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A few months ago, I visited a church I hadn’t been to in quite some time. Like, five or six years.
On this particular Sunday, they were discussing a cause that was very near and dear to their hearts. The church had been sending people overseas to a war-torn third-world country for years and on this particular Sunday, they were pleased to announce that the fighting had ended!
I remember being at the church years before, when they had first started sending people over. And now, a handful of years later, the fighting was done. They had rescued people. They had made a difference.
I thought about what *I* had done over the same amount of time. I’d had a baby. And then another. But that was about it. I hadn’t saved the world; I hadn’t even saved one person.
When God Says Wait
Many of you may not know this, but I actually went to school to be an elementary school teacher, not a writer. I had this whole career timeline in my mind, and it would have been perfect. Except that’s not what happened.
I got pregnant before finishing college, and while I did eventually go back and complete my last semester, I never became a full-time teacher. Instead, I entered a period of waiting. A time when God said, “Yes, you will do big things. But not yet.”
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! –Psalm 27:13-14
Perhaps you’re in a waiting season too. If so, you have my sympathy. I know just how tough it can be when God says wait. How it feels when you have big plans, big hopes and big dreams, and you feel stuck on the bench.
But ultimately, we have to trust that when God says wait, He has a good reason.
When God Says Wait: 9 Reasons Why
Now, I don’t know your specific situation and I definitely don’t claim to know and understand God’s ways, but here are a few reasons I can think of why God may be making you wait. Perhaps one applies to you.
- You aren’t ready yet (either spiritually, emotionally, physically or mentally).
- God’s plan for you involves other people too, and they aren’t ready yet.
- You need a stronger support team than you have right now; those take time to develop.
- God wants to come through for someone else at just the right time, and that hasn’t happened yet.
- If you get involved in something (or with someone) now, you’ll be too distracted when the right situation/person comes along later.
- You have other tasks to accomplish before your big task can take place.
- You need to develop a certain skill set or certain relationships first.
- You need knowledge or life experience you don’t have yet.
- The person you are meant to help doesn’t need your help yet.
Ultimately, we never know why God says “Wait.”
We simply have to trust that when God says wait, He has His reasons, and they are good ones.
How to Respond When God Says Wait
Hearing a “wait” when you really want to rush forward and save the world can be difficult. After all, it’s good to want to make a difference, right? Well… only if the timing is right. And when God says wait – that’s a clear sign that it isn’t.
Here’s how to cope in the meantime.
First of all, pray to make sure that the “wait” you hear is actually a “wait” and not just you being lazy. Secondly, pray for more detail. What exactly does God want you to wait on? Is it just one opportunity that you need to hold off on, or do you need a more extensive period of rest where you opt out of all opportunities for the time being?
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. –Lamentations 3:25
Whether you are waiting because you aren’t ready personally or because the timing simply isn’t right yet, periods of waiting are an awesome time to grow and develop in your faith to make sure that you are prepared when the time comes. Spend this time wisely. Read your Bible, pray, rest, build your family, practice putting God first –whatever you need to do to grow as a Godly woman.
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. –Isaiah 40:31
Waiting may feel torturous at times, but the good news is: it won’t last forever. Eventually you will be called to action, and you’ll have to be ready to figure out what your next steps should be. The next steps rarely come with a huge, blinking “Go this way!” light, however, so you’ll need to do your best to discern which way you should go.
Discerning God’s will can be very tricky! These articles have some good advice, though, to help you figure it out:
- 3 Warnings in Discerning God’s Will — Charisma News
- 8 Questions to Ask When Discerning God’s Will — Guideposts
- 8 Keys to Knowing God’s Will for Your Life — BibleStudy Tools
Waiting may not be easy and it’s rarely fun, but it is always worth it when we trade the temporary pleasures we want now for the perfect plan God has in store for us. After all, someday the waiting will be over, and you’ll likely have something awesome to show for it. And then it will all make sense. You just have to wait.
Have you ever been in a time of waiting (or are you currently)? How did you get through it? How did you grow because of it?