Inside: We have to wait in life and if we change our focus, we can wait and grow at the same time. There is hope for your wait if you trust God in the process!
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Two years ago, I wrote about waiting well in my life…and I thought I’d gotten the handle on what it means to wait patiently while God works behind the scene.
Can I be transparent and just tell you that I flunked that test. And the one after and the one after that…I know that I will fail the next one too.
The truth is, I want to scream and throw a great, big tantrum because honestly, I just don’t want to wait.
Are you nodding your head in agreement, friend?
Waiting is a Part of the Christian Life
Ugh, does it have to be so?!?
The fact of the matter is, it’s hard to wait in this culture of instant gratification.
We get disgruntled if the lines at Walmart are too long, if our Starbucks takes too long, or if the traffic is bumper to bumper.
But why is there this grumbling?
Honestly, as humans bound by the ever- ticking-clock, time is precious and waiting seems like a waste of time.
Agreeably, we have so much to do and our lists of what we need to accomplish in the day keep getting longer (and our stress levels keep getting higher).
The Purpose in Waiting
However, what if I told you there was a purpose in waiting for everything?
Would it make it any easier to wait?
Disclaimer….I still find it awfully hard.
In short, growth happens when we direct our attention to God during any time of waiting.Growth happens when we direct our attention to God during any time of waiting. #waiting #unmaskingthemess Click To Tweet
To demonstrate, let’s find the evidence in God’s word:
1 I waited patiently for the Lord.
He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
8 Certainly, we wait with hope for you, O Lord,
as we follow the path of your guiding principles.
We want to remember you and your name.
Growth During the Wait
In each of these examples, we see waiting causes some kind of growth: Growth in trust, strength, and hope.
Similarly, my dad always said, “patience is a virtue,” but I never knew as a child what that meant.
For this reason, I looked up where my dad found this. It’s from a poem from the 1360s but God already talked about patience in His word way before this!
Virtues need time to grow and waiting, again and again, is the way we find ourselves moving toward this virtue.Virtues need time to grow and waiting, again and again, is the way we find ourselves moving toward this virtue. #dontwasteyourwait #unmaskingthemess Click To Tweet
The Holy Spirit within us believers has a whole set of virtues or spiritual fruits that He is working actively within us to grow.
Even that long line at Starbucks where we want to be grumpy at the cashier can be a growth session.
Knowing that when we wait, the time can be used by God to grow us, can cause us to reach out when it’s hard and trying.
We can replace the grumbling with the expectation that God is doing something during this time.
Biblical Example of Waiting
Let’s check out an example in the Bible, the Israelites also grumbled about the extent of their problems.
So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery (Exodus 6:9, NLT).
They were tired of the long season of their misery and didn’t want to believe or trust in what God could do for them.
Here’s the thing, God kept His promise to them and brought them out of Egypt and slavery.
Despite the fact that the Israelites were grateful to Him, when they hit the next hard thing, they were back to grumbling and complaining!
It’s important to realize that God was using these seasons to grow the faith and trust in the Israelites.
God also gives us a promise in Jeremiah 29:11. He knows what He’s doing and everything we go through will be used by Him.
We just need to wait, trust, and expect great things to happen.
Are you living like you believe it?
Similarly, I just started reading, 40 Days to a Joy- Filled Life…and this was one of the questions that the author asked.
Can I be honest and say I’m not living like every fiber in me believes this. I want to but I know I have a long way to go.
Of course, if you can feel it in your fibers, I’m so happy for you!
However, I believe as I walk with God longer, I will start to feel it, but I’m not there yet.
What Can We Do While Waiting (instead of grumbling)
- Pray for God to do His work in us and grow us.
- Ask God to make us more receptive and humble to His ways.
- Trust God while He builds those faith muscles.
- Read His Word.
- Jot down a “Grateful list” where we focus on what He has done in the past for us.
- Use what we’re learning to comfort and encourage others.
Hope for Your Wait Prayer Journal
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get one of my friends, Kira Bridges, new prayer journals. She sent me the “Hope For Your Wait- A 36-Day Guided Prayer Journal” and friends, I am enjoying it immensely.
The journal is super simple to use and it helps me focus on what God’s word says.
Also, Kira lists a verse each day and then a “hope for the day” and a place for prayer.
It’s a perfect addition to my daily Bible time and looking at these verses from this angle has been really encouraging to me!
You can find her journals here, and she has a few to choose from.