Do you like waiting? If you’d ask me, I’d say it depends.
I grunt and purse my lips when I’m running late for an appointment and the traffic is at a standstill. I roll my eyes when the cashier at the supermarket is taking too long. So, I get impatient most of the time. I want results now! Pronto!
Sometimes this anxiety is seen as I wait for God to answer my prayers. I often ask Him, “How come it’s taking too long, Lord?”
Two weeks ago I began a series on God’s Answers to Prayers, which is a personal insight based on Dr. Charles Stanley’s book “Talking with God”. If you haven’t read the first two posts, you can check out Why God Says No and I Say YES.
Dr. Stanley shares that God says wait because :
He wants us to shift our focus on Him and not on our desire. Our desires consume us that makes us about God as the ultimate source of all. Everything in this world is His. He could easily open the windows of heavens and pour out whatever his blessings on us. But in His wisdom, He delays the gratification because He is more concerned about our relationship with him than any other thing.
For instance, praying for a financial need. Prayers kept knocking on God’s door for days or weeks but still no answer. The logical to do is to go ahead of God, help him answer the prayer not knowing that he is working out something behind the scenes. Because of impatience, we try to solve our financial problem our way which most of the time leads us to complicated situations.
He wants us to trust him more. After waiting for the Lord to work in my life and the lives of the people around me, I have seen work his miracles. Sometimes I do question because I don’t see any changes but when I learned to surrender and put my faith in him, I saw that indeed he was silently at work. He allows us to wait to make us stronger and to show us that we could really depend on him.
He wants us to mold our character. As a parent, we withhold some privileges to our kids because they are not mature enough to handle such privileges. We wait for the right time with the right heart. Same is true with God. As our father, he loves to bless his children but he sees that our hearts are not prepared to receive whatever blessings he wants to give. He give us time. He allows us to mature. He waits for that character trait to develop.
He is putting to place the other aspects of that blessing. What do I mean by this? Dr. Stanley says that other people might be involved in the blessing and that God is still working on the hearts of these individuals. God uses people to answer our prayers too. At times, it takes a while for these people to respond to God. We don’t know whom God will choose to be an instrument of his love and in the process, these people are being blessed as well because they have been used as a channel of blessing.
Lastly, He is preparing for something better than what we initially asked. I remember a friend of mine and her husband really wanted to have a baby. They were set on adopting a child because the doctor lost hope in them having their own child. They prayed and waited. After seven years, their son was born. They were extremely grateful and praised God for their one and only son. A few years after, a second son was added to the family. Isn’t God wonderful? He allowed them to wait because He had something better in store for them.
Psalm 42:5-6 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God , for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
My husband and I are in this waiting period too. We are waiting on God’s plan to come to fruition. Focusing on what we don’t have will only create an anxious heart within us. Instead, we have resolved to put our energy on serving the Lord then waiting wouldn’t be so bad after all.
You might be on the waiting room too. What do you think God might be impressing on you as he allows you to wait patiently on Him?