Treasure the season of waiting
Life's a journey and God can teach us lots along the way if we're willing to stop, wait and listen to him, says Danielle Johnston.
My dislike for public transport began as a teenager when I travelled to Cardiff on a bus for the first time, ending up far away from my desired destination. These days I prefer to journey in my own car, in my own time, choosing my own route.
With any mode of public transport there seems to be a period of standing and waiting, whilst checking and rechecking we are in the right place with the right money and indeed the right ticket. Time can seem wasted as we stop every five minutes for others to get on and off, taking numerous detours to arrive at our desired destination. This can be frustrating as often we just want to get on with our own journey, yet we are left waiting.
These can be familiar moments throughout life, especially when we hit a crossroads. We may know that God has spoken and we know we need to wait, yet we feel there is so much to do and to get on with.
Standing, waiting at a stop!
We can assume that waiting is a time and place where things stand still, no movement or change is experienced, even leading us to think God has forgotten us. However, this time of waiting is significant to the journey, its not a full stop, but simply a comma or a pause. Time to stand still so we can hear God speak, time to reflect on life and allowing God to communicate his plans and purposes for ourselves, family and ministry. A season of opportunity to refine, redefine, see and input into those around us, knowing we will only see them if we give ourselves some breathing room.
These waiting times build wisdom, discernment and vision for the present and future. Waiting is not a ‘No Entry’ sign but a ‘Not Yet’ for a very good reason.
Holding your ticket in hand
Questioning God may be an easy default position especially if life is not turning out the way we thought it would. You may be looking at your ticket - Gods promises for you, and wondering if the vehicle will show. Am I in the right place, is this the right vehicle desperately wanting to see Gods promises come about.
I believe God has issued you the right ticket, he has given you access to things way beyond your imagination and blessed you with the right resources. Sometimes we just need to take a good look at what we do hold and not do it with anxiety, fear or despair.
Paul says “For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (1 Corinthians 1:20).The psalmist says it this way “Gods ways are perfect, all the Lords promises prove true” (Psalm18:30).
Taking a detour
Feeling frustrated is easy when we experience detours, however, it can be in the detours of our lives we experience the richness of God and the life He has planned for us. These detours are the essence of our journey. It’s only when you are lost that you are able to learn many new routes back to your destination, discovering hidden gems along the way.
There are many things in our lives that are purposeful and often we don’t know its purpose until we have journeyed it. God wants us to enjoy, not endure the journey and allowing Him to reveal the right opportunities and the right path. Isaiah 40: 31 “but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”
Waiting upon the Lord
Waiting is active and we are expected to engage. Waiting for God to speak and direct us should be a way of life - nobody gets out of it. So the question is not if we’ll will wait but a matter of how we’ll wait. A period of waiting serves as a time of preparation. If God answered right away, many of us would be ill-prepared to handle His solution - we need to be expectant, anticipating eagerly the next part of the journey.
A pregnant woman ‘expects’ a baby. For the mother it means eagerly preparing herself, her home and her family in readiness for the arrival. The arrival will come, are we going to be ready? Waiting also means to serve, to wait on God is a posture of servanthood. In this season of waiting how will we serve others and God?
Paul and Silas knew how to wait, and they waited well. Read it for yourself in Acts 16 and you will see how they waited and worshipped. How they postured themselves became the vehicle that lead them out of prison. When we patiently and expectantly wait on God, circumstances can suddenly change, God breaks in.
Treasure this season of waiting, be hopeful and expectant because God’s power is limitless and he will break through for you.