You may be waiting for a first child and the treatments aren’t working. Or you may be waiting for the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Or waiting for that perfect job and promotion.
I finished writing my first book a year ago. Since then, I have been waiting for a publisher to tell me how fabulous it is…but all I’ve been getting are rejection letters. I have heard the publication process can take years, so I may be waiting for awhile!
As the days turn into weeks and months, it’s so easy to get discouraged. The repeated rejections make you want to hide and not put yourself out there again. You wish people would stop asking how it’s going. And you start to question what God is doing – or rather, not doing. Maybe He doesn’t have a great plan for your life after all?
As difficult as it is, waiting is often God’s preparation for a great mission. And it is not wasted time! God is the Master Builder – and the best buildings (the ones that stand the test of time) require firm foundations. He is shaping precious vessels on the Potter’s wheel. He is slowly transforming the caterpillar into a butterfly in ways that can’t be seen. He is carefully tending the soil so that the newly planted seed can sprout successfully.
Don’t mistake the slow unfolding of a promise as rejection from God.
Many cherished followers in the Bible experienced a period of waiting. Moses waited forty years in the desert before his burning bush assignment. David hid in caves for years before receiving his promised position in the palace. Abraham and Sarah waited until old age to bear the much-anticipated son. Joseph waited in a dungeon before ruling a nation. Even Jesus spent thirty years in privacy before He began His work.
The word wait means “to remain stationary in readiness or expectation,” “to look forward expectantly,” or “to be ready and available.” Another translation for wait actually means “to be braided together with.” Picture a trellis where a vine weaves itself into the supporting structure. The trellis provides security to the fragile vine so it can handle the weight of future fruit.
If you don’t learn to wait on the Lord, you will never get the strength of the Lord. The Bible tells us:
“The LORD longs to be gracious to you…Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18
God “acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
“Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31
What should you do while you’re waiting?
The disciples returned to fishing when they weren’t sure what to do next. Jesus had been crucified and they feared for their own safety. They left Jerusalem and went back to fishing in Galilee. That wasn’t what Jesus had in mind. He asked them to face their fears and wait for the Holy Spirit back in Jerusalem. Sitting in the safety of your comfort zone is not what He has in mind for you either.
Keep putting yourself out there. Look for opportunities to grow and develop. Stay alert and engaged so you can see how and where He is moving. Make any necessary adjustments. Invest time, energy, and resources in moving forward – one step at a time. Ask Him to show you each next step.
Blessed are those who don’t fall away when they don’t understand, when He doesn’t act, when there are obstacles, and when they feel deserted. Blessed are those who don’t give up when things are going wrong. Blessed are those who don’t pout when answers are delayed. Blessed are those who keep on believing when the night is long and black. Morning will come! Don’t give up too soon!