Waiting on God requires a inordinate amount of patience. It hasn’t always been my strong suit, but after some mistakes and heartbreaks over the years, I’m a lot better equipped to handle the waiting game. In my heart, I know God has the perfect plan for me, but in my humanness, it’s His timing that keeps me on edge and waiting in anticipation.
I’ve been known to pray over a situation, ask God to direct my steps and hand over the request to Him, only to take it back hours later. I sometimes pray about something and then expect God to answer my request immediately. When He does, I shout for joy and give Him the virtual high five. When He doesn’t, I show my impatience. I feel discouraged, frustrated, and tempted to handle it on my own. I can hear myself saying, ‘Lord, why haven’t you answered yet?’
Wait on God
In one particular season of life, I accepted a new position mostly because they kept calling, and it looked like a great opportunity. A couple of months later, I discovered it wasn’t anything close to what I had been told. I had messed up big time, and I had given up a job I truly loved.
Because there are consequences for every poor decision, the responsibility belonged to me.
I realized none of what happened was by accident, nor was it done on a whim. I had prayed about the job offer, made a list of pros and cons, and made the decision. He gives us the free will to do so, but when it’s done outside of His Will, then our decisions become costly learning experiences.
God’s Word tells us in Romans 5:3-4, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.”
In hindsight, I let exhaustion and lofty goals persuade me to leave the job I loved. My impatience and pride led me to a place I didn’t want to be. I had taken matters into my own hands, hurried the process, and manipulated the outcome. I had stepped outside of God’s Will and made the decision of my own volition.
Now, all I could do was wait for God to intervene and move me to another place.
That season was a defining moment for me. I realized I should never trust my own instincts above God’s faithfulness. All He has for me comes from His unconditional love, His perfect timing, and the path He deems best for me. Sometimes that means allowing me to suffer the consequences of my decisions motivated by sinful desires.
I am reminded of Jonah, who despite perfect guidance and a clear path from God, made the decision to go one way, while God had another direction in mind. Jonah wasn’t waiting on God to call the shots, instead he was trusting himself. Over and over Jonah had the opportunity to trust the Lord and save himself from tough and unpleasant situations. But he didn’t–at least not right away.
Sometimes it’s our deepest fears that cause us to make wrong choices. When we find ourselves in this predicament we must take a courageous look at ourselves and make the necessary changes to honor God. We may think we know best, but ultimately His plan is perfect.
A Teachable Moment
Jonah’s story teaches us that working outside the will of God brings consequences. We may attempt to forge our own path or circumvent God in the short term, but His purpose will eventually be realized, just as it was for both Jonah and Ninevah.
God uses all kinds of situations to build our character, strengthen our faith, and prepare us for what’s ahead. He is good to those who wait confidently on Him.
“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26
Seek God’s Direction
There’s no question I should have waited for God’s guidance and direction, but I didn’t. Thankfully, He picks me up when I fall down, meets my every need, and gives me hope and expectancy for the future.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
The painful reminders of those impatient moments may be indelibly etched in my memory, but I know God works for the good of those who love Him. Here are three steps that help me as I wait on God.
- Seek Him in all things and pour out your prayers and concerns to Him
- Thank Him for what He’s already done in your life and for what He’s about to do
- Stand strong on His Word and Promises
Consider a time when you felt like God was holding out on you when His answers don’t come quickly.
How did you handle it? What could you have done differently? What decisions are you currently facing? How might you wait well on God?
**This post was originally written for www.heartwingsblog.com and is featured in the Friday Focus section.