Right now, an entire world, feels as if it’s in a holding pattern. In some capacity, each one of us find ourselves here. Unlikely victims of a virus that has audaciously forced our lives to hit pause. Living within limitations and without certain expectations. Maybe we are merely waiting for things to get back to normal. Many are waiting to enjoy the plans made pre-covid. Big plans, important plans, even long awaited plans. For some, the waiting is much weightier, like the wait for food, a paycheck, medical necessity, or reprieve from loss.
This is the HARD work of being human, of living in a broken world. We must wait. Forced to hold, hit pause, delay… living within the constraints of time and circumstances out of our control. However, there are things we can LEARN and DO while on stand by!
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”
Psalm 31:24 ESV
Our Waiting is not Waisted
In God’s economy, our disappointments and devastations become an opportunity for his presence and a path for our purpose.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4
If you are waiting for THAT young adult child to turn things around, or THAT long awaited relationship to come your way, or THAT financial burden to finally be lifted, or “fill in the blank”… it is not in vain my friend! Even if you are walking through the unimaginable or walking beside those who are, we can hold fast to some truths to keep our footing firm.
1. Waiting Reveals what we Worship
Not one human, to ever walk God’s green earth, is immune from the valley of waiting. Whether waiting for the next season of our favorite binge series to waiting for the next season of life. From waiting to find meaningful friendship to waiting to become a mother.
While standing by, we can ask ourselves some hard questions that may reveal what we worship while waiting.
- people or things do we turn to
- are we focused on
- do we prioritize
- habits we use to ease our impatience or satisfy our longing
These answers, in and of themselves, are not bad. In fact, they may reveal what we value most. Knowing our values is good! Value based living will cultivate a more meaningful and fruitful life. However, we must also take a hard look at our objects of affection. One that positions us to see those things that move from values to very bad gods… And eventually into what we worship.
Poor gods leave us empty and unsatisfied. Waiting will shed light on the people and things we falsely assume will satisfy us.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.Isaiah 58:11
2. Waiting Forges Faith
The good news: God is working in the waiting. Sister, even when we don’t feel it. He is always working. God uses our “on-hold” seasons to grow deep roots of truth and forge an anchored foundation of faith into our souls.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.Psalm 130:5-6
The pure fact that God gave us his only Son, Jesus, in order to redeem us and make a way for us to have a relationship with Him, is evidence that He is trustworthy! Though it may feel like he’s holding out on us, His waiting is for our ultimate good.
Years of pestering God with my own version of, “how long, how long, how long”… taught me WHO God really was. Because, if we wrestle enough with the Lord and pester Him through prayer, and remain steadfast in His word. He WILL reveal his character. Faithfully, proving His ability to sustain and satisfy our souls.
3. Waiting Produces Fruit
This storyline is a common theme in the Bible… Waiting for God to fulfill his promise. Like a looooooonnnnnggggg time! Abraham lived it. Sarah felt it. A wife who waited 25 years for God to make good on His promise of a son. Here is what God said to Abraham, about Sarah, (aka the woman who waited until her one hundredth birthday to become a mother).
I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”Genesis 17:16
To become the mother of literal nations, after living a whole century of barrenness, will cultivate character like nothing else!
Our waiting isn’t meant to be passive. There are ways to spend our time in the valley of waiting.
How to spend our waiting
- Plant. Reckon with your time of waiting by doing something that nourishes your soul. Invest in a relationship, ministry, area of neglect. Read a book of the Bible. Build a good habit, or several.
- Nurture. Foster your relationship with God. Knowing him by knowing his truth will help protect you from the lies that can come at us in the waiting. So often God uses these seasons to prepare us for a future calling or difficulty. Give him the chance.
- Rest. Be comforted by the fact that nothing is ever waisted in God’s economy. This… “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3-4
Sister, we have a God who is patient with us. He’s slow to get frustrated with our sin and shortcomings. God is longing to gently lead us down the road of transformation… holding our tears in his hands and our hopes in his sovereignty.
I know that you can do all things,Job 42:2
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Let’s look for God in the midst of the “please stand by”.