slight detours
*the promotion we’ve worked so hard for but others are wanting too
*if we can pay all the bills at the end of the month etc., etc., etc.
IT’S JUST NOT ALWAYS EASY TO WAIT.
We want what we want when we want it. Our culture has taught us to hate waiting. After all, we have fast-food restaurants, 2 day delivery with Amazon Prime, texts and emails vs hand-written letters; and then there is instant coffee, instant grits, instant oatmeal. All those things might make our lives somewhat easier and less hectic but there are just times we can’t get instant gratification.
I recently read an article that really resonated with me…so much so I printed it out. I am going to reference this article in my post but if you want to read the original it can be found HERE. The author is Kay Harms and I hope she won’t mind me using some of her thoughts. She has a lovely blog DRESSED FOR MY DAY.
NOTE: I write about everything and anything…from my grandkids to decorating for the holidays to bargain shopping and anything else that tickles my fancy. Some of my posts (like the last one) will also be centered around my Christian faith…and I make no apologies for that😊
AM I THE ONLY ONE?
First of all, the Bible is filled with stories of people who had to wait…and wait…and wait…and wait….
*Abraham and Sarah had to wait for many years to have the son God promised them
*Noah waited for around 75 years for the rains to come (it took a l-o-n-g time to build that ARK!)
*Hannah had to wait until she was 70 yrs. old (and after much praying) to have her son Samuel
*Joseph waited 13 years after being sold by his brothers to be rescued by God
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WAITING?
The Bible has at least 100 verses that deal with waiting and how we should wait:
*Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.
*Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.
*Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
SO HOW DO WE CULTIVATE THE ART OF WAITING WELL?
1.Take our hands off and truly trust God to work.
In my last post I commented that when we truly trust God we take ourselves out of the center of whatever dilemma or crisis we are going through. It’s the same with waiting. We wait well when we completely LET GO and relinquish the work to God. THAT CAN BE SO VERY DIFFICULT FOR SOME OF US…but it’s not impossible.
Harms wrote: “To completely take my hands off of something that I am waiting for God to do, I change my prayers. I stop asking God to do something or worse yet, telling Him what to do, and I start thanking Him for working. I pray something like, “Thank you, Lord, for working this out for me. I trust that you are doing what is best in your perfect timing.”
That really resonated with me. God is NOT like a microwave oven. He doesn’t just zap something into being because I want it. Sometimes I have to wait for the answer I want; sometimes that answer I want never comes; but I’m learning to “trust” that no matter what…God is in control and He is working for me in ways I may never realize. And that’s where FAITH comes in…and patience.
2.Do what only we can do while letting God do what He can do.
While we are waiting, there are things we can do…if we want that job promotion, we can work a little harder to show our boss we are worthy of it; if we want our bodies to be healed we can follow dr.’s orders, take our medicines, get rest, etc.; if we are on the outs with a family member or friend, we can go to them and try to work it out (maybe even ask for needed forgiveness). But at some point, we have to LET GO AND LET GOD. We pray, we trust, and we thank God for working in the situation…even while we are waiting.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
3.Keep a positive attitude.
That’s not an easy one either. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when you’re in that deep, dark valley waiting to be able to move up to the mountaintop again. “The enemy of our soul wants to use our times of waiting to plant seeds of doubt and distrust in God. But we are wise to resist the enemy and steadily plant the truth of God’s word in our hearts.” We must learn to WAIT WITH GOD, knowing that He is working on our behalf.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:28
4.Remind ourselves of God’s past faithfulness and His past answer to prayer.
I wish that through the years I had kept a journal of all my prayer requests along with the answers I received. I feel sure there would be some blank spaces in the “received” column…some may remain blank forever; some may be yet to come. But I am very sure that there would be more in the “answered” column that I can even imagine. While we wait, we should reflect on all of God’s goodness and all the times He has been faithful to us, whether our season of waiting is a short one or a long one.
“God is always doing something even when I can’t tell what it is. I’ve learned to be watchful for the hidden activity of God.”
---The Praying Woman
I imagine I will still be impatient in my seasons of waiting; it’s a part of my DNA I’m sorry to admit. But I will be working on this and while I’m working I know GOD WILL BE WAITING ON ME with a smile on His face, pushing me along as I slowly but steadily cultivate the art of waiting well WITH HIM BY MY SIDE.
Lord, I know you’re a good God, but the truth is that I’m tired of waiting. I know YOU have the perfect answer. I trust YOU have the perfect solution. But waiting for the moment YOU decreed is tough. Please be with me as I wait. Le me see YOU as I never have before. Help me to trust YOU and see YOU in new ways. Prepare my heart, Lord, as I wait. Help me cling to YOU as I wait. Please Lord, let your peace rule in my heart. Help me live by your grace each day of this waiting. And help me bring YOU glory as I wait expectantly.