Yesterday I wrote about 3 heart struggles that make waiting difficult for us. Today I want to round out my discussion on waiting with 6 words that I've found to be helpful as I consider why the Lord calls us to wait.
What's The Point?
Why do we wait? Here's my thesis: "Waiting, by God's definition, is not an interruption of the plan; waiting is part of the plan."
I've found that there are 6 helpful words that you should associate with waiting:
Waiting is inescapable. This side of eternity, you'll never be able to escape waiting. Sure, for a moment, you might have some control over your circumstances, but by and large, God will call you to wait. Don't try to fight it - it's going to happen.
Waiting is not a punishment; it's mercy. If God wasn't merciful, there would be no waiting. He would meet out His justice immediately and all of us would be condemned. Waiting is a sign of God's mercy (2 Peter 3:9), so be thankful instead of irritated.
Remember how I said yesterday that we hate to wait because it seems meaningless? Well, waiting is far from meaningless to the Lord - it's productive. Waiting is not about what you get at the end of the wait; it's about what you become as you wait.
In a word, this is sanctification. Sometimes I wish I was zapped into Heaven immediately following my conversion. But God has kept me here, waiting for His return. This is not a mistake; God has a productive purpose for my heart during the wait.
God doesn't want you to be waiting with passive frustration; He wants you to actively seek the meaning of the wait. You might not find an immediate and direct answer, but you will find God (Jeremiah 29:13). If waiting is productive, and it is, God encourages you to be an active and joyful participant.
Waiting means that something good is coming. The good things that result may seem invisible or a long way off, but God is good (Mark 10:18) and His plan is good (Jeremiah 29:11). You can wait with hope, even in pain, because you know that something good is coming.
One day, waiting will end (Revelation 21:4). Jesus will return and the ultimate purpose of waiting will be accomplished. You can rest today, even in a fallen world, because you know that waiting doesn't exist Forever.
How Are You Doing?
Ask yourself this question: "How are you doing in the middle of the wait?" Are you angry? Are you frustrated? Are you irritated? Are you discouraged?
God is calling you to wait because He is doing things in you, through you, and around you that are very good. He has not forgotten you; He calls you to wait precisely because He loves you.
Waiting is changing you and helping you to be a tool of change in others who are waiting too. Find joy in the wait.