When I go through seasons of uncertainty, I have learned to ask myself, “Am I waiting patiently or striving anxiously?” After walking with the Lord through times of transitions, I realized these are my only two real options in times where God is asking me to WAIT.
I don’t know about you, but patience is NOT my strongest quality. I’m a doer and fixer. If I CAN do something, why would I wait? If a thought pops into my head, why not say it? If I have an idea, why not start now?
But the older I get, the more I’m learning the value of waiting. Because as much as my “let’s do it!” attitude gets things done, if I’m honest, it also tends to get me into trouble.
If only I had waited for that item to go on sale. I wish I had waited until I knew all the facts before sending that email. I can’t believe I didn’t wait the extra couple of minutes to let those cookies finish baking. I should have waited until I wasn’t so angry to say that.
From little to big situations, I can think of several times waiting patiently would have helped me avoid some heartache. So why is waiting patiently SO hard?
My natural tendency is to strive and anxiously control things. Fear and self-sufficiency tell me that I need to act NOW, or I will miss out. I need to take control of the situation and make something happen.
To put it simply, when I’m faced with uncertainty, I can either give it to God and wait patiently or try to control it and strive anxiously.
Am I the only one who tries to do this? I don’t think I am. If you look in Scripture, you find this statement repeated over and over again (almost like God knew we needed to hear it MULTIPLE times.)
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
“It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not when men prosper in their ways when they carry out wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7
“I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His Word, I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
So as I have been a personal season where I feel the Lord asking me to wait on some things, I have been thinking about the fruit waiting patiently develops in our lives.
Here are four reasons why waiting is GOOD for us:
1. Waiting questions our motives
I never get to the truth quite as quickly as when I’m being forced to wait on something. Oh, it’s really easy for me to say I trust where God has me when everything is new, fun, and exciting, but the moment I want to leave and God tells me to wait- well, I don’t like that as much. Everyone wants the promises of God, but are we willing to wait on them?
I find that in seasons of waiting, God is able to unearth my true motives and make me get real honest about things. Do I actually want the promise of God, or do I want what’s easy and convenient for me? I believe that sometimes God asks us to wait to see what our true motives are.
2. Waiting develops character
I would never have developed patience if I never had to wait for anything. God grows us in the waiting seasons. Just like an old photograph needs time to develop in the dark, often God needs to build our character, so we can handle the promise once we do receive it!
The Bible says it like this, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:4
3. Waiting protects us
So many times in my life, I have tried to get ahead of God. But whenever God asks us to wait, He usually has a good reason. Imagine a child who tries to run out into the road after her parent asked her to stay. If the child runs out into traffic, he or she could be hurt or killed!
Often, God can see more than we can, and His request to wait is divine protection from something we didn’t even see. When God asks us to wait, it’s not because He is withholding good things from us, but rather He wants to protect us.
4. Waiting allows God to work
I’ll be the first to say that I fall into the pride of thinking I’m a “self-made woman.” Yet, I can take almost no credit for anything good I have in my life. When I look back at times when things went smoothly and peacefully, it was always because of faith and obedience. God doesn’t need our “help,” despite what we may think.
When we get in the posture of surrender and waiting on the Lord, He can do so much more than when we are anxiously striving and trying to force situations. God’s heart is always to bless us. When we learn to wait patiently, trusting that God is working for our good, He always is faithful to show up.
So, what is an area you have been stressed about? Is there a situation you have been trying to make happen? What if you were to surrender that to Him?
Waiting is never easy, but it is good for us! Instead of striving anxiously in your life or being frustrated in the waiting, try to remember that if God is asking you to wait, He has a purpose in the waiting. I hope these four reasons were a good reminder to you that waiting is for our good. His heart is always to protect us, grow us, and bless us!
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