Waiting is hard. Whether it's for a ride at the amusement park, your next paycheck or a friend running late for dinner, waiting requires a certain level of patience. I always thought I had it. Apparently, I don't.
To wait means "to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens." It sucks. It’s a serious struggle and I've been driving the bus. Like what do you mean “until a particular time”? When is that time? And what is that “something else”? When is that supposed to happen? Hello, I need answers! And I am not getting them. Not yet, at least.
Waiting on God is infinitely harder than waiting on anything or anyone else. He's the author of time. What may seem like a thousand years to me could be but a second to Him. Delayed gratification ends up looking more like “it’s never going to happen.” It's easy to anticipate the next season because we’re tired of waiting. But a message I heard recently encouraged me: "Don't covet the next season, for it will come with its own frustrations." That really spoke to me.
What I’ve learned is that while waiting on God, there will be forces at work seeking to distract and discourage us. When God tells you to go one way, you can be sure that a train, job opportunity or text message is inviting you to go in the other. You may want to take matters into your own hands (like I often do). Or you may doubt what God has said. I know firsthand how easily those distractions and doubts can creep in. I actually drafted this post months ago at a time when I was walking confidently in my promise. But I got distracted and began to doubt that promise so I couldn’t write about it.
I was encouraged by my pastor's message last week. She spoke to us from Numbers 23:19, which reads: "God is not a man, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" I said “Shut up!” out loud. I felt like God was speaking directly to me saying He will fulfill His promises to me. It's up to me to trust and wait on Him. It will happen, just in His timing. And that's the most aggravating part! (Let's be honest.)
It's our guide book. You may have heard that God speaks to us through His Word, but have never experienced it. Let me tell you: it's real. I've noticed that I doubt God's promises more easily when I haven't been reading my Bible daily. I have more clarity when I'm reading and studying and asking the Holy Spirit to teach me. I'm not as crazy and emotional and impatient. It literally keeps me in check. The Bible is our most valuable weapon. When we face doubt, we need to be able to quote the Word back and eliminate it. (Pew pew!)
Reading and praying go hand-in-hand. Maybe you've tried it but aren't sure how it works. My advice is to get real with God. He knows you. He created you. The Lord knows I'm...a little dramatic and think I need to get my life together. So there is absolutely no reason for me to go to Him as if I have it all together. He's my friend! When I'm feeling down, wherever I am, I just begin calling out to Him. It may go a little something like this: "Jesuuuuussss (as I proceed to fall across my bed)! I am SO confused. Like I feel like none of this is panning out the way I thought it would. I know you said XYZ, but this is not how I pictured it." Or "Ugh! I'm just so lost. Why is it taking so long? This doesn't make any sense. I tru--well, I'm trying to trust You, Father. Help me." And without fail, over time I feel a growing sense of calm. It's not always immediate, but it's always on time. That's when I...
You can easily forget (or miss) God's promises if you don't keep a record. I carry my journal with me everywhere and jot down thoughts, quotes and sermons notes throughout the day. Occasionally, I'll flip back to a few weeks or months ago and start reading. Each time, I'm blown away by answered prayers, confirmations and how my heart has changed since that time. God is moving, y'all. He's working. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. Just because the progress isn't obvious doesn't mean something isn't being orchestrated. God hasn't forgotten about you. He hasn't forgotten about me. Hebrews 6:15 says: "And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Do we have the faith to see our promises through? Write them down and remind yourself daily.
Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Nothing good comes from looking at another person's life, finances, boyfriend, shoes or eyebrows and wishing they were yours. You don't know what they had to go through to get to them. (Those brows could be tattooed and you not about that life.) Sometimes we want things so badly that we begin to covet what we see someone else has. Listen, get your own. I don't know about you, but I want a custom-made blessing. I want to know that I know that it came from God, who is an amazing gift giver. Like the best. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" Look up, not around. Chase after Him and He will supply your every need.
I have a handful of girlfriends that I share some deep stuff with. It’s a wonder we’re still friends. (You can't be telling everybody what the Lord tells you because a lot of it won't make logical sense.) On the days I'm struggling, they're who I go to. They keep me level-headed and send me Scriptures to encourage me--like Numbers 23:19. We hold one another accountable and corporately check our crazy. (This is why you need varying levels of crazy in your friend group. Rest more heavily on the advice of someone of equal or lesser crazy.) Sometimes we get mad at the accountability and crazy checks, but we always always appreciate it later. Get you some friends like that. You deserve it.
We are humans and imperfect and flakey, so it's no wonder we sometimes convince ourselves that God must be the same. But He's not. He fulfills His promises. I'm on a journey to believe that, even when it seems impossible or unrealistic or that it's taking too long for my liking. Luke 1:45 says: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Don’t stop believing. And be blessed. That's what makes life deleesh.