waiting

My high school Bible is riddled with notes about waiting. At the time I was waiting to meet “Mr. Right” and was also deciding which college to attend. The margins are crowded with questions:

How long, God?

How do I know?

Why do you keep me here?

Ten years later I look at the margins of my own Bible and see the same patterns emerge, though centered on very different issues. All of us are waiting for something.

In our recent move from Pennsylvania to Michigan (my fourth move in six years) I hoped normalcy would set in quickly. But my expectations have been challenged by new circumstances every day. I began to resent my waiting season. I’ve waited long enough! – I tell myself – I’ve paid my dues! But waiting is more than just a season; it’s part of life as a redeemed child of God. The sooner we accept this truth, the freer we live. Here are four reasons to stop resisting this season and embrace where God has you, regardless of the wait.

Waiting is a Spiritual Discipline

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… (Rom. 5:3-4)

Jesus Christ is not arbitrary. He does not ask us to wait without reason. To think He does is to exalt our human minds above Divine will! God always has a reason for making us wait. Sometimes it is for our protection; sometimes for our sanctification. Sometimes we never understand why at all. The waiting season is a challenge, and we can rise to it – or waste our years.

We don’t hear much about spiritual disciplines in today’s church, which is a shame. Disciples of Jesus are expected to be spiritually disciplined in behavior. Disciplining yourself requires self control, patience, and a continual walk of trust. That’s why waiting is a spiritual discipline! To resist your waiting season is to resist the very thing that is making you into the image of Christ.

Waiting is Part of God’s Plan

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lam. 3:25)

Sometimes our sinful actions result in a longer season than necessary. God will judge sin – even in the life of the believer – and there are consequences to our wrongful choices. But even when we have done no wrong, God allows difficult seasons to draw us near to Him and proclaim the gospel through our lives. Waiting is part of God’s plan.

When we try to shortcut the wait in order to get “the prize” (whether marriage, a relationship, a house or a job), we’ve missed the big picture. The waiting season isn’t about us. It’s about the gospel proclaimed through our waiting. This elevates our responsibility! Gospel-centric waiting demands God be made evident in our attitude toward the wait, as well as our behavior within it.

You Will Not Be Ready Without the Wait

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. (Is. 40:31)

Waiting strengthens character. It sanctifies the soul. Simply put, you will not be ready to do great things for God if you refuse to embrace your current season. He already has a “great thing” for you to do: To learn to wait well. Today is the day you trust Him. If you can’t do that today, you can’t do it when you’re married, have that job, or own that house.

Waiting on God is spiritual strength training: We lift the weight of loneliness, doubt, and impatience, choosing instead to trust God’s timing. As we do, we take on bigger things for the Lord; things He can trust us to handle because we’ve proven we’ll obey.

So I challenge you today: Stop resisting your waiting season. Embrace where you are. Lean into your Lord.

Stop resisting and run your race.

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