Our family dog, Ziva, is a Boerboel or South African Mastiff. She is huge! Many times, she is patient—she sits or lies patiently beside me while I type away at my computer. But when she needs something—food, potty break, attention—she is NOT patient. She becomes a humongous writhing mass of paws, tongue and tan body. She makes it known in no small way there is something she needs and it can’t wait.
I find I am like my dog at times. I can be content, waiting patiently for what God has in store for my life, until something comes up that I want very badly. Then I become a mess, pushing and shoving against Him to get His attention. To let Him know I want that something right now. As if He didn’t already know.
Modern life encourages us to hurry. But it also forces us to wait. We rush to get the kids ready for an appointment of some kind, only to be told the office is behind and there will be a delay. We rush through the grocery store to get what we need then stand in line to pay for it. We hurry through school to spend months or even years searching for the job we trained for.
Waiting and patience are not my best qualities. I tend to push for what I want, even if it would be better to wait. God knew that about me and brought circumstances into my life that forced me in the right direction. I didn’t want to go to college when I graduated from high school. I wanted to pursue my dreams instead. Family and friends intervened and insisted I go to school. That was the right move because it prepared me for life after I lived my dream. My degree in Spanish helped me even as I lived it. I’ve never had a job in which I haven’t make use of the Spanish I learned at Purdue!
God gave me my dream AFTER He made me wait!
In the book of Ruth, we see the Godly woman, Naomi. She follows her husband on trust with faith that God would protect and guide her. She experiences heartache as first her husband and later both sons die. Her dreams of a fulfilling life die with them. She is alone. She feels God is punishing her. She calls herself, Mara—bitter.
God makes her wait, but He provides for her while she waits. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, sticks with her, returning with Naomi to her own land and people, a foreign place with strange customs, language and a different God. Ruth adapts and cares for Naomi. Eventually, God reveals the plan to her, and she feels restored and blessed once more.
Read the whole story here. Ruth
Naomi hurried to embrace her bitterness, but God hadn’t abandoned her. He was merely giving her a time to wait. He had more blessings in store for her. She was called to trust Him during the waiting.
God does this same thing to us. He prepares us for a good work that He has planned for us in advance.
But, sometimes the thing he’s prepared us to do doesn’t happen as soon as we think or hope it would. Sometimes we have to wait months or years. Other times the wait is only days or hours. God is God and His timing is perfect.
We learn so much in those quiet times of waiting if we will let ourselves. Stop ranting and pacing and seek the Lord. He will open new vistas and avenues for us to see Him more fully. Seek him in the beauty He has surrounded us with. In creation itself. In the sky and the stars.
When we have learned all we need, His plan will unfold. All in His time.
I feel this way about my writing. I’ve been writing my entire life, yet I felt called to do other things. Or I was running too fast to see His plan. Many times I was running from Him! Now I can see how all of that was preparation for this new time in my life. A time to take all of those lessons and experiences and use them for His glory.
Yet even as I feel the pull toward this new purpose, I must remind myself it is not time to hurry. I long to race down the hill and enter into my writing career headlong. But, I must be patient and wait on the Lord. I must trust Him to open the doors in His order and in His time. I need to do the work that will prepare me to walk through them when they open.
Friends, I wish you blessings and the ability to continue to trust in your own time of waiting. God can handle your ranting and kicking as you push back against the wait, but how much better if you learn the lessons and seek His wisdom during this time. Here is one last thought from the Word of God.
I invite comments about the times of waiting you’ve experienced and how they have changed into times of action. Or are you still waiting? What are you finding out during this time? Are you straining at the bit, or are you resting safely in the Lord’s arms? Let’s share! Please submit your comments so we can learn from each other. After all, isn’t that how we demonstrate God’s love? By connecting with one other?