Early in my relationship with Christ, I learn some valuable lessons about prayer. First, that it works. Second, that sometimes God tells us to wait. To this day “waiting” is not easy for me. I have learned the value of it, and I have come to really appreciate that God doesn’t give me everything I ask for as soon as I ask for it. The question then becomes what are we to do when God tells us to wait? What do we do when we feel the tension that results in maybe what we could call a faith challenge?
Here is some great advice, from Chuck Lawless:
- Forget about the calendar. We get stressed with God’s timing because we think He operates according to our calendar. That assumption leads to frustration.
- Embrace the truth that God has a reason. He really does, even if He doesn’t give us the details. That means that whatever He has on the other side of the wait is better than what we might get through our impatience.
- Remember that God’s not worried. His timing is always, always, always right. He knows that. You know that, too, actually. Trust what you know.
- Be faithful today. Trusting God for tomorrow means being obedient today. We should not expect God to respond to our prayers about tomorrow if we’re ignoring His leading today. In my opinion, our unfaithfulness today is one of the primary reasons we wrestle with waiting on tomorrow’s stuff.
- Spend some time studying God’s Word about waiting.Check out, for example, Psalm 40:1, 130:5-6; Isaiah 40:31; Lamentations 3:25; James 5:7-8. Let the Bible give you hope in waiting.
- Invite somebody else into your wait. Waiting alone only magnifies the loneliness of the wait. Simply knowing that someone’s sharing your burden can be hopeful.
- Tell somebody your testimony. This one may sound like a strange suggestion, but here’s my point: when you tell your story, you’ll remember that God has always taken care of you in the past. He’s still taking care of you now, even if His timing is different than yours.
- Keep praying. The waiting time is not the time to stop talking to God about this issue. Keep praying, doing so in faith that God will provide His answer in His timing, in His way, for your good, and for His glory.
I have worked hard at implementing these principles, and here is what I discovered — there is much to learn about the heart of God, and my need for him while I am waiting. God is faithful. Keep praying, and if necessary keep positive in the meantime.