Waiting on God

by Paula

“Just wait...”

Who likes to hear that? None of us like to wait, and frankly, few are very good at it either.

Our society has become one of instant gratification and light-speed results.

We are impatient to the nth degree. Road rage is a testament to that. Hitting a red light or getting stuck behind a slower driver is enough to drive some to lose all civility and sometimes all control as well.

Fewer couples wait until they meet their new child to learn if they are adding a son or daughter to their family. Why wait when the answer is only an ultrasound away? (Especially if the technician tells you that she knows whether you’re having a Max or Mackenzie. What greater temptation could there be?)

Waiting has become a curse instead of the blessing that it was intended to be. And I fully admit that I am one who equates waiting for anything with fingernails raking down a chalkboard. Waiting used to be the kindle to set my anxiety into a full blaze. Sometimes it even paralyzed me. I felt I could do nothing until the waiting was over.

But that was before I began relying on Christ, before I understood that waiting is a huge part of faith and before I was assured that waiting brings rewards.

"The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him." (Lamentations 3:25)

Waiting on God is especially hard because we don’t have the capacity to see things from His perspective. We can only see things from our viewpoint and within our understanding of time, and we expect His timing to follow suit. But what we often forget is that God doesn’t operate under the same conditions, expectations, or limitations as we do. His time is not our time. We aren’t supposed to be able to understand why He makes us wait or the fact that 10 years in our time may be only a nanosecond in God’s time.
 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

Over five years ago I first really cried out to the Lord for help and guidance. I finally let go of the thought that I could control my life and gave God the wheel and asked him to steer. But I wanted him to do it on my time—which was pretty much now.

“Wait, my child,” He said. “Just wait...”

I tried to wait. I tried to be obedient, but it was just so incredibly hard. Waiting made me worry. Waiting made me doubt. Sometimes I tried to grab the wheel back from God. “I’ll just do it,” I’d tell him. And He’d let me.

And then I’d learn that God’s way is always better. I’d see that God’s way was worth the wait. And I’d hang my head in shame and hand the wheel back to God.

And He’d always take it back, no lectures, no “I told you so's." He’d gently take it back, put His hand on my head, look me in the eyes, and say: “Wait, my child. Just wait...”
"For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:4)

I’m learning to wait, and fortunately God’s grace allows me to mess up now and again, become impatient and try to just make things happen myself. But it always ends up the same: disappointment and discontentment and a longing for more. God’s “more.”

Over five years ago I pleaded with God to show me His path for my life, to allow me to hear His voice and know, without a doubt, that He is speaking to me. And I waited, but I continued to seek Him during this time.

"The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him." (Lamentations 3:25)

Finally, five years later, He answered me in such a way I could’ve never imagined. He spoke to me not during my quiet time or when worshipping at church; He spoke to me instead through a young woman who sat beside me in the Nashville airport.

I never saw that one coming.

After she struck up a conversation about schedules and organizing, we began to discuss her life as a law student in Little Rock, Arkansas. And from out of nowhere she hit me with this:

“People need to realize that God doesn’t talk to everyone in the same way. To some people, he speaks directly and they are able to hear His voice. Others he has to run into a brick wall to make them realize He is speaking to them. And many times he uses other people to deliver his messages.”

That’s when I got goosebumps.

“Wait, I have to tell you something,” I said, wondering if she was going to think I was some kind of freak but not really caring. “I have been praying and praying to hear God speak to me. I just told my friend about it last night. I think that message was for me.”

Without flinching, my new friend said, “Of course it was.”

Now, this was no grandma-type wise woman who had been walking with the Lord for over 60 years. This was a girl more than 15 years my junior, a girl who didn’t look like a person I would expect to be God’s messenger to me.

But she was. In God’s great wisdom he delivered in a way that was entirely unexpected and contrary to anything I had imagined. And it was so much better.

After visiting like old friends for a half hour, the announcement came that passengers could start boarding our plane. We were surprised to find out we were catching the same flight. Then the airport attendant called for our group of rows, and we all stood.

I have to back up here and tell you what happened when we arrived at the airport that morning. My friend who I had traveled with suggested that we change seats so we could sit together on our flight. After checking the computer, we saw that the flight wasn’t full and the back row was empty. “You take 32A, and I’ll take 32C,” my friend said. “Then we’ll have the seat between us free.”

So as we got in line to board the plane, I casually asked our new friend where her seat was. And her response is something that I will never forget, as long as I have breath.

“32B.”

My other friend and I looked at each other, eyes wide, as tears quickly filled mine.

“Did you change your seat once you got to the airport?” we asked. “Because that seat was empty when we checked in.”

“No,” she answered. “This is just the seat I was assigned.”

"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)

Waiting on the Lord can be frustrating and can fill us with doubt as to if he’s even heard our cries. What if we wait—and there’s nothing? we ask ourselves in the darkest hour of the night. What if God doesn’t come through?

But here’s the thing: God will come through. In fact, He’s coming through right now for you. He’s just doing it in His own time. And what may feel like endless waiting to you may be necessary for God to deliver His perfect answer in His perfect way. And unlike our friends and family—God will never let us down. His promise is pure and 100% guaranteed. We will never wait on God in vain. We do not wait for nothing. Instead, we wait for everything.

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day."(Psalm 25:5)

After growing up in a family with three girls, Paula found herself raising three boys. Admittedly still perplexed at how the male brain works, she has learned to embrace the boogers and burps that come alongside the kisses and bedtime snuggles. She feels blessed to have been able to take her full-time editor job to a part-time status after her third son was born so she could be home with her boys before and after school, as well as devote more time to helping them develop into the type of Christ-following men she knows this world needs. Paula shares her entertaining look at life with boys at www.boogersandburps.com.

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3 *click here* to dialogue with us:

{ Cassie } at: October 23, 2009 at 2:19 AM said...

Thank you Paula. This was just what I needed this morning!!

{ jenny } at: October 23, 2009 at 8:03 AM said...

yep!
I can remember being impatient once. We had been given notice on our farmhouse and time was running out. I was not willing to accept what God had provided at that time, I wanted blessing and I wanted it now! I learned a lot about patience and I could see why God made that choice. God is good, but he sometimes leaves the best till last!

{ pjmomof3boys } at: October 26, 2009 at 12:06 PM said...

I'm so glad I was able to deliver a message just for you, Cassie!

And Jenny, I love your story. It is so true, God sometimes saves the very best to give to us at the last moment...and it's better than we thought it was going to be! Thank you for sharing!

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