Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Waiting Game

By Julie Gernand
I'm not good at waiting. 
Patience is definitely not a virtue that comes easily to me. Whether waiting at the dentist to go in for a teeth cleaning, or waiting to hear what part I was given in a school play, my always-on-the-go, energetic nature has often gotten the better of me. I often drive myself crazy while waiting for something to occur, hoping that somehow I can have control over the timing of the outcome. 

“I want to know things, God, and I want to keep things moving. NOW!” urges the voice in my head.

Many of us are going through a period of waiting in our current stage of life. Sometimes seasons of life mean waiting on a job, waiting for a spouse, waiting to have a child, waiting for a relationship to heal, waiting for an illness to pass...the list goes on.

Whenever I am faced with a season of waiting, I remember the times in Scripture when God called his people to wait. The Lord told Abraham and Sarah that they were to have a son. Yet - He waited until Sarah was in her nineties to fulfill this promise!

Talk about a long wait!

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, 
and Sarah your wife will have a son.” 

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18: 10-15)

Sarah’s disbelief was evident in her response to the news. She laughed! How I love that. How utterly human of her! I can see it happening. “How could God come through on something after all this time? Ha!” she thought. But our mighty God can do anything!

One caveat here. Yes, God can do anything he pleases. But often, the answer to our “God, why am I waiting?” question may come as something other than what we had in mind in our perfect scenario.

I recently heard an acronym that I find very helpful: P.U.S.H - "Pray Until Something Happens." God knows the desires of our hearts. God knows our past, present, and future. He knows what is in His best interest for us. While praying through our time of waiting, we also need to pray that God aligns the desires of our hearts to be His design for us.

We are all in the same period of waiting right now, as we await Christ’s return. Some days, when I find myself bogged down by the troubles around me, aware of all our worldly turmoil, I think, “Lord! Come quickly! End this suffering we are surrounded with and take us with you!”

And what a grand day that will be! Yet, until Christ’s return, and while we wait for earthly struggles to sort themselves out, we can be sure of three things:
  • God is supreme, aware, and active.
  • God listens, hears, and acts on our prayers. 
  • God never uses our periods of waiting on any situation for naught. 
You pray, and God will act - according to his good, gracious, and perfect will.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
(Lamentations 3: 25-26)

Lord, Forgive me when I am impatient. I cannot see past the end of my own nose many days. Help me to see the bigger picture. Help me to trust that you have my best desires in mind, and that as I submit myself to you, you will help me to live for you, no matter what the circumstance.

Amen.

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