From Natalie: Ashley will be familiar face to many of you long-time blog readers. She's got a heart brimming with wisdom and inspiration. (I'd be lying if I didn't say that there were time I wish I were way more like her.) Having read much of her own faith journey online over the years and then chatting via Skype or snail mail, Ashely impresses upon me as a person of great patience and graciousness. I read and hear her words, and immediately think of the story of the two sisters hosting the Savior in their home: One sits at his feet--the better portion. One is busy doing. (Don't worry she catches on later where she ought to be.) Ashley sits at the same Master's feet. She chooses the better portion. And I'm learning by her example to do the same. Be sure to stop by her blog and website today, and follow her along!
"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." ~Psalm 27:14
No matter how fast technology is moving or how much we're conditioned for instant gratification, waiting is still part of the human process. Everyday we are waiting; waiting for the seasons to change, job promotions, school to end, friend and family members to find salvation, to find our spouses, for healing to happen and answers to come. Our life is characterized by this necessary and unavoidable pause that comes from time to time and we don't always respond well to it. I'll be the first one to admit that I never respond well initially. The only other common experience for humanity besides waiting is suffering. This should help us be prepared to embrace those moments instead of growing bitter and resentful towards God. You're not alone in the waiting.
Human Responses to Waiting
- Lack of Joy
- Lack of peace
Elisabeth Elliot talks about these and says, “Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands...In Him alone lie our security, our confidence, our trust. A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.”
If we are responding with restlessness, impatience, lack of joy and peace, we aren't putting our trust in God. Often times, we go through waiting times because God wants to deepen our trust in Him. Other times, He wants to test our character to see if we want His will above our own.
What Am I Supposed to Do While I Wait?
- Seek God - Spend more time in thanksgiving and worship. As you focus on Him, you'll begin to see more of His character and His works in your life.
- Serve - Whether you serve at church or some other organization, invest your time on others. You'll find that you're not alone in the waiting and also, you'll learn wisdom from others who have been in your place.
- Pray - As soon as you feel like you can't focus on anything else but what you're waiting on, give it to the Lord. Do it as many times as you need. There's peace in giving God our burden and exchanging it for His joy.
- Trust God - He has your back. His timing is better than ours. Do not lean on your understanding and simply trust God.
In light of this, waiting seasons can strengthen our faith and bring forth the character of Christ in our lives. If you find yourself waiting on God, here are Scripture verses to strengthen you while you wait.
Comfort and Encouragement While Waiting
- Waiting on God brings depth to our relationship with Him. (Psalm 37:7)
- If you wait for Him to answer, He will. (Psalm 38:15)
- Hope is found in the uncertainty. (Psalm 62:5)
- Be confident in His guidance if He's silent. (Psalm 32:8-9)
- You're not alone in the waiting. (Gal 5:5)
- Practice patience, along with the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)
I've seen a significant amount of believers leave the faith because they fail to wait on God. This shouldn't be so. Take courage and be brave! His plans for you are good. Don't be discourage in waiting seasons.