As a leader, the hardest thing for me to do is to wait. I tend to press ahead to make things happen and can be very impatient waiting for God’s timing on things. I have sinned more over the issue of impatience than anything else I can think of. Chuck Lawless shares with us 8 reasons why God calls us to wait.
Originally published by Chuck Lawless
I am writing to myself today, and I’m inviting you to listen in as I think and pray. From what I can tell, the Lord is requiring me to wait on His response to one of my prayers—and I’m not a patient person. So, I need to remember these things today:
- Waiting reminds us that He is in charge. We’re not in charge of the calendar or the clock. We don’t control all things. Only God does, and His calling us to wait reminds us of that truth.
- Waiting teaches us faith. Faith is the evidence of things unseen, the confidence of things not yet taking place (Heb. 11:1). The concept almost assumes a gap in timing between our request and God’s response. If everything happened immediately, faith would be less necessary.
- Waiting reveals our idolatries. If we simply can’t wait on God, it’s likely because something we want to happen is more important to us than God’s overall plan. We think our plan is so right that God needs to respond to it right now.
- Waiting prepares us for whatever God has for us in the future. Whatever God’s plan is, waiting is often God’s way of saying, “You’re not ready to receive what you want yet.” He knows our hearts, and He alone knows when He needs to do some work in us before granting our request.
- Waiting pushes us to trust. Frankly, this is where I’m most struggling. I’m learning again that it’s one thing to teach about trust—but it’s another matter entirely to live it out when it’s your life affected. I need to hear again and again Jesus’ words to Jairus after his daughter had died, “Just keep believing” (Mark 5:36)—and then just do it, no matter how long I must wait for an answer.
- Waiting encourages us to remember God’s blessings in the past. Just today as I was struggling with waiting as I pray for a friend, my faithful Christian brother sent me this text about his own life: “Think of the story about your brother, who likely had run farther away from God than any believer ever has . . . [but] God didn’t give up on him.” I needed that reminder of God’s past faithfulness.
- Waiting reminds us that God is in charge of eternity. That truth may not sound comforting when we want an answer yesterday, but my point is that our God is in charge of forever. That’s one reason why seeming delays that require waiting shouldn’t bother us.
- Waiting makes us grateful. When we pray for something and God requires us to wait, we are more grateful when He finally does respond positively to our prayers. And, we learn in a strange way to be grateful as we wait even if He chooses to respond “no” to our prayers.
What has the Lord taught you about waiting?