Today, my dear friend Bailey wrote a beautiful piece about our ability to be patient and wait on the Lord. Both of us have discussed this topic a lot recently. It seems that the Lord has been teaching us both how to wait for Him to act rather than trying to solve our problems on our own. Thank you, sweet friend for this insight today!!
We live in an instant world. Text messages have replaced letters, Instagram developed film, and Prime Now standard shipping. We are not good at waiting anymore. At least I, for one, am not. My habit of ordering Starbucks on the mobile app so I do not have to wait for my drink to be prepared in store is just one example of my deep impatience. I believe we, as a society, have become uncomfortable with the lingering and pausing, the “not yets” and” I don’t knows”. It is difficult to sit in the unknown. It is also difficult to sit in the known but “not yet”.
Although our culture now operates under the sentiment of instant gratification and the reduction of wait time, our God does not. The God of the Old Testament is still the same God of today. This is the God who had Sarah wait 90 years before she could have a child. The God who had Jacob work seven years, and then seven more, for his wife. The God who had Israel wander 40 years in the wilderness before bringing them to the promised land. Even Jesus, God himself, waited 30 years before it was time for Him to truly begin His ministry on earth. This theme of God’s people waiting for the right time is consistently present throughout the Bible since Creation. Everything happens according to the Lord’s timing, and at some point in our lives (most likely many points) we will find ourselves in a season of intensely waiting and deeply yearning for the Lord’s fulfillment of a prayer, call, desire, and more. The question is, what is the purpose of this waiting? And furthermore, what is our hearts’ response to waiting?
The purpose of waiting is that God wants to teach us that He is the Lord of the universe and we are not. If we have even the smallest sense of control over our lives then God is not satisfied. God wants all of our being fully surrendered over to His sovereign power, control, and purpose. It is often in the valley of the uncomfortable, exhausting, endless waiting where we reach the point of full surrender. This is where true freedom, peace, and reliance on God is discovered, which are so much more satisfying than the object or season our hearts are yearning for. What we interpreted as one of the darkest moments of our lives actually turns out to be one of the most valuable gifts from God.
This brings us to the topic of our hearts’ response to waiting. We have a choice. We could either interpret waiting as a dark hour from a spiteful God who wishes to withhold good things from His children. Or we could see the waiting season as the gift of a lifetime – a chance to grow in deep reliance on the Lord. We can become cold and bitter, or softened and accepting. We can become resistant and withdrawn, or transformed and fully known. How do we practice the latter? We accept where God has us right now and seek to be fully present (and dare I say enjoy?) our current moment. Make yourself comfortable and invest in your relationship with God. You will not be dissatisfied. I can guarantee the Lord has many surprises for you today, if you just choose to see them.
Remember, the most delectable meals are those that take hours upon hours to slowly stew to completion. I challenge you to choose to enjoy the delightful aromas as you wait for a slowly prepared feast rather than becoming impatient and opting for a less satisfying microwaveable meal.
Bailey is a Florida native who moved to Nashville not knowing what God had in store for her. Since then, she has fallen in love with the people of this city and now desperately seeks to know the heart of God and attempt to show it to others.