How are you at waiting on God?
Psalm 25:21 (NKJV) “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You. “
Waiting has never been one of my strong characteristics, just ask anyone who really knows me. I get so antsy when I have to wait. Like the continual motion of today’s “instant everything” society, I struggle with the thought of waiting for anything. Pop culture, heavily influenced by the media, with it’s “I gotta have it all and I gotta have it right this second” attitude has drastically changed the way most of us spend our time and our money. In my life, I allowed this type of mentality to influence me to “take several steps ahead of God” instead of “waiting” for His perfect timing. The lessons I learned from this experience are invaluable and have forever changed my relationship and dependence on Him.
Several years ago, God opened a door for me to utilize the talents He blessed me with in a way that I had only dared to dream about. I feel confident that it was His calling and not mine because it was confirmed in so many different ways. I followed God’s lead through door after open door. Just after walking through what I believed to be another open door, I became overly anxious and ran ahead of Him completely losing sight of the work He was doing in the “waiting room.” What once were open doors suddenly turned into road blocks. Instead of looking to God for guidance and direction, I shifted focus to things I could do in my own power to keep the process moving. There I was relying on myself instead of seeking God’s infinite wisdom and timing.
With each passing day, the road blocks and challenges became greater as I attempted to take steps in my own direction. Instead of having conversations with God, I began to have them with myself. “What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this?” Not knowing what to do, I did nothing. I let a precious God-given gift sit on a “shelf” like a nicely wrapped present too beautiful to open. The desire to use the gift was still there, but I let it sit unused.
I’m not exactly sure when I came face-to-face with the reality of why my plans weren’t succeeding. This realization could have been through the gentle words of a trusted friend, or through the delivery of the pastor’s message one Sunday morning, or even through the praise and worship music flowing from the speakers of my car radio. But God spoke and a light-bulb finally illuminated over my head. I cried out to the gift giver from somewhere deep inside, “Lord, help! I got ahead of your plan and I have no idea what to do.”
Even thought I had lost sight of God in the process, He hadn’t lost sight of me. What a loving and gracious God we serve. I had ran so far ahead of Him with what I thought was best that I didn’t realize His plan for me had never changed. It was up to me to sit p-p-p-patiently (not an easy word for me to say – but I’m learning) in His perfectly designed waiting room.
There’s nothing like God’s waiting room. It’s a room where real growth takes place and where I have learned to “be still and know that He is God” while He puts all the pieces of His plan into place.
Today, when I find myself sitting in God’s waiting room, I lean on the following verses to remind me that His plan is still in motion.
Psalm 27:14 (NLT) “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Psalm 37:7 (NLT) “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”
Micah 7:7 (MSG) “But me, I’m not giving up. I’m sticking around to see what God will do. I’m waiting for God to make things right.“
Romans 8:25 (NCV) “But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.”
Gracious Father, please forgive me when I get too anxious and run ahead of you. Please help me to always remember that in the waiting room you are preparing me for the next phase of the journey you have called me to. Help me trust you more with each passing day. Amen