Lessons in Waiting

veri-ivanova-17904-2Well, hello friends! I know you have enjoyed hearing from Gabi, Emily, and Angelina over the last several weeks and it reminded me of how vast and glorious the Body of Christ is over this planet. I pray that you marveled at the power of the Gospel to affect women in every nation, in every language, and throughout every culture.

Angelina kicked off our March topic of “patience and waiting” last week and it was such a blessing to know that the Lord used her testimony of His faithfulness to minister to so many of you. That is why For All the King’s Daughters exists; this blog was created as a tool for women to encourage other women in the faith on every continent for His glory. Later this month, my sweet friend Evelyn will be writing about patience with those friends and family members who do not know Jesus yet.

This theme of waiting and patience is a universal topic and as I read Angelina’s post, I was sitting in a new house that my family has been waiting to be completed for the last seven months. I understand that waiting on a new house is not as challenging as so many other trials that others face, but the Father wastes nothing and so I believe He used these months to teach me some valuable lessons that I needed to learn and that will prove beneficial in the next trial I face. I pray that these principles will encourage you as well.

Let me confess, I HATE waiting! Even for a “good” thing. I am impatient and I want what I want now. I may sometimes pretend that I am okay to wait, but inside I am reeling and just want the answer, the thing, the new shoes, the sweet tea, the chocolate cake….now! Maybe that was too far, but maybe someone can relate. I hate to wait, however as I have grown older I have realized how powerless I truly am in so many instances. There are many more situations that I have absolutely zero ability to affect the outcome of, or even bring about some change in than I ever thought about. In this season, I am learning that there is much more to gain by waiting than just getting the thing or the answer that I am waiting for.

Did you know that waiting is an overarching theme in the Bible? From Genesis to Revelation there are numerous occasions where individuals and groups of people must wait on something to happen. And all the while, our good God is actively working to accomplish the best outcome for all those involved at the same time, doing the very thing that will also glorify His Name.

It is so hard for me to lift my eyes and my chin in a season of waiting and realize a few key things:

1-God is not oblivious or indifferent to my waiting

            2-God is intimately aware of all the intricate details of my desire

            3-God is never late in fulfilling the best possible outcome

Let’s take a little time and break these down and let the Word show us truth.

When Israel had been enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years, Exodus 2:24-25 says

“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-and God knew.”

Angelina referenced last week Jesus’ response to Lazarus’ death and that He heard Mary and Martha’s grief and was moved with compassion. Because He loved them, He caused them to wait.  This God, that created us in His image, does not put in His earbuds and keep governing the Universe. He sees, He hears, He knows our longings and that we are yearning for Him to do something.

I love that our Father is all-powerful, eternal and absolutely holy but He delights to be intimately connected with us, His daughters. He is aware of what we say to others concerning our waiting and those feelings that we don’t dare utter to even those closest to us. In the Old Testament book of First Samuel, we read about a woman who is consumed with her desire to conceive a child. Her name is Hannah and by all accounts is the perfect candidate for motherhood and yet she is barren. She cries out to God over and over for the ability to bear children and the Bible records her “silent” pleadings and prayers where only her lips are moving. How did the writer of First Samuel know what she uttered to God between her sobs? Because Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Spirit helps us and intercedes for us even when our groanings are too deep for words. He hears, He knows, He sees, He cares.

Another example of the intimate kindness of God is found in John 19:38-42. Jesus has just been horrifically crucified as His mother, Mary stood watching with Jesus’ other followers. I cannot imagine the utter heartache that she went through and the waiting she experienced for the nightmare just to be over. Then, since the Bible doesn’t mention that Mary’s husband is still alive at this time, she has been left to deal with the burial of her firstborn son alone in a very hostile environment. The apostle John tells us “Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus” came and requested the body of Jesus that he might bury it in a new tomb. Did you catch it? “Joseph” came to Mary’s rescue! God preemptively moves a man (whose name happens to be the same as her deceased husband) to come and help her. The tenderness of God melts me when I read these details!

Lastly, there is a phrase used throughout the Bible: “In due time” or “at just the right time”…God. Oh, dear friend, here is what the LORD has been teaching me. God is never late!  Because He sees all, He knows all, He cares about all, He is working even when He asks us to wait. Recently, our pastor preached through the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. This prophet of God was in a season of waiting and apparently, He hated waiting just as much as I do. He cried out to God during this time and God’s response rattled me. Habakkuk 2:3 says this,

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”

That phrase, “if it seems slow, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not delay” began to unravel my sense of time and when things needed to be done. There are so many circumstances in my life that “seem slow” and yet, God is teaching me to wait with a knowing that this universe and my life operate according to His timing and not mine. Habakkuk responds by also saying that He will actively watch for the Lord to do what He promised. Notice the word “watch” – it doesn’t mean pout, or fret, or manufacture a plan but actively seek the Lord’s face and His wisdom and His work. It implies trusting in a great God with a good plan and knowing He loves us and will not permit the answer, the fulfillment to linger even one-second past its appointed time. This is good news, sister!  I pray that you will spend this week pouring your heart out to the One who sees, who knows, who hears, who cares and who is working in your waiting.

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