If you’re in a season of wait. Welcome, friend.
I pulled a journal from last year and read through words describing my season of wait at that time. And here I am – still waiting. Then I wrote again this year about the season of waiting and how maybe it’s not a season at all, but a state of being – a place where we are called to live as followers of Christ. In the waiting. In the stillness as He orchestrates each step.
But what do we do in the waiting – Besides wait?
I believe God has given us clear instruction on how to live our life in action while we wait. And through this instruction may we come to know the wait is not about us waiting on God, but about God waiting on us.
This is not an oxy-moron. This is God’s upside-down kingdom at it again. And when we finally learn that His ways are not ours – we can find peace – in the waiting.
If I could only pick one thing to do in the waiting. It would be this one – soak up His Word. If God communicates to us through the written word – and we are waiting on God to speak to us – the most logical thing to do, in the waiting is to open His Word.
Read it, soak it in, consume it, ponder it, pray it, seek His Word to become your wisdom, learn it, memorize it, discuss what you read with those around you. Soak up His Word every single day in the waiting. We can only hear Him speak if we are familiar with His voice. We must know the truth of His Word. His Word will sustain us and bring strength when our faith wavers. When doubts set in and questions arise in the waiting His Word will nudge us back to Him. His Words will guide our hearts so that we will know His way in the waiting.
In a world of snapchat and text messages, where a telephone call is rare and in-person conversation is practically obsolete. We absolutely must make time to visit with God. Even more so when we are waiting for an answer, direction or wisdom on this journey. God longs for us to draw near to Him. To know Him. To trust Him. James reminds us:
When we approach God as a “genie in a bottle” our view of Him is sadly obscured and His performance or lack thereof in our timing keeps us in doubt and frustration along the way. But we are human. And thankfully, God knows this about us. He knows that we are but finite, physical creatures who operate within the boundaries of time and space. Prayer can take us beyond what is tangible and help us see the eternal. Prayer can take our natural perspective and transform it into a supernatural perspective. We will begin to notice small details of our day as “God moments”. Considering each person we meet as a “divine encounter”. Prayer will magnify God’s plan in our life because we will see things as He does. Paul writes these words to the Colossians:
Our prayer time will create intimate communion with Him. His ways will become clearer, our hearts will become thankful and our minds alert as we take time to sit at His feet and learn what He teaches us in the waiting. Our eyesight is renewed as we turn our eyes from the waiting and gaze upon His Glory being revealed in each and every moment of our day.
We read a story in Acts 16 of a time when Paul and Silas were in a period of waiting. Not only were they waiting – they were waiting in the middle of a dire situation, in a prison – beaten, bruised and chained. And they were in this situation because they were spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to others. The scripture tells us they were stripped, beaten with wooden rods and thrown into the inner dungeon area where their feet were clamped in stocks so they could not escape. In those moments no doubt, of great pain and suffering – physically, emotionally and spiritually – in those moments of waiting on God to make a move. We see an interesting event transpire.
It’s midnight. Paul and Silas are bound – in prison. In pain. It’s dark. They are hurting. It’s an unfair circumstance. Yet, they worship. They could not physically move their bodies. They could not see a way out of this place of waiting. But they still had a praise. They mustered up enough strength to pray to the one true God. They understood that no matter how long they waited or what the outcome of this time would be – God was still God. And we know the sudden miracle that occurred when God stepped in that night in their waiting – in the midst of their worship – and he delivered them out of that prison cell.
When we worship God – we confirm to ourselves the truth of all He is. We acknowledge His greatness, His power and His glory. We don’t worship God so that He will deliver us. We worship God because He has delivered us. He is bigger than our circumstance, bigger than our surroundings and bigger than our period of waiting. When we recognize that He alone deserves all worship – our moments of waiting become moments of worship and this is what He desires.
The waiting seasons can be quiet. They can be still. They seem to never end. Writing does several things for us during these moments of wait.
It’s hard for us to see the end when we are in the middle. We tend to lose hope for what lies ahead. Our gaze becomes clouded by the here and now. Writing is a beautiful tool given to us by God. His very words have been preserved for us through writing. In the waiting period, we can use writing to document our days. A means of remembering. A memorial if you will – a written reminder of each step taken during the wait. By writing our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and hopes down onto paper we also give voice to the things we are afraid to say out loud and we bring into light the falsehoods that arise in our minds during the wait. Paul reminds us in I Corinthians:
Writing gives us the ability to take every thought captive. The arguments we make in the waiting. The sources that scream at us to “give up” or “make a move”. The doubts that surface and raise opinions against the truth of God’s word. We can thwart the very thoughts of doubt and anxiety by fleshing them out in our writing. Seeing our thoughts on paper will allow us the time to combat the very lies of the enemy with the truths we know of Christ. And when we’ve traveled the road of waiting; our writings will be beautiful monuments of the faithfulness of God during our time of wait – encouraging us on our journey to keep trusting. Keep leaning into Him. He’s got this – even in the waiting.
This may sound like the most obscure thing to do in the waiting. Or obvious thing. I guess the other way to say this would be – Be expectant!
I’m reminded of the story in Acts 3 of the lame beggar that laid at the gate called Beautiful. The scripture does not tell us exactly how long he waited at the gate. But we know he was carried to the gate every day. He was lame. He was poor. He needed someone else to carry him to the gate. But he showed up – expecting.
We see a beautiful picture of waiting with expectation here. In the midst of his wait – the lame man continued to show up. He continued to expect a different outcome than the day before. And at God’s ordained time – He stepped into the middle of his waiting and we see a man who was lame become a man who was leaping. We see the power of faith on display. A faith that only God could give and an expectancy that lead to a miracle. Keep watching for God. He is near. He only asks us to trust Him. Don’t grow weary in well-doing. Keep trusting and keep showing up. God is working in the waiting.
If you find yourself in this place. This place of hurry-up and wait. Be encouraged. Stay close to God through His Word and sweet time alone with Him. Write out your thoughts and feelings and watch Him move around you.
The truth is this: We are not waiting on God to change His mind or for Him to figure out what our next step will be. He is unchanging and all-knowing. He has prepared our paths before the beginning of time.
No, perhaps He is waiting on us – He’s waiting on us to come to Him for rest. He’s waiting on us to trust Him with all of our heart. He’s waiting on us to be still and acknowledge His ways. Like a gentle Father, patiently waiting on His children to look up at Him. He gently forms and molds us into His image and through this waiting period He is constant, but we have become a beautiful masterpiece giving Glory to God in the wait.
You are not alone, friend. I’m waiting with you in this season.