Some Thoughts on Waiting on God

To be honest, I’m not sure to whom I’m writing this post today–but I suspect somebody needs to hear it. As I prayerfully consider topics for this site, this one continues to come to mind: waiting on God. The shepherd/ pastor in me comes to life when I’m reminded of believers who increasingly grow impatient with God, and I want us to pray for one another about that issue today.

So, I begin simply with some Bible texts that remind me that I need to let God redeem my impatience:

  • “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isa 40:31)
  • “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psa 27:14)
  • “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Psa 130:5-6)
  • “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Mic 7:7).

When I read these verses, waiting seems so easy. We simply look forward to the day when God is going to respond, and we stay focused on Him in the meantime. Waiting is seldom that easy, however. 

Why, then, does God require us to wait?

  1. Waiting reminds us that He is in charge. We’re not in charge of the calendar or the clock. We don’t control all things. Only God does, and His calling us to wait reminds us of that truth.
  2. Waiting teaches us faith. Faith is the evidence of things unseen, the confidence of things not yet taking place (Heb. 11:1). The concept almost assumes a gap in timing between our request and God’s response. If everything happened immediately, faith would be less necessary.
  3. Waiting makes us grateful. When we pray for something and God requires us to wait, we are more grateful when He finally does respond positively to our prayers. And, we learn in a strange way to be grateful as we wait even if He chooses to respond “no” to our prayers,
  4. Waiting reveals our idolatries. If we simply can’t wait on God, it’s likely because something we want to happen is more important to us than God’s overall plan. We think our plan is so right that God needs to respond to it right now.
  5. Waiting prepares us for whatever God has for us in the future. Whatever God’s plan is, waiting is often God’s way of saying, “You’re not ready to receive what you want yet.” He knows our hearts, and He alone knows when He needs to do some work in us  before granting our request. Our call is to trust Him in the meantime.

I’m praying that God will grant patience and hope to many of our readers today. Let us know how we might together pray for you.

 

 

7 Comments

  • Dr. Lawless,

    As you know Gina and I have been waiting and seeking the Lord’s will now for almost two years. We are content most of the time but there are times you feel like you’re spinning your wheels in mud and seem to be in limbo. I thank you for your words today but I thank you even more for the Scriptures you shared because I truly needed to be reminded that the Lord is in charge and He has something in store for me and my family.

  • Donna says:

    Thank you for this timely, encouraging post! My husband and I are waiting for our 28 year old son to move beyond fear into faith in seeking God’s direction for a job. We trust God is working in him to connect many dots to be obedient and step out in faith. We also know He is working in us to trust “His” timing teaching us to reach out with unconditional love rather than frustration…when our son is not living up to our expectations. Ouch. When we focus on God’s perspective and also realize things could be far worse, we have His peace. Waiting does reveal our impatience and other imperfections.

  • Brian Smith says:

    Thank you Dr. Lawless. I know at least one person you wrote that for today.

  • What God seems to be teaching me about waiting: It’s possible that I have a different idea about waiting than God does; I think I’m waiting for God, when actually, it is God who is waiting for me. The object of my “waiting on God” is often that I want God to do something for me, bless some activity I want to do for God, or get some specific word from God. I think the object of God’s “waiting for me” is that he wants me to come into a more intimate relationship with him. God seems to be saying to me, Eddie, if you just focus on knowing me and walking in close fellowship with me, you will never have to wait on Me because your life will be in step with me. Paul had a definite mission, yet in Phil 3:10 he said “I want to know Christ, and experience the power that raised Jesus from the dead.” I have found it remarkable that the Bible never mentions a single act or great deed that Enoch ever performed during his life. The Bible simply says in Genesis 5 that “Enoch walked in close fellowship with God…and then he was no more because God took him.” And yet, Enoch is mentioned in the list of heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11:5. So God, as we go each day, give us one passion in life, to know you and walk in close fellowship with you. May your Spirit rise up in us as an overflowing well, that out of us may flow rivers of living water that bring life and refreshing to those around us.

  • Waiting prepares us for whatever God has for us in the future.

    As I sat in a room across from three folks who were determining my future and the future of a colleague who is the father of two severely handicapped children, my exit from that room began my waiting to see what God had waiting for us. Interestingly enough for me it included taking pictures of cranes instead of what I had been doing and loving for 20+ years.

    Such are the ways of God. Such are the ways of men.

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