How Waiting is the Worst
*This is an exert from my Bible study, “Lessons in the Desert.” Get your copy here!
Waiting is the worst. Waiting for anything is the WORST. As our family entered the international adoption world, my life was turned upside down with a new kind of waiting. Unlike many times in life, with adoption there are no due dates. The uncertainty of waiting was enough to drive me insane. .
Wait? No thank you. Instead, I’d like the test results today. Please call us with a child to adopt right now. Heal my heart today, and no – don’t let me linger in this hurt. Cure my mother. Find me joy today. Restore the relationship now. Bring my child home changed. Let the cancer be gone.
The desert season is exhausting. As we wait for God to move, we feel stuck. We’ve heard so many times that we “just need to tough it out,” or “it’s only a season,” or “God is working behind-the-scenes.” But when you’re living each day in a desert season those cliches don’t help.
What I’m learning is that waiting is just a different kind of moving forward. Think of waiting as standing in line at the grocery store. The lines may be long, but slow progress is being made. Even as you wait, you’re still moving forward. Waiting is far more than passively doing nothing.
Waiting is active.. God has a lot to say about waiting. He tells us that those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength and will run and walk without being tired. (Isaiah 40:31). God also says that as we wait, we can stop worrying and have peace in the presence of God. (Psalm 37:7-9). He reminds us that when we wait, we wait for God. (Isaiah 8:17).
There is action in waiting. God calls us to do all of these things in Isaiah 30:41:
Renew our minds
Not to worry
Look to God
We do ALL of these things when we wait on the Lord. That’s the difference between waiting and worrying; and waiting on the Lord. Waiting well means we celebrate small steps, rest, and look to Jesus to comfort our hurting hearts. Many times we look only for what we are waiting on instead of the God who is up in Heaven ready to fulfill us even in our waiting. The best part? Waiting is never wasted.
Waiting patiently is not something we want to do when trouble, bitterness, storms, and desert seasons are in our lives. Yet many times God calls us to wait. As we read about Joseph in the Old Testament, we realize God’s blessings were not based on his circumstances. God blessed him but did NOT take him out of his difficult and unfair circumstances. Joseph spent two years falsely imprisoned and forgotten by the very man who could have had him released.
God is sovereign even as we wait. We are not forgotten by God and if we stay close to Jesus, we remember that our steps are planned and ordered by our all-powerful and all-knowing God. You and I will fail. We will mess up. Sometimes, we will choose to be bitter, anxious, worried, and angry. Other times we will choose the right path. When we fall, God will pick us up again. How do I know this?
The same hands that held the moon on the fourth day of creation will hold you (Genesis 1:16). The same hands that reached down when the woman caught in adultery are reaching for you (John 8:1-11). The same hands that made the blind man see will enlighten your heart to the next step (John 9:1-12). May you trust the sovereign God. God will be your guide.
God promises to renew us and give us rest. How? With Himself. He sustains us as we wait. Through the power of reading His word and prayer, we have hope to face our desert season, even if it includes a period of hard waiting.
Waiting well means we walk towards God in prayer and His word.