Do you like to wait? I know I don’t.
Waiting is rarely our first choice. We’d much prefer getting seated right away than having to wait twenty minutes at the restaurant. Traffic is never something we hope for. It can feel like the minutes are creeping by as you wait to hear your doctor tell you the results.
But what about waiting on God?
How do you handle that?
You’ve made your request crystal clear, you lifted it up in prayer time and time again and yet you still don’t have an answer.
I believe, in these moments, we can either put our faith in the promises of His Word or we can put our faith in our feelings.
As I process what it looks like to wait on God, I’m reminded of the space between the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, and the first book of the New Testament, Matthew. It looks like just a page in our Bibles, but in reality it was 400 years of wait…of silence.
God had been telling His creation from the very beginning the truth of who He is. That He is good, loving, just, forgiving, and all powerful. He told them that He had a plan, a really really great plan. And then, after going through so much, it seemed like God had gone silent. They entered into a very long season of waiting. Generation after generation passing down the stories of who God is and the wonders He performed. Don’t you think that after a couple hundred years those stories began to get old?
Imagine hearing again and again, during this time of silence, from your grandfather about God leading the Israelites, your people, through the Red Sea on dry ground. Imagine listening to him, once more, tell you to have faith, that God has a plan and He will fulfill His promise to save His children once and for all. How hard must that have been?
And yet, for 400 years, many Israelites remained faithful. They waited and waited and waited. Most of them didn’t live long enough to hear of the fulfillment of God’s plan: Jesus’ birth…His ministry…His death…His resurrection! But their stories of God’s faithfulness were remembered long after they were gone.
When I’m in a time of waiting and feel tempted to believe the lies that God is not good, not loving, unfair, unforgiving and not powerful, I need to remember that those are not truth. I need to fill my heart and soul with truth from Scripture of who God is, so I can battle my fleeting feelings during discouraging times.
Lamentations 3:21-23 says,
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
We serve a loving God, a merciful God, and a faithful God.
It’s during these times of wait that God so desires to draw us closer to Himself. It’s during times of uncertainty and silence that we have the opportunity to lean stronger than ever on the Creator of the universe.
When we approach the Lord in prayer and feel like we are met with silence instead of an answer, we need to recall that the Bible is filled with reminders that God is with us and will never forsake us.
We may feel like we are in a never ending holding pattern, but as Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God is leading us during these times of silence, regardless of how we may feel. He will give us just enough light for the next step.
We may never know why God allowed 400 years of silence, but it was all part of His perfect plan. God is at work during our times of silence, and He is leading us one step at a time.
During these times of wait, don’t allow your feelings to lead you. Spend time in scripture and trust in the Lord. He is at work, even when we can’t see it.