I am a driven and impatient person who has been stretched in recent years to surrender my desires about the timing of things to God’s ever-wise timing. This does not come easily for me. I don’t like it when God seems mysterious or slow to respond — well, except for when He’s slow to get impatient with me.
Here’s are just a few of those things for which I’m waiting:
- Waiting for Carly to hit a new developmental milestone (she is our 12 year old daughter who has Angelman Syndrome)
- Waiting for educators in this country to awaken to more effective ways of teaching children with special needs
- Waiting for churches to respond more generously and Biblically to the needs of families facing disability
- Waiting for God to open doors for Larry to a new job (my husband has been laid off since 9/7/10)
- Waiting for a business goal to be accomplished and new ministry doors to open
- Waiting for resolution to a contract issue
- Waiting for an opportunity to do more writing and finish new books
- Waiting for clear answers to a prayer about an area of my life where I’m confused
Last night I spoke with about 30 women at a nearby correctional facility, each waiting out a lengthy incarceration for things like drug convictions and drunk driving arrests. This week I spoke with others who are waiting for things too.
- Waiting for healing
- Waiting for a spouse to come to his/her senses
- Waiting for a wayward child to come back home
- Waiting to lose more weight
- Waiting for encouragement amidst overwhelming circumstances
There are several reasons why waiting for God to reveal answers to my prayers is getting easier. One very gratifying reason is that I’m starting to see how profoundly God uses waiting times for HUGE things. Instead of waiting being a tedious, frustrating or worrisome experience, I’ve been noticing that God squeezes critical things out of those times. Sometimes those things are for me (lessons learned, character stretching, faith bolstering, etc.) but often there are important things coming out of my waiting times that are for the benefit of someone else entirely.
Like it or not, it’s not always about me. Actually, there’s a great freedom in knowing that when God doesn’t answer right away, it’s not always because I’m failing Him in some way. Often, God is carefully putting numerous things into place so that the answer is ultimately much more, better, or amazing than I could ever have imagined (Ephesians 3:20-21). Sometimes it even means that I might have to endure some hardship so that someone else can benefit in some way (2 Corinthians 1:3-7, Colossians 1:24). After all, Jesus endured a whole lot more. God will most certainly empower and sustain me because there are always Kingdom purposes at work (Colossians 1:11-12)!
When I look at waiting on God for answers as an adventure — a time of anticipating what incredible things God will do next — it’s more exciting and not so grueling. While none of us aspires for our life to follow the plot line of a mystery novel, I’m growing to appreciate that the best stories are complex, take time to unfold, build our confidence that adversity can be overcome and show us that the wait is worth it!
LORD, help us to catch Your vision for the value of our story in the broader Kingdom perspective. When we get impatient for Your answers or actions, help us to be confident that You are always at work in the midst of every situation — always near, forever faithful, completely sufficient to bring our stories to the best conclusions. Show us how to live so that every chapter declares Your greatness and captures the best of intimacy with You for us AND for others. AMEN
If you can take 5 minutes to prayerfully listen to this song, I believe God will have something very special for you!
“While I’m Waiting” by John Waller