The Gift of Waiting

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I wrote this last year and here I am again, waiting. Once again I feel the gentle nudge to stop fighting so hard and just surrender. But, in this current season I find myself looking for an exit sign…or an eject button. I’m not picky, more like borderline desperate. Have you ever been in that place where everyone you know is on the pleasant side of transition and you just feel like your on the cranky side of it? You know the truth about waiting, that God’s timing is perfect but you wrestle with the truth that sometimes he passes on really good opportunities to be early. I know this will just be a short pause that makes life sound better so I relax into the God who orders my steps, my starts, and awkward pauses. 

This place of waiting wasn’t meant to destroy us, it is meant to surround us like a shield. It’s a gift to us because if we run ahead of where we think God is leading us, often we end up lost and devastated. We are people who aren’t really good at waiting, we want quick prayers and fast results and often the outcome is a crumbling character when we don’t get want we want really fast.

We throw fits.

We cry.

We pray the same prayers over and over and do the very same things and we wonder why we are gaining very little ground personally.

What would happen if we became better at this waiting thing?

I believe something beautiful can be cultivated in our hearts from pursuing God first before pursuing what we want. There is glory waiting to be revealed to us and through us as we wait and hope in God.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom 8:18 ESV)

I want to rush things while my all-knowing God knows that I desperately need to hit the pause button. So while we feel like we are suffering, it is all for the greater glory that will be revealed to us.

My rushing leads to settling for second best and receiving the sloppy-seconds of another girl’s dreams.

What God desires for us isn’t so much of a mystery as we make it. It’s the surrendered soul and a heart that seeks His kingdom first, all good things flow from those beautiful, obedient steps. Waiting is the gift we all need because time-after-time we have rushed the hand of God and ended up with nothing of substance to hold onto.

I’ve learned what it means to wait, perhaps because I have put it into practice so many times. I’ve never been a fan of waiting, you can ask my family. We are notorious for early gifts before Christmas and birthdays. My husband knows that if he mentions the word “gift” my eyes light up and I’m that sneaky kid again wondering where he hid the thing.

I want to hold it in my hands and enjoy it now and yet the anticipation from waiting is just as exciting. Sometimes the wait is the gift. It becomes the “worthwhile wait” knowing that in the process of waiting I become more like Him and less like the impatient child with my eyes glued to the clock.

It’s okay if we don’t know what’s next and how everything in our life is going to unfold. Our need to control and trusting God work like a tug-of-war where we end up with a nasty rope burn.

If He is the God who directs our paths, He is also the God who directs our waiting. We have to decide if we will be found waiting patiently with our eyes fixed on Christ or wrestling with our need to be in control and micro-manage every detail of our life.

When all we want is an open door, I find God there with the door sealed shut. I have found that He is not on the other side of the door. He is right there with me unlocking things within me so that when the door swings wide open I will walk in peace knowing that I am following him, not chasing after my own agenda.

“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” (2 Thes 3:5 KJV)

The patient waiting is where we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. We acknowledge Him, we submit to Him, as He directs our path. (Prov 3:5-6) We wait on a God who is worth it and waiting to lavish good things upon us.

If you have found yourself weary from waiting rest in this simple fact: God has plans for you that will blow your mind. Resist the urge to kick down the doors of opportunity with your three-inch heels and let the love of God cushion you for the waiting.

Sweet friend, I don’t know what is on the other side of that door waiting for you, but I know it’s going to be good. Sometimes the door is sealed shut because we aren’t quite ready for what’s on the other side. You see, the wait is no longer the pain in my backside. The wait is the gift.

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” (Is 64:4)

Much love to you as you wait,

Jennifer Renee