It seems impossible to wait on God for years, while life’s waves knock you about. It seems impossible to have real calm while waiting upon God to answer a single prayer. It seems impossible to be graceful when you live in the war zone of our world. It seems impossible to be hopeful, when everyone is getting by and your moment of breakthrough is faraway. But, it is possible. Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Jeremiah 32: 37). Remember that you won’t endure the wait by your power, only through His.
So, what should you do while you wait? The best thing to do, is to get involved in the wait. As much as God encourages waiting, the spiritual wait is a choice. God commands it, but doesn’t demand it. Therefore, I hope you choose to wait. While you wait, instead of pouting and complaining about the wait, get busy.
Use Your Heart: Be Humble
Waiting on God with a graceful attitude first begins with the heart; accepting God’s grace, is the essence of the graceful wait. I’m sure that God has done great things for you. Be humble and accept the peace offering of grace given to you. He gives it without conditions. There is just grace. Wherever you messed up in your life, grace allows you to move on. As you move on, grace should also motivate you to change your lifestyle to match the principles of the Bible. Keep your heart out of the past, unless your heart is visiting the hill of Calvary. The past may have to do with your wait, but it has nothing to do with the expectancy. The spiritual wait is not because of your mistakes, it is because of your perfection. Why God wants us to wait, couldn’t be that He needs time; it is more so that we need time for Christian growth—the reward of the wait. Be hopeful, and know that God will answer in due season. Think of David, he was humble before the Lord, as much as he was a mighty warrior. He was kingly, even before he became king.
Use your Hands: Be Active
Whatever it is that you are waiting for will not come as a prepared dish on a platter. You need to do some ground work. God doesn’t need your help to grant you your wishes, but He needs your faith. If you are waiting for a baby, take care of your health; prepare your body. If you are waiting for an opportunity to showcase your talents, keep sharpening and sharing them with others. If you are waiting on a business opportunity, start planning for the business. If you are waiting for a spouse, start saving for the wedding. If you are waiting for a better marriage, start loving a little more. No matter what you are waiting for, ask yourself, “What can I do while I wait?” There has to be something positive and purposeful that you can do to generally contribute to society or to the fortune that you are waiting for. This will keep your mind off the wait and in purposeful work. Think about Joseph, if he didn’t explain the prisoners’ dream , he wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to explain pharaoh’s.
Use your Eyes: Be Expectant
I know we all have stretched our necks looking out for those fortunes. We keep looking to see if this is finally it, and we become disappointed. When it is time, God will let us know, all we need to do is expect it. In the meanwhile, keep your eyes in the word to nourish, support and sustain you, because the wait can leave you dehydrated of purpose and give you malnutrition from lack of fulfillment. Keep your eyes off people. Watching how quickly others are progressing, may cause feelings of inferiority, may build anxiety and may produce a shortened wait. Search the scriptures, find a verse that speaks to you and keep it where you can see it. Let me share mine. It’s found in Mark 11: 24 – 25, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” These are Jesus very own words, it has to be true. When I get down on my knees, I use them. Whenever doubt comes, I repeat them. Keep your eyes in the book of fortunes. Stop looking out for the fortunes, but expect to see them at the right time. Faith doesn’t see, but faith expects. Think of Abraham, he had never seen the land God was sending him to, but he expected to get there.
Use your Ears: Be Listening
God is always speaking. With your ears plugged by the many distractions around you, there is hardly time to hear the voice of God. In this noisy world, silence has become more than just golden. Beware of what you listen and who you listen to. Some people will definitely, cause you to lose your space in the line. “Don’t wait,” they will tell you, “I have something better.” But, with your eyes in the word and your ears perked up to heaven, you will hear what is appropriate from God. If you don’t know how to listen, Dr. Charles Stanley has some good tips about listening to God. Think about Samuel. Find some regular time to turn off all the noise around you, lay in bed and say, “speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Then, listen. If you fall asleep listening, that’s good. Keep listening until you hear what you need to hear about the fortunes you are waiting for.
Use your Mouth: Be Prayerful
I’m sure you have been praying, for weeks, months or even years, and it may seem that God is just not answering. Sometimes we pray, fast and plead for our fortunes. We pray so much that we even stop praying. It’s one thing to nag God for something. It’s another thing to diligently pour out your petitions before the Lord. God doesn’t expect us to ask once and that’s it. He wants us to diligently seek after Him first and then seek the fortunes. As you build the relationship, share your desires. Your answer to the question, “what motivates you to wait?” should be, “my relationship with God.” Prayer gives you strength when you are weak, use your mouth to talk to God. Think about Hannah, she was on her knees trembling in humility before the Lord in prayer, pleading for her fortunes. She even made a pledge as an act of faith and gratitude. Use your mouth to talk about God’s goodness more than you take about your hardships, misfortunes, or how long you’ve been waiting. Use your mouth to make pledges and promises that you PLAN to keep, it’s an act of faith. Use your mouth for praise.
Use your Mind: Be learning
Learn, imagine and explore. Learn about yourself, your fortune, your God, your world. There is so much to learn while you wait. Imagine all the possibilities of your fortunes, not because of who you are, but because of who God is. Explore the avenues that you can take to achieve your purpose in God. Find the instruments that elevate your mind upward toward God. Find the tools that build your mental capacity and develop your self-confidence. In addition, be mindful of those around you, encourage others in their wait. Think about Nehemiah, while he waited on God to open the doors so that he could re-build the walls of Jerusalem, he already had innovative ideas, to redeem the lost values and treasures of Israel.
Remember, everyone has to endure the spiritual wait. Get involved. Keep humble, keep active, keep expecting, keep listening, keep praying, and keep learning. This is the way to support and sustain yourself as God provides for you during the wait. Get involved and experience the graceful wait. In the end, the graceful wait with confidence and poise is the only way to honor and glorify God. You can enjoy the waiting room.
Proverbs 8: 34, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.”
See more in “The Wait Series.”