Waiting stinks. No one enjoys waiting yet we know from Scripture that those who “wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” People who are willing to wait will soar like eagles, run without wearying, and walk without fainting. These truths, however, do not make the experience of waiting more enjoyable.
We have great company when we are waiting. People like Hannah, David, Joseph, and Abraham. The company of people who have waited upon the Lord is not always good company. In certain seasons of life, even the most faithful become impatient and tread on what God has in store.
Perhaps you find yourself in a season of waiting right now. What can you do when you are not sure what to do? Faithfulness is doing what you know to do now until you know what to do next. I want to share a few stories and points with you from the Old Testament that I hope will encourage you in your waiting. (There will be another blog or two in the coming weeks…but you must wait.)
Fight for faith in the in-between. Faith is easier in beginnings and endings. It is much easier to run hard and push yourself at the beginning of a race and at the end of a race than in the middle of it. Abraham and Sarah struggled with this. God promised them a child and they did not wait. Sarah gave her maidservant to be Abraham’s wife so they could be blessed with a child. This led to generation upon generation of strife between their descendants. Abraham believed upfront and was faithful in the end, but he did not fight for faith in the in-between. Sometimes giving in is giving up. Don’t give in.
Fight the temptation to demand control of what is God’s and deny control of what is yours. Abraham and Sarah could not control the womb but they had control of Hagar. They decided to do God’s job instead of their own. Often when we are in seasons of waiting or struggle we deny that we have control over things like character and conduct and try to control things like people and circumstances. Be faithful with what is yours…even in the waiting room.
Don’t forget – God sees you where you are. Hagar ran away because she was mistreated, but God saw her where she was. Do not think that the tough place you find yourself in life is out of God’s sight. He sees you even when you are struggling to see Him.
Work on why you want not just what you want. Hannah wanted a child. That is a reasonable desire…even a God-given desire. She wanted a child to serve the Lord, not to satisfy herself. The commitments she made to give her child in service to God were not manipulative nor dishonest. Her promises were of a true and faithful heart. She had a right desire for a right reason – even in the midst of her pain.
Grieve with God, not against God. Hannah was in grief over her barren womb, but she brought that pain to a God she believed cared, not one she though was callous. Allow your griefs and burdens to be his grief and his burdens. Cast your cares upon Him not against Him.
Never try to find nor become a substitute for someone’s pain. Hannah’s husband insensitively asked her if he was “better than 10 sons.” NO! You might be one great husband but you will never be one great husband and 10 sons to anyone. You can only be the one thing you are. Dysfunction is trying to be who you are in someone’s life and who you are not in their life. Substitutes will eventually rob you of the joy for the real thing.
Be faithful with the life you have to be faithful in asking for what you do not have in life. You will not be rewarded with much by being unfaithful with little. We often reject what provision we have so we can show we deserve the provision we lack. Hannah was faithful to the Lord and her husband with or without a son. Be faithful.
Waiting is not a game, it is a reality. It is often difficult, frustrating, and discouraging. Being faithful in seasons of waiting says much about what you believe about the nature and character of God. Our faithfulness is a response to God’s faithfulness. We love him because he has already loved us. Do not forget that just because you are waiting.