Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways~ Isaiah 64:4-5
I was an irritating child. I was that tiresome little kid who always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I was extremely curious about everything and never willing to wait.
Because God has a rather quirky sense of humor, I now have a child who is very much like me. She hates to wait for anything and frequently asks many of the same questions I recall asking my own parents. Ironically, I find myself answering her questions with the same wearisome line my parents gave me as a child:
You’ll just have to wait and see.
To this day, there is little in this world I hate more than “wait and see”. However, a long, drawn-out period of waiting has taught me some hard truths. I’ve learned that no matter how much I might wish to, we can’t hurry God. Some things are going to take as long as they are going to take.
I am slowly learning through this process that the secret to keeping sane during a long period of “wait and see” is to keep busy and focused on living life. If you find yourself stuck in wait and see, I’m sorry. I really do know how you feel. Following are a few things you can do to be effective as you wait to discover what God has in store for you next.
Don’t forget that some of God’s favorite people spent years waiting for the next thing
Moses spent forty years marking time in the desert. Joseph waited decades between the birth and the culmination of his dream. Even Jesus was told to sit tight for thirty years before beginning the ministry He was born to do. Waiting doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that God has forgotten about you. It just means that God is busy working some things out in you and on your behalf before He launches you into your next project.
Pray like crazy
Pray for wisdom, perseverance and vision as you wait. There are countless reasons God places us in a wait and see pattern. Sometimes it’s because He’s waiting for us to let go of our vision and catch hold of His. Other times He’s preparing our hearts for the next thing. Sometimes it’s because He’s working on someone who will come along aside us. Whatever the case may be, prayer gives us supernatural insight into our situation, the power to persevere and keeps us united in spirit with God as we wait.
Do what God puts in front of you to do
God never leaves us without a task. Sometimes we can get so caught up in waiting for something better that we fail to do what is right in front of us with excellence and passion. Even basic tasks like raising a family, caring for a spouse and working a secular job have meaning and deep spiritual significance if they are done well and with eternity in mind.
Deciding to get busy and be intentional about blessing others is an almost magical act that takes our minds off our own misery and lack of forward motion. It also helps us to put our problems in proper perspective and opens the door for God to bless us.
Commit to grow
One of the worst things about waiting is the sense that you aren’t really doing anything significant. It may not feel this way, but you are doing something significant. You are preparing for the next thing God has for you. It’s the perfect time to commit to a deeper level of prayer and Bible study.
The discouragement and frustration that goes along with a prolonged period of waiting can lead to the temptation to find satisfaction in some other area of our lives. When we find ourselves in a “wait and see” pattern, we must be intentional about avoiding situations that might lead to trouble and spiritual compromise.
Being stuck in “wait and see” is tough. It doesn’t matter what we are waiting for—be it reconciliation with a loved one, a need to be met, direction, justice, a change in circumstances or a clean bill of health. None of it is easy.
For those of us who believe that God is good and is working on our behalf, a long period of “wait and see” can challenge those beliefs and cause us to doubt our own worth and value. If we buy into those lies, we might just miss out on all the blessings and joy that will go along with that next thing.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord~ Psalm 27:14