Wait - this is a word we learn to dread from a very early age. I want candy...you have to wait until after dinner. I want to play with my new toy...you have to wait until we get home. I want to date....you have to wait until you're at least 16. The list goes on and on.... We've been trained from an early age that the only thing standing between us and what we want is this REALLY long period of time. In a society that's ever-increasingly technological, instant gratification has re-trained us to think that we can (and should) have it all - right now.
I'm sure you've found that in your walk with God, he sometimes call us to wait. I recall a time in my life when I thought I was ready for the next step. I knew what God's plans were for me. I could envision them - I just had to reach out and grasp them. I can remember praying and praying for God to confirm what I knew to be His will for my life. For over a year, God spoke the same response to my heart over and over again - WAIT. Oh the dreaded word! I was through waiting! It had taken me my whole life to get to this point, and now God wants me to wait even longer?! I didn't understand why. Well, I did wait - reluctantly. It turns out that I was way off base about God's plan for me. His plan and what I thought was His plan were so embarrassingly different. He guided me down the path he had prepared for me and led me to the perfect place at the perfect time. I can look back now and see why He wanted me to wait, and I can see the many blessings I have experienced as a result of practicing patience in this situation.
It has been my experience that if you are in a season of waiting, then God is preparing you for something. I'm doing a Bible study right now on David, the psalmist. God directed Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel when he was just a young kid tending sheep. It wasn't until over a decade later that David actually became king. Talk about a long wait!
God has an amazing and perfect plan for each of us, but he must first prepare us for what He has called us to do. God prepares us in the waiting through trials of refinement. First Peter 1:6-7 says, "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (ESV). Lamentations 3:25-26 says, "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord" (ESV). The word quietly here can be translated as "in silence, mute." Now this doesn't mean that we have to take a vow of silence while we are in a season of waiting, but it does mean that our attitude needs to be in alignment with the fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. AND, not OR. We can't pick and choose which fruits we will bear, but we must exhibit each of these - Patience while we are being joyful, peace while we are choosing self-control, love while we are choosing to be faithful. I know this can seem excruciatingly painful and frustrating at times, but God is faithful and will see you through. I can't tell you where you're going or how you're going to get there or when you're going to be there. But, I can tell you that when God directs you to wait, He is working behind the scenes to bring you to the place He has called you to be. And, believe me, there is no greater place to be. He will give you the grace and strength you need to endure the waiting if you surrender yourself to Him and allow Him to see you through. Isaiah 40:31 says, "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" (ESV). Wait on the Lord, dear friend, because He is worth it.