“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ~ Romans 12:12 (NIV)
“I love to wait! When I’ve got decisions to make, I just enjoy the process no matter how long it takes.” Said no one ever! We live in a culture that wants what it wants, and we want it immediately. Ain’t nobody got time for the DMV!
But life seldom works out like this. Even in a world of microwaves, fast food restaurants and Amazon Prime, there are still those seasons where we have to wait. And for some, waiting is excruciating. There is a misconception that in those seasons of waiting, we are just sitting around - not doing much. But I believe that waiting isn't passive. I'll unpack that thought a little more here in a minute.
One of my hobbies is gardening. The satisfaction of eating something grown in our garden is gratifying to me. Usually for me, hunting season is finished by January and I am looking forward to the next thing which is getting our garden in. My thoughts go to those homemade green bean casseroles my wife makes, stuffed green peppers, refrigerator pickles, and the cherry tomatoes on top of homemade bread and cream cheese (OK, now I’ve lost my concentration…).
And then I have to wait. There was one year that I thought I would put plants in the ground early. Typically, the rule of thumb around this area is that April 15 is typically the day that it is clear of any warning of frost and OK to plant. I think it was the middle of March and it had been super nice out for the past week. I thought I would get ahead and so I jumped the gun and put my plants in the ground. A week later, it hit 23* overnight. Goodbye plants. This time, not waiting cost me.
Waiting Isn’t Passive
One thing about waiting that I have come to realize, is that there is nothing passive about waiting. It feels that way sometimes, but it should be. You see, even though I need to wait until mid-April to plant the majority of my garden, Caleb (my 5 year old son) and I have been planning, planning seeds indoors, and preparing the soil for the last 8 weeks. Even though it is not the right time to put plants in the ground, we are not sitting around twiddling our thumbs.
Have you ever had a decision to make that you felt God was asking or causing you to wait on? That is an uncomfortable place for many people to be, and yet, in my experience, God draws us into these seasons often in life.
I want to encourage you that, just as in gardening, waiting isn’t passive in life and faith either. There is much to be done “in the meantime.” When you are drawn into a time of waiting, know that God desires to draw you closer to Himself through the process. As you wait, you should be active in prayer, devotion, and seeking the wisdom and encouragement of those that God has placed in your life.
So what are you waiting for? Know that God wants to bless you through this time. I pray that you experience growth, hope, and a closeness to God through this process than you ever have before.