Written by Andreliz Torres
Have you ever been in a season of waiting? Has God ever promised you something and you’ve wanted it right then and there? Or maybe in your head, you’re expecting it to happen soon, but you’re still waiting? Have you doubted that promise or lost hope because it hasn’t happened on your timing?
Yeah, me too.
I think a lot of us (if not all) have experienced one or all of these. And we know this… we always hear about how God doesn’t work in the context of our timing.
In June, I had to drive two hours to Youth Camp to film for the week. An hour into the drive, I got caught in lovely Orlando traffic. During these 45 minutes, I was behind a huge box truck that was conveniently blocking my view ahead of me.
I got frustrated from not being able to see what was ahead… the traffic and how much of it there was. I couldn’t see how much longer I would be in this 10mph traffic. I tried to take my mind off of the situation since I didn’t really know how long it would take. And because I always listen to worship music while I drive, I began singing along out of habit. As I sang “What a Powerful name it is”, God did what God does best. He spoke and clearly gave me this experience to remind me of something. He wanted me to focus on Him and worship Him in the midst of the waiting. Even though I was frustrated by not being able to see where I was going, I can shift my attention to Him and give him gratitude for where I am and that I’m safe with Him.
This experience was one that was very temporary as 45 minutes passed by and I was free from the traffic jam. But what about the times that God makes you wait weeks, months, or years?
Focusing on God and worshiping Him for that long… seems impossible with the many distractions of life. It seems impossible because we are used to fast solutions and want to see a quick result to our prayers, desires, and dreams.
Time can’t move fast enough!
I want that job.
I want to be in full-time ministry.
I want to graduate already.
I want to pass that licensing exam.
I want that raise.
I want to be married.
I want to have kids.
I want (fill in the blank).
The list never ends. We constantly have new desires and wants. And if we aren’t grateful for the things we have right now, we will always be wanting the next dream of ours. Or even worse, settle for the things that were never meant for us…
Of course, God wants to give us those desires but in His timing, in His Will. And that’s a hard pill for us to swallow when God’s timing is 5 years from now… and it’s nowhere near how we thought it would look like.
What’s even harder though, is knowing the promises that He has told you, waiting for them to come to pass, but the situation (from your perspective) looks completely impossible to happen.
“Okay God, I know you said my brother will be saved… but it’s been 6 years and he hasn’t even stepped foot into a church.”
“Okay God, I know you told me I’m called to be a youth pastor but I’m still working at Chick-fil-A.”
“Okay God, you promised me a husband, but I’m almost 30 and I thought he would come in my early 20s. I should have kids at this point!“
We argue and get frustrated with God when the situation seems like there is no way for it to come to fruition. But God has a process and He has to take us through it for us to be prepared for the promises He’s laid out for us. There are bad habits, generational curses, attitudes, etc that God needs to break down and rework before we can be given the blessings to take care of. There is growth needed to unlock the next step.
The quicker we obey Him and comply with his Will, the quicker we become prepared for those promises. However, sometimes you really can’t speed things up. You can’t have all the control. Actually, you’ll have no control at all. And that alone is difficult if you’re a control freak like me. You just have to TRUST God. You have to go through the pain of refinement and allow God to humble you to get to the promised land.
Out of frustration and doubt, we can question God. As if He is fallible, like us humans. We question if His promise will even come to pass.
This reminds me of the Israelites. They rebelled and refused to follow God, so God didn’t allow them into the promised land.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.’”
Moses intercedes on the Israelites’ behalf and the Lord replies:
“I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
The crazy part is God doesn’t have to take you to the promised land. He’s so good that He wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts but at the end of it all, He owes us nothing. However, when we follow Christ and go where he leads, He is more than willing to give us more than we can even ask or imagine.
Waiting can be painful and may feel hopeless when you can’t really see God’s hand moving in the way you think He will move. Trust that He’s taking care of it all. But also be open to what the Holy Spirit has to say and actually obey. Join leadership, join a cadence, write that book, study for that exam, step out of your comfort zone… if that is what God has told you to do! And one day, you will receive what He’s promised. Because God is preparing you along the way, it will all be worth the wait.