Waiting on God, patience

Waiting on God is one of the most difficult challenges on a disciple’s journey.  If you are currently assigned to this draining task—if you are waiting for God to move or act, I hope this will encourage your soul and buoy your faith.  There is a way to honor God as you endure.  If you are not in a season where what’s next is still unnamed, I ask that you digest the heart of this post and bookmark this link…for your turn to wait will eventually come.

Beach-goers of all ages love to stand in the ocean surf, bobbing between the waves.  Normally, mild waves lift the swimmer gently up and down again.  At other times, large breakers crash as violent tests of strength and courage.  Victory is measured by taking the hit and somehow keeping your feet.

Waiting on God

Waiting on God is a similar test.  There are good days when you barely notice the paused plans.  But there are other days when waiting assaults the heart and mind like one of those unexpected big waves; swirling, pushing, attempting to pull you from upright to under.

How do we best honor God in this?  How do we wait well?  I have found great comfort, courage, and challenge from King David’s experience:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.  Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!  You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!  I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”  (Psalm 40:1-5 ESV)

Impatience

Waiting patiently, involves tenacious faith that God has a plan.  If patience is a tug-of-war for you, I hope you will battle on!  Impatience is not merely a character flaw.  It is a toxin, which if allowed to circulate through your faith system, can paralyze the heart.  Impatience is a sugar-coated word for spiritual distrust.  There is never a good reason for impatience when dealing with God even if the door you long to have opened is one that enables a godly mission.  It reveals some level of arrogance; some part of us believes that our timetable is superior to God’s.

Worry

A close friend of impatience is worry.  Both of them hope to displace contentment from your heart and mind.  Jesus instructs us (Matthew 6:25) to not be anxious; to trust our Father in Heaven for our needs.  Worry and impatience can snowball into all-out panic.  You must stiff-arm any pressing panic and exhort your soul to sit still rather than fidget in frustration .  Remember that the one for whom you wait is the Almighty God of absolute knowledge, bottomless resources, and edge-less authority.  He sees all things and the complexity of their connections.  He maneuvers and manages all people and systems to serve His good purposes.  Do not fear.  His sovereign rule certainly extends to cover your specific life.  So choose patience while you wait.

Waiting on GodKing David’s waiting posture was ultimately influenced by how he viewed his rescuer.  David held tightly to trust in God.  Your agitated spirit in a pit of waiting will lobby for a grumbling attitude, but do not become swayed.  Argue with your own soul; persuade it to remain at rest in confidence that the one for whom you wait is sovereign and good and always perfect in timing.

Be content to reside in the pit of waiting for as long as the Lord sees fit.  Never abandon hope in God’s faithfulness, even when doors remain closed for a long time; even when His silence is much longer than expected.  Respond to God’s mysterious plan with patience.  Let your public and private attitude—wobbly but never wavering—become a manifestation of trust in the One who holds all things—including you—in His hands.

Crying Out

Down in the pit of patience, David knew how to cry out to his God.  While waiting does not amount to suffering, it can legitimately hurt.  As a kid, I enjoyed the good-natured wrestling boys can get into during silly or competitive moments.  Every once in a while our horse-play would evolve into a noisy dog-pile.  The bottom spot in a dog-pile is rough.  As more bodies join the stack it can become difficult to breathe.  The cry of “Get off!” begins as a solid request but crescendos into a desperate plea for air and spared bones.  Some of my life’s waiting experiences felt as desperate as the bottom of one of those dog-piles; like a distressing weight immovable from my chest.  I imagined God sitting on me to halt my movement while He accomplished some undisclosed purpose.  I have shouted prayers to Him—and at times at Him, imploring Him to please get off!  David was not scolded for his moans to God, probably because they were cries instead of accusations.

I wonder if these words might resemble the emotions of your waiting heart:

“O God my Father, I am so weary of waiting.  It seems like it has been such a long time and I see no indications that this season is almost at its end.  Every ounce of me aches for a door to open!  I am exhausted from battling envy of others and their open doors.  I am drained from the fight to keep doubt from my thoughts.  I am more frustrated than content in my circumstances and I do not understand why You have not yet answered!  But I still trust You.  I know any pit of waiting You have for me is one custom-designed and sovereignly selected for an eternal purpose.  I believe you are good.  I believe you will turn to hear my cries.  You will come for me.  Please open a door of opportunity…and do it quickly, O Lord!  I ask this in the name of Jesus…Amen.”

This prayer is framed with thoughtful balance, but perhaps you are not ready for something so structured…or sane.  Your cries may need to reflect wailings from deep within your disappoint—from a place where words and sentences cannot yet form.  Your Father in Heaven does not require a well-crafted paragraph in order to hear your anguish.  Cast your cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7).  Arrange a few private moments and follow David’s lead.  Cry out to God.

 

What has helped you get through times of waiting on God?  Use the comment box below to leave your thoughts–you don’t have to give your contact info.

 

 

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