I think WAITING on something is the most painful thing ever. This is whether you are waiting on a job, waiting for a future spouse, waiting to tell somebody we love them, waiting on God to speak, waiting for an answer to prayer. It's a gruesome process. I have to admit, I hate waiting on things. Even if it's waiting for a friend at the bus station or waiting for a friend to get ready because I have arrived somewhere on time.
BUT, our attitude during that WAITING period is what matters. Sometimes, God delays what we think we need in order for HIM to give us something even better. As hard that is to believe, look back in your life at a stage where you prayed for something. Let me give you an example. When I was studying my Postgraduate Course, I failed a number of exams (not that many, just 5 out of the 14 we wrote), and I was so upset with God. I was angry because I studied and studied but it seemed that my best wasn't good enough. I was envious of others; in fact, I even compared myself to them, angrily crying out to God and saying, 'Lord, these people don't even know you, they don't go to church, they don't spend time with You, they don't even stop to consider uttering Your name, why am I suffering? Why am I hurting? You promised I'd pass. You gave me Your WORD. How could You?'
I would cry and CRY; and after crying for that long, possibly about an hour or two, I read the Bible and was meditating on scriptures on the topic of WAITING ON God.
Now, looking back (I passed in the end), I knew it wasn't my time to pass. It wasn't His will at the time for me to pass. There was a reason why I was suffering. All the pain, loss and disappointment, tears, were a part of His plan for the characteristics He wanted me to have. I am a bit more humble now, I don't even have the pride in me to show off about ANYTHING. I don't brag about what I've done. God's TIMING is perfect. He knows when we are READY. Wise people wait on His time. I saw all my friends getting graduate jobs, I saw all my classmates getting good things, but now...that's ME. It look longer than it was supposed to but it HAPPENED.
Another thing, I worked in a horrible work place. I worked in a place where people just had a problem with me. I didn't know WHY. I didn't know HOW. But you could see the HATE on their face. I often wondered, what did I do for you to hate me? There is no way to win. I wanted to QUIT. I wanted to leave. I would go to the toilets in that work place, PRAY and ask God, 'Do I really have to be here, please let me leave?' I would cry and just ask God what He wanted me to learn there. In fact, I asked my cousin for advice, my brother in law, my parents, a few other friends of mine, they all encouraged me to stay. Although it was a short amount of time (four months to be exact), I learned to be BOLD. The challenging thing was LOVING those people regardless of how they treated me.
Let's get this clear, waiting on GOD doesn't mean we sit around doing NOTHING. It doesn't mean that we just walk in life waiting on Him. We do what He called us to do. We quietly wait for Him for the next step.
Jacob Waiting on Rachel
I think the best story in the Bible on WAITING is the Story of Jacob and Rachel. It's a love story, which sort of saddens me. Basically, the short story is:
A man called Laban had two daughters, one named Leah and another named Rachel. Leah was quite delicate, but Rachel was beautiful (in Jacob's eyes) but she was the younger one. Jacob was in love with Rachel and decided to work for 7 years just to have her. To him, it seemed like only a few years. Anyway, he ended up being tricked by his father in law, Laban, and married Leah. He was very upset, but had to work ANOTHER 7 YEARS to get Leah, so in total he waited FOURTEEN YEARS. Imagine WAITING and wanting something so much you'd work FOURTEEN years just to get it. Don't you think you'd get discouraged after a while...maybe the fourth year or so? But Jacob WORKED fourteen years, his eyes were on Rachel and he never gave up. That's how we should be when we wait on God. Whether it is waiting on God, having a career, getting into a good University or College. The key is persistence - never giving up. Work hard at what God has given you TODAY.
Let's take a look at King David's Psalms. He had some beautiful Psalms where he sang songs of praise and about trusting and waiting on God's timing.
Psalm 25: 1 - 3
'O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.'
'Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret with their wicked schemes.'
'I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.'
God acts on BEHALF of those who wait for Him. HE ACTS. He takes action on OUR behalf. He acts in the life of those who wait for Him and seek Him. The Word of God says, 'delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.' He also tells us to, 'trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding'
It's all about obedience. It's all about trust. If you don't obey, then you don't believe and you don't trust.
No, I just CANNOT wait on God
'Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly! Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord's miraculous deeds. They soon forget his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against Him at the Red Sea. Even so, He saved them - to defend the honour of His name and to demonstrate His mighty power. He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
He rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes. Then the water returned and covered their enemies, not one of them survived. Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise. Yet, how quickly they forget what he had done! They wouldn't wait for his counsel! In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God's patience in that dry wasteland. So, He gave them what they asked for, but He sent a plague along with it.'
Some of us pray and make a specific request to God. For example, marriage. Then you get a confirmation that, 'Yes, I will send you someone'. But you have to give Him the privilege to give you what you ask for when HE knows when you are READY. You never know, God could be testing you so He gets you ready. Maybe it's an issue of SUBMISSION or nagging that you need to work on. Maybe it's patience. Maybe it's spending more time with God, prayer, laziness, valuing yourself and the way you work. So, God needs to get you ready.
If you're a man and you're praying for a spouse, maybe God wants you to become a MAN first. To practice LOVE. God created TIME and placed us in this caption of TIME. We have to be willing to do it His way. Sometimes He waits to give it to us because He tests our FAITH. Sometimes, it's our OBEDIENCE.
How Should We WAIT?
Psalm 37:5 - 'Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.'
Psalm 62:1 - 'I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.'
Psalm 37:7 - 'Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.'
Psalm 27:13 - 'Yet, I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:14 - 'Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.'
- STANDING ON GOD'S WORD
Psalm 130:5 - 'I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in His word.'
Look at your life and ask yourself that question - are you obedient to Him and waiting on Him patiently? I have to confess, obedience for me is HARD. Sometimes, I find it so hard to obey and go on to do my own thing. But there are consequences of that.
Have a good MONTH! Xo