I often think about Abraham. God told him that his descendants would be as many as the stars of the sky, and then had him wait 25 years before Isaac was born. God had the prophet Samuel anoint David as king of Israel, years before he actually became king. Joseph had his first prophetic dream as a teenager, before fulfillment in his adulthood. Why does God do that? Do you ever wonder why God makes you wait?
You may have some answers, and there are some you may not realize.
The wait is about our spiritual development
No doubt, the wait is about faith, which is the heart of worship. God wants us to depend on and trust Him while He paves the way. Paul says “without faith it is impossible to please God.” During the wait, God is building our faith in Him. He also wants us to give Him the glory for our accomplishments so that we will honor Him with our work. He wants you to seek Him and build a permanent and powerful relationship with Him. He wants you to take your mind off the fortunes that you are waiting for, and place it on Him. Paul also says, “but if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Waiting therefore builds our hope in God.
The wait is about our personal development
God wants to build character in us. He wants to teach us lessons of patience and obedience. If there is anything that can test us, expose us, punish and polish us, it’s waiting. In addition, God uses the waiting period to prune weaknesses that we have. We may deny our shortcomings, but God knows them and wants us to transform. If you are not working on them, then you may have a little longer time to wait. Consider, what is most difficult for you during the wait, pride, impatience, greed, lust, fear, laziness? That is exactly what God is working on. Ask yourself, “What weaknesses do I need to work on during the wait?” The spiritual wait is not just about granting our requests, it’s about fitting us for heaven.
Attached to our weaknesses are unfavorable choices of our past. If God has you waiting, He is giving you time to recover from the past.
Sometimes God is waiting on us
Speaking of the past, be careful not to linger in the shriveled pastures of the past. Is it possible that while you think you are waiting on God; God is the one who is waiting on you? Is it possible, He’s been waiting on you for years and years, to leave the past, forgive yourself and others. Since we are so human, selfish and prideful, it takes us a while to overcome our human nature, surrender and accept God’s transforming grace. We seek grace and we often pray for forgiveness, but many people have not genuinely accepted either, because grace ALWAYS transform those with whom it has a personal encounter. God is working to eradicate our weaknesses. He is working on surrender, discipline and discipleship.Total surrender is the first step to understanding and accepting the wait. God may be waiting on your surrender.
The people of Israel pleaded for deliverance for so many years. Moses, the deliverer was born, but spent 80 years of his life before he began the mission. Then the people came to the mouth of the Promised Land, being fearful and doubtful, they had to wait an additional 40 years before they could enter. If we are not ready to receive our fortunes, then what use is it if God grants our requests? God may just be putting gold into our hands for us to dump into the sea. God may just be waiting on you to humble yourself before Him, make some changes in your life, or take a step of faith. Ask yourself, “What is God trying to teach me during the wait?” This is an ideal way to start understanding the wait.
Sometimes God’s waiting on timing
Whenever I think of God’s timing, I often think about the story of Esther. When Haman wanted to kill the Jews, Mordecai made a powerful statement that made Esther realize that she became queen for “such a time as this.” God knows the right time and His wisdom orchestrates the events of this world. Sometimes the wait is about the events and sequence of our world. God knows when to set up kings, or remove kings. The waiting issue is not just about you, it’s about others too. Since we don’t live in isolation, whatever you are waiting for is a part of God’s holistic plan.
Sometimes God brings it to pass, ready or not.
In this case, I think about the birth of Jesus, there were people waiting to see the fulfillment of the messiah. When it happened, they knew God fulfilled His promise. However, many were still in doubt and even today some are still waiting for the Messiah. Beware, that God has already answered your prayer, but not in the way you expect. Sometimes we lay out the conditions for our wait and the conditions for the answer. Therefore, consider, did He already send you an answer that you are overlooking or choose to overlook? Is the answer right in front of you? God’s answer is not always our ideal. Are you waiting for the fortune God already gave to you?
It is important to examine your personal life, so that you can understand why God has you waiting. Some reasons you can detect for yourself and some, only God knows. Waiting is not a bad thing. It’s difficult because we live in a soiled world, in horrible and depressing circumstances. It’s difficult because we want to progress and we want to have what others have. We want to move ahead, accomplish big things on our schedule and our conditions, but God wants to mold us. The spiritual wait is not about the wait, as it is about the molding. The spiritual wait is preparing us for the Kingdom, already prepared and waiting for us. You may want to consider being grateful for the wait so that God can mold you first. Then be grateful for the wait because only a God like our God can grant you exactly what is best for you, the best time for you to have it.
Lamentations 3: 24- 26 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.
Conduct a self analysis and inquiry into your life. Thank God for the wait and ask Him not to let you miss the molding during the wait. It would be terrible to wait many miserable years with no growth or transformation.
Hebrews 11: 6, Romans 8: 25 (NIV)
See other posts in the series:
Pillars of Patience: Understanding the Wait Problem
You Can Wait the Graceful Wait
Finding Strength for the Wait: 2 Bedrocks of Patience
Get Involved: How to Support and Strengthen Yourself While you Wait
Video: The Graceful Wait