Wait. It’s one of those words that really just gets under our skin a little bit if we are honest. In loose terms it means that we are not getting what we want the very moment that we want it. We, in a sense, wish our lives away. We “can’t wait” for that next big thing. And of course we also live in an instant gratification world – one with information at our fingertips within seconds of our requests. This doesn’t bode well for our already impatient natures. But the thing about this kind of waiting is that it relates to the world and our culture, and not to our Creator.
Waiting on the Lord is a holy kind of waiting – a reverence, a hope, a peace that transcends whatever is flooding our hearts and minds. In Lamentations, Jeremiah shares his pining and his toiling, and he also shares about God’s goodness in his waiting:
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
Quietly hope for help from God.
Put another way, when we are passionately waiting, we are to seek God for hope and help that only He can provide. It is hard. It is refining. And it is also a beautiful and sweet time of communion with our Savior.
I’ve had many times of waiting in my life – waiting for a job, waiting to get pregnant (only to eventually find out we had dual infertility), waiting to be chosen by an expectant mom, waiting for my mom’s breast cancer battle and treatments to end. I waited in response to my circumstances, and certainly not because I chose to wait. But late last year, I felt the Lord calling me into an intentional season of waiting - a holy kind of waiting.
Let’s be honest here. I don’t wait well. I don’t pause well. I’m a control freak and I don’t like not knowing what I’m waiting for. It’s a completely powerless feeling. (Insert thinking face emoji here). Yep. Pretty sure that’s the way God intends it – “let go and let God” as my Baptist brothers and sisters say (don’t get me started on Christianese slogans because that’s another topic for another day).
I began co-blogging with my friend Courtney a few short years ago. The intent was to share our infertility stories in hopes of encouraging other women who came behind us. We were consistent at times, and much less than consistent in others. But last year we felt God was calling us to amp things back up again. We had a dear friend create an official website for us, we opened a shop, and we even formed some affiliates. Things were rolling along good. We were right in the middle of God’s plans – right? Maybe. I grew unsettled and felt an overwhelming urge to just ditch it. It seems crazy. Here’s what happened – yes we were doing God’s will, but no we weren’t waiting on His timing. And when the two don’t line up, well nothing else will either.
This year it was clear that God wanted me to pause –until a time He clearly said otherwise. And so I entered 2017 with a purposeful holy waiting period.
It’s now well into the year (half to be exact), and I am still unclear about what is next for me. But here are a few things that I am learning as I go:
- Waiting is biblical. God the creator did not form everything in one day. He very well could have spoken it all into being in a mere instant. Instead he waited and created everything day after day, with purpose. The Israelites waited years to be delivered into the Promised Land. The people waiting hundreds of years for their Messiah to be born. Jesus waited until his appointed time had come to be carried away by Roman soldiers, to die, and then to rise again. And now we await His return to earth. God models waiting for us in the Bible through all of his creation, and we are a part of that creation.
- Waiting is not a punishment. God does not call us into a season of waiting as a form of punishment. He calls us into waiting to draw us closer to Him. The whole reason he created us was because He wanted companionship – a deep and lasting relationship with us. Waiting strips us of any control we think we ever have, and puts our total reliance on our Savior. We need Him, just the way that He needs us to commune with Him.
- Waiting is preparation. During the seasons, God will mold our character and our hearts so that we can better receive the result. If we allow Him, God will do more in our journey to transform our spirits to be like that of Christ than He ever could otherwise. The transformation is part of the preparation to receive the gifts that He has to offer us.
- Waiting is purposeful. As Jeremiah says, waiting gives us a quiet hope. It strengthens our faith in those things that are yet to be seen. God wants good for us, and waiting allows our hearts to align with His will instead of our own selfish desires.
- Waiting is sweet. Holy waiting is a time of sweet reflection on what the Lord has done in our lives and is also a time of great hope for the future. It is a time of fellowship – of being still and shutting out the noise of this world. It is a time of just being – and of being in His word and in prayer. It is a time of rest and of growth.
Pausing has allowed me to revisit all my previous times of waiting, and rejoice in the blessings that came from those. It gives me great peace, hope, and excitement for the future. I serve a good Father whom I want to please through my purpose, gifts, and talents. I know that I am on the threshold of something truly amazing and wonderful. Each step and each pause is preparing me for building His kingdom.