Waiting on God
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
What are you waiting on?
If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s this: we are in a season of waiting. And let’s face it – no one likes to wait.
Maybe you’ve been waiting on a new job. Perhaps you are waiting for a new relationship. Or better health, or more income. Or for something or someone to change. Or for our country to heal, or your adult child to find Jesus.
There could be any number of things you’re waiting and praying for. I know my list grows with each passing day.
But there is an infinitely more interesting question we should be asking. In the words of Pastor Charles F. Stanley, “Do you know whoit is you’re waiting for?”
When we ask God to answer our prayers, are we waiting solely on the outcomes or are we waiting on the deliverer of those outcomes? I believe the one we’re actually waiting on is God! We’re hoping He will answer our prayers. We’re prayerfully expecting Him to supply the solution to our problems.
Yet, even if we have strong faith and believe in God’s promises, some days it’s just harder than others to not give up, to take matters into our own hands. What we are taught throughout scripture is that it’s in the “waiting” that we learn to truly trust God, not in the immediacy of His answers (for example, see Exodus 14:41, 2 Chronicles 15:7, Psalm37:7, Psalm 40:1, Lamentations 3:25-26, John 13:7, Romans 8:25, 2 Peter 3:8, Hebrews 10:36). This requires something increasingly rare these days – patience.
Many times in the past I’ve jumped in on my own trying to “fix” whatever I’m going through, to get the results I’m looking for right now, instead of waiting on God. The truth is that this approach is never a good idea, because when we supersede what God has planned for us, on His timing, we actually miss His plan entirely. I’ve learned that the hard way.
My friend Heather Frierson calls it the Sarah Syndrome. Perhaps you know the story from Genesis 16-21. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, had learned that God promised her husband a son to begin the start of a great nation. For years she waited as the promised son did not come, growing “sick” with impatience and doubt. Not in God’s ability to make the promise come true but in her part of the promise. Taking matters into her own hands, she instructed her servant Hagar to sleep with Abraham, and they produced a son, Ishmael.
The problem was that God had chosen Sarah, not Hagar, to be the mother of His chosen people. Despite Sarah’s best efforts, her scheming and plotting, the vision of a new nation was not accomplished through Hagar. And because of Sarah’s impatience and lack of faith, generations of endless conflict between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac continue to this day.
Waiting on God to reveal His plan may not be easy, but it always proves to be the right path. So while you’re waiting patiently for God, start expecting. Expect that God will never abandon you or let you down, no matter how long it takes. Expect that He will keep His promises to work all things for the good of those who stay true to His word. Do it faithfully through your prayers, your daily reading, and constantly trust, making Him your focus. In that expectation will come the blessing.
In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul reminds his readers that God’s ways are beyond the wisdom of men. Referring to Isaiah 64:4, he writes “God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Paul was telling both the early church and today’s Believers that we should never make the mistake of putting our will ahead of God’s.
Praying, waiting, expecting, receiving blessings. Remember – God is working for us even when we don’t see it.
He will always work on your behalfHe always hears your voice. He will always comfort you. He will always forgive you. He will always LOVE you.
May God continuously lead your path.