Do you hate to wait? You’re not alone.
I know what I want and I know I need it now. At least that’s what I think. But God’s timing and my timing are rarely the same.
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In life, you’ll wait. Many people in the Bible did:
- Joseph waited 13 years, suffering through countless trials and tribulations.
- David waited 15 years before becoming king.
- Abraham waited 25 years before God’s promise of a son.
- Moses waited 40 years in the wilderness.
- Jesus waited 30 years before starting his public ministry.
Are you waiting?
Not only are you not alone, but you’re also in good company.
Maybe you’re married and waiting to have kids. Maybe you’re single and you desire a spouse. Or maybe you hate your job and you’re waiting to really start the career of your dreams. Whatever it is, you’re waiting. And you want to know what to do.
Here’s at least 5 things.
1) Examine your heart.
Not what you wanted to hear, huh?
It’s okay. I didn’t want to hear this either. But a self-assessment will do wonders:
- Why do you want what you want?
- Have you turned ____ into an idol?
- Is your heart restless or impatient? If so, why?
- Are you content in Christ if God doesn’t give what you want?
It stings. But try it. Examine your heart. Maybe the Lord is waiting for you to confess and repent before he gives you anything.
2) Worship, pray and give thanks.
Listen, you might be in a hurry. But God isn’t.
While you wait, pray, worship and give thanks. If you don’t, your heart will become restless and irritable. You might even fall victim to sin and temptation, and that won’t help anything.
3) Wait patiently, wait quietly, wait expectantly.
How should you wait? Patiently, quietly, expectantly.
Patiently: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7)
Quietly: “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5)
Expectantly: “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.” (Psalm 105:5 LB)
Your contentment in Christ should be obvious. But at the same time you should feel eager — not anxious — that God will come through, even if it’s not in the way you might expect.
4) Ask for advice.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, . . . and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Yes, God gives wisdom through reading Scripture, prayer, and life experience. But often, in God’s providence, God gives wisdom through the counsel of other wise Christians.
If you’re waiting and don’t know what to do, ask another trusted Christian friend.
5) Do the next thing.
We’ve all met that Christian looking for employment. “I’m not going to apply anywhere. I’m just going to trust God to provide.”
“No, you should apply for as many jobs as you can,” would be my reply.
Anyway, waiting on Jesus is a common experience for disciples. We all have to do it. But when stuck in a pinch and unsure of what to do next, Elizabeth Elliot’s simple, famous words on this topic are helpful: “Do the next thing.”
That’s it. Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t hyper-spiritualize it. Don’t over think it. Just do the next thing.
So there’s five things you can do. If you find yourself in one of these seasons, remember: When God make you wait, he’s not depriving you, he’s changing you. He’s making you more like Jesus. And waiting is one of God’s ways to do this. As John Ortberg says, “Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”
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