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As mentioned in my previous post, waiting can be tough, but it can also have an unexpected upside to it.  Here are a few other things I have begun to notice in this season of waiting:

Waiting creates an opportunity for us to get brutally honest with God.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s OK to tell God how it is or how you feel.  But in our honesty, it’s important to know that grumbling behind his back is not the best idea.  Just as in other relationships, the healthy way of dealing with conflict is directly to the person, not talking trash about someone to other people.

Waiting also unearths what’s going on under the façade of success.  When pillars of health, wealth, family, and social networks are shaken or erode quickly, we suddenly are left with the inner monologue.  There is a clarity that emerges, affording us the opportunity to see what drives us, for better or for worse.  This monologue can tell you that you are worthless or you are loved.  I hope you discover the latter— that you are loved in Jesus.

Waiting helps to prioritize our lives and offers the space to contemplate what matters.  It’s gut check time—what is important in your life?  Take time to wrestle with this profound, fundamental question.

Waiting nudges us into the direction of recalling what God has done for us in the past.  As the ancient people of Israel did long ago, they frequently reminded themselves of what God did for them through festivals and altars.  Waiting in the middle of the uncertainty can lead us to remember how God lead us in the darkness in the past, and it might remind us that he very well could be at work in our lives today.

Yet, with the upside of waiting, there also is a downside.  As the Book of Proverbs states so simply, “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”  Waiting can give us a heavy heart.

In all of this, please understand that waiting is not passive, it’s a call to action and a new way of being.  Waiting is a heavy burden borne alone and can create hurt, especially when our expectations are off.  For example, if we expect God to give us “the one” to marry, yet we sit alone in our house all day, then we will more than likely be hurt down the road without “the one” (which doesn’t exist, but that’s another topic for another day).  If we expect God to give us a job when we are unemployed and are not actively seeking new opportunities, then we will likely end up crushed because we thought that God was like Santa and drops unexpected opportunities with little effort on our part.

Friends, the only thing that comes freely to us is grace and God’s salvation.  For other things, I think he wants us to just do something already.  Wait on him, get angry at him, talk to him, listen for him, but for God’s sake, get moving.  As Mordecai told Esther, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Who knows, maybe God wants you to wait for him and get going.  Who knows, perhaps he will guide your steps and lead you as you walk ahead.  As St Augustine once said, “Love God and do as you please.”