I’m sitting here on my leather couch, sipping coffee, listening to complete quiet while my toddler naps and my oldest is at kindergarten. I should be serene, fulfilled, peaceful…but I’m not enjoying myself. I’m feeling a mix of despair and hope that can only be described as waiting on God’s timing.
God is calling my family to something different. Does that sound vague? Well, I agree. It is vague.
We’ve known since January that my husband’s department was purchased by another company. And we’ve known for weeks now that he would be leaving his job.
Ry immediately received requests for interviews at other clinics, but interviews were pushed to weeks in the future. We just don’t know what decision we’ll need to make yet, where we’ll need to move, and when.
Does that make anyone else’s eye twitch like it does mine?
The Challenge of Waiting on God’s Timing
Waiting on God’s timing isn’t easy, whether the stakes are as high as a child waiting for Christmas, or as low as waiting for that package to arrive in the mail tomorrow.
Never mind. Both of those are high stakes situations.
Thankfully, God knows that humans often have a different timeline than He does. He’s gracious toward us.
And so often, we want things instantly – and not even necessarily for selfish reasons. We hope and pray for God to quickly get our friend’s adoption approved or for our Him to take away the pain a relative is feeling because of an injury. He understands and hears the cries of our heart.
So why does God make us wait?
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.Romans 8:22-24, MSG
The Bible verses above express the purpose and benefits of waiting much better than I could. I thought I’d attempt to break things down in really simple terms. But remember, I’m no Eugene Peterson.
To grow our patience
One virtue that grows within us while we wait is patience. When we’re patient, we’re saying that our timeline is not as important as the lesson. Patience gives more value to the result because it requires a decision to loosen our grip.
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.2 Thessalonians 3:5, NKJV
When what we’re waiting for patiently does finally happen, we can be fully satisfied in the result and enjoy a clear conscience. Patience makes the reward twice as sweet, because we grew in the process.
To grow our reliance on Him/Trust in Him
Are you waiting on God’s timing? Don’t turn to anything else while you wait, but make your Heavenly Father proud by continuing to trust Him when it’s hard.
He cares about you, and He wants you to care about Him, too.
To help us dialog with Him
God wants a relationship with the people He created. It’s pretty wild, isn’t it? I’m convinced that sometimes God makes us wait so that we speak with Him more and make our cases known to Him.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7, NLT
He wants us to pray, and He’s willing to give us what we ask for.
To bring about the right circumstances that we could never imagine
Sometimes God has an intricate mosaic to paint using the seemingly random pieces of our lives. He may be doing something you couldn’t imagine, and He might just be making sure the timing is right for A and B to lead all the way to Z.
If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”Esther 4:14, NLT
I love this verse so much. It’s true that God arranges things in our lives for a purpose.
To bring out the right heart response when our dreams do come true
Having a grateful heart is really pleasing to God. I like to think of this in terms of my own parenting experience. When my kids have to wait for a reward, they appreciate it so much more than if they receive it right away.
But those who wait on the LordIsaiah 40:31, NKJV
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.
While I’m not so cruel as to make them wait for absolutely everything, waiting is part of life, and I know from what I’ve seen in my own kids that when they get something instantly, it’s so much easier to take for granted than if it took a bit of time.
What should I do while I wait?
Take appropriate action based on your faith
If you can act in faith that what you’re waiting for will come to pass, then do it. (Just don’t take matters into your own hands and try to force something before it’s time.)
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.Hebrews 11:7, NLT
Another example is to prepare to move by organizing, donating, and trashing unused things in your home.
Do as much behind-the-scenes prep as you can for what you’re waiting for, but don’t take it too far. Keep patient, and God will reward you for it.
Focus on the good in your daily life
I love taking stock of the little positives in every day, especially when there’s a big event on the horizon that’s hard to wait for. But in case you were wondering, this wasn’t my own brilliant idea.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8b, NLT
Pray and praise God
Remind yourself that God is always good, and even makes good come out of bad things. Keep praising Him while you wait, and pray over what’s coming. The waiting room can be a difficult place, and prayer and praise will bring you peace.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7, NLT
Let go and let God
Whether or not you know what you want, it’s tempting to keep a firm grip on the unknowns we’re facing. This does nothing but make us more tense, more closed off to God’s will, and worst of all, it shows God that we aren’t trusting Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT
do not depend on your own understanding.
6Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
It’s a peace-giving, restful practice to allow God to handle our future while we wait. He’s such a gracious God and He truly cares about your life including both the big and small details. You can trust Him while you wait.
Waiting On God Verses
Be still in the presence of the Lord,Psalms 37:7, NLT
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!Proverbs 8:34
For everything there is a season,Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NLT
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,Luke 2:24-29
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
…When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”John 5:3, NKJV 6-9a, NLT
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed!
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT
We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.James 5:11, NLT
Benefits of Waiting upon the Lord
Here are just some of the benefits of waiting on God’s timing.
- greater faith
- closer relationship with God
- better circumstances
- accomplishing God’s will
Keep all of these things in mind as the future stretches out before you and you wonder what God is doing. The one thing you can count on is that He’s making something miraculous out of your wait.