Originally published Monday, 19 October 2015.
No one likes to wait or can we actually enjoy waiting? We all go through those hot, dry messy seasons, don’t we? Yes, friends, we all do. Here’s an excerpt from one of my prayer journals that jumped off the page, after about three years of seeking God in the middle of what felt like a really dry time.
“I yearn for your answers God. You know my prayers, my hopes, dreams and desires. I long for Your promises to be complete. Sometimes the waiting period seems unbearable. Your will seems cloudy and unclear. The waiting seems excruciatingly endless.”
I was in a hot mess of a season, smack dab in the middle of the heat, with a whole lot of tears and there was no oasis in sight. Many of you know what that feels like, I think. You wait. You pray. You wait some more. And you beg heaven to hear. You wring your hands just wishing this season was over and done with.
The Bible is full of people who waited. Godly people like Abraham and Sarah had to wait till they were really stinkin’ old to have their first child. At that point, I would have given up long ago. Joseph was sold as a slave by his own brothers, only to end up in prison for years before his promise of royal authority became a reality in his life. I would’ve thought that old Joe’s life wasn’t trackin’ like he had planned. Those years certainly couldn’t have been his easy or the best years, or were they?
It seems life stalled out for these people. I know a missionary couple who have been waiting for a piece of paper for months and now almost a year later God granted approval for them to stay planted in the middle of a thriving ministry. If you find yourself in a similar waiting situation, how do YOU find yourself? Are you in a hot mess too? Are you in the middle of dry spiritual season with no oasis?
How did these troopers of the Old Testament trudge on? Why didn’t they give up? How do you wait for a promise? And how do you know that heaven hears? How do you not give up? As you can see I have plenty of questions about waiting. We can stir up a lot of trouble in our minds by just assuming that God doesn’t hear our prayers. If ever there is a truth to be learned it’s this: He hears each and every one! He knows our thoughts before we know them in fact. And it takes these waiting seasons when heaven is silent to recognize one simple truth.
God doesn’t work against us. God is for us.
Look at Abraham and Sarah. They had the promise of many generations to come but for years they stood barren among the people they were leading. Joseph was held captive for too long before he could establish his legacy seemingly not arriving at the right place at the right time. Maybe the wait has to do with their prosperity, not their promise. There can be long periods of waiting for us all in our different situations and circumstances. And in those waiting times our faith is put to the test.
Nothing bears witness in your soul as a wait.
When life asks you to wait on God, your best answer is “yes”. Yes to the time it takes to seek God, yes to the patience that God gives you to wait on Him, yes to the perfecting work that only He can do as you wait upon the Lord. Yes, each and every time, with His perfecting timing working for you and not against you.
My waiting prayer: “Yes, God you are my nice oasis in the dryer periods. Finish the perfecting work you have started in me no matter…how long it takes.” Amen.
Have you had to wait on God for a specific answer to prayer? What did you learn in your waiting?