Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.psalm 27:14
Do you enjoy waiting?
It depends on what I am waiting for. Here are some things we can’t wait for:
- going home after spending eight hours in the office
- the next episode of our favorite Netflix series
- our shopping delivery
- meeting our friends we haven’t seen in ages
- babies sleeping soundly at night
Other things we wait for:
- physical healing
- restoration of a broken relationship
- medical results of a laboratory test
- the salvation of our loved-one
- debt paid off
Why is it hard to wait?
As I share this, I am not talking down on you. I am asking myself the same question. It is hard to wait on the Lord because I want to control the outcome. Yes, I pray, but I like the Lord to respond the way I want Him to. I cannot predict how long I have to wait for Him. Waiting is a challenge for someone who wants to be on top of things all the time.
Waiting can be nerve-wracking but purposeful. We do not sit around, tap our fingers on the waiting table, and do nothing. We move. Waiting is not a passive response to God’s divine timetable. It is an intentional response to His call to wait on Him.
1. While we wait, we expect Him to answer.
When we pray, we expect God to answer. Often after praying, we leave our concerns to God and forget about them. Instead of hurrying to the following schedule, it is good to practice pausing. Let us bask in silence with the Lord. Sometimes the Lord’s answer is immediate. We read our Bible, and he responds with a specific verse.
While other times, He takes His time in responding. No, he does not enjoy watching us suffer as we wait. But He delights in our presence as much as we delight in His.
As we expect his response, we pay attention to what happens after we pray. God is already working. Everything that happens to us after we sought God is in tune with God’s response. The people He sends our way, the opportunities He opens for us, and even the challenges we face are all part of the bigger picture. God weaves every detail of our lives to answer our prayers. Pay attention to everything that happens, as they are part of God’s bigger picture. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
2. While we wait, we do the next right thing.
If you are praying for better work opportunities, what skills do you need to land a job? Are your current skills on par or do you need to upgrade? Maybe it’s time to add a new skill.
If you are single and praying for a future husband, are you expanding your network? Are you open to meeting other people outside your circle? Consider joining hobby groups or church groups to meet like-minded people.
If you are praying for a child, are you and your husband living a healthy lifestyle? Are you conscious of what you take in your body? Have you consulted with a doctor yet?
If you are thinking about moving to the next wrung on the corporate ladder, are you upping your skills? Are you investing in yourself with courses (paid or free)?
If you want to start a business, are you talking to entrepreneurs or reading books about entrepreneurship? Are you developing new habits as a soon-to-be entrepreneur?
As we wait on the Lord, we do the next right thing. It does not have to be grand, just the next right thing. Whether the Lord gives you the desires of your heart or not, you became a better person.
3. While we wait, we develop our intimacy with the Lord.
Let’s be honest. We don’t always talk to God as much as we say we do. When a crisis hits us, that’s when we remember to call on Him. I fall short in this area, too. Yet, He continues to shower us with unconditional love despite our wavering faith and devotion. One thing I learned over the years is that God is available 24/7. He listens while we are driving, eating, chatting with our friends, or busy with chores. He is present even in the mundane. So why not whisper a prayer to Him every so often? It doesn’t have to be long prayers.
Shoot arrow prayers to God in any situation. If you are in an emergency or dealing with a tough person, pray. If you are about to decide, pray first. Seek counsel from the Lord through the Bible and godly people. As we wait, we enjoy our quiet moments with God.
4. While we wait, we learn to trust God.
It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 10:12
In our impatience to wait on the Lord, we go ahead of Him. We do things haphazardly, thinking we are helping God. But He doesn’t need our help, nor are we doing Him a favor. In fact, we are digging ourselves into a deeper hole when we do our thing rather than wait. But you know what? Because we have a gracious God, He will rescue us not until we realize our foolishness.
To trust God means we anchor the answer to our prayers to Him. It means we will not question His response even if we don’t agree with Him. Trusting Him also means depending on His unfathomable wisdom and plan, because He knows better than us.
Waiting on the Lord poses a challenge to anyone. We either respond in haste or be passive. Instead of choosing either extreme, let us choose to be proactive as we wait in joyful hope for the Lord’s timing.
Is there any prayer that the Lord hasn’t answered? And what are doing while you wait?