Oh how I don’t like that word, much less doing it. I don’t like long lines, or slow checkout clerks, stopped traffic on the highway, and really don’t like waiting for dial up service. When I’m told I’ll have to wait I tend to look for other options that will make it happen faster. I’m sure you all can relate to that.
Dr. Randy Carlson uses the term: Hyperbolic Discounting to define how people discount the value of something that will happen in the future versus something that will happen immediately.
Example would be, we are told we will earn 500 dollars in 10 years if we wait for it, but if we want it now we would only get 50 dollars. Most people will take the 50 and discount the value of waiting for the 500 by looking at the 10 years as not worth it.
Why do I bring up waiting? Well, sometimes God says to wait, and I want to encourage you to do it!
Whatever His plan, waiting is worth it. And I have to say it isn’t easy for me to say that! I’d like to encourage you and share what I’ve learned while waiting on God (25 years) to do what He said He’d do in my life. He puts a dream inside us, or shows us a vision that stays in our hearts. He plants that seed inside us. He also plants us as seeds that need time to grow and that can be a very hard process! As you know seeds get put into the ground and die so that they can grow into whatever they are to be. That is one method God uses to grow His children.
(Not everyone has to wait as long as I have, but I hope that what I share will help in whatever wait you have to go through.)
First, God might ask you to wait! Some people think if “it” (whatever your IT is) doesn’t happen right away it isn’t God. Well, that isn’t true. God’s main purpose is His Glory coming through, making us each like Jesus. Sorry to burst your bubble, but life’s not about us! Boy that was a hard one for me to get. Sometimes His plan involves waiting and it is so important to know that is something He does, because He uses the waiting to shape us. Even in scripture you will see over and over again “wait on the Lord”. There is purpose in the waiting. There is a GOOD PURPOSE! Don’t discount it please, because the result is more valuable than anything you could settle for.
Second, people will come against God’s plan for you. Even other believers!! That can be a real mind twister. “If other believers don’t agree then it must not be God!” Don’t believe that! Believe God!
Double check with God, and then go for whatever it is without looking back! I know it is hard! During this time I locked myself away from people and stayed that way for a lot of years. There is wisdom in protecting the dream God has planted inside you, but you can’t hide forever. I found that out, and I found out it wastes the time. Hide in the Refuge of the Lord, but don’t be afraid! Be confident in Him who called you!
I can tell you from experience that this isn’t even the worst part you’ll experience in the waiting, but GOD will strengthen you! He is enough to see you through all things, especially when you are following His will. Whose report will you believe? Those who say you can’t walk on water or God who is inviting you to step out of the boat to walk on water with Him? I join in the invitation, step out and believe God!
Third, all hell will come against you! Know right now that the enemy will not want God’s plan for you to succeed! Not to promote fear or scare you, but there will be mental attacks, possible physical, financial, and any other way the devil can come up with to knock you off course. This is the hardest part you will face, but also know that the enemy can’t stop God’s plan unless you stop. It’s up to you not the enemy.
The mental attacks for me were the worst because there is no escaping my brain and the thoughts that endlessly swirled around taunting me with doubts and fears. Honestly there were times I prayed for my life to end. I asked God to just take me home if that was all there was to my life. Thankfully He says No to prayers like that! Those attacks lasted for 9 years. So please know that while they may last a long time, they will end, and that on the other side you will be stronger. You will come out with a wealth of warfare knowledge and insight!
At the Women of Valor conference I attend one of the speakers is Pastor Libby Fannin. For the past two years she’s hit the nail on the head for what I’ve been living with. She said that generations coming after us need to know that God is faithful; they need to hear that there are hard times, sad times, extremely difficult times, but that GOD is FAITHFUL! He WILL deliver us! He will never leave us or forsake us! We can win the battle because He won the war! He won’t tell you to do something without bringing you through it. He is always there. So many times He dried my tears; so many times He strengthened me when I knew there was no more strength in me. He does not bring the bad times, or the attacks, but He will see you through them. The next generation and anyone going through it needs to know that God puts that dream inside you, and He will make it happen if you keep looking to Him. Sometimes the battle gets so rough that you want that dream to die because it would be easier if it wasn’t there anymore, but if you just keep hanging on to God you will see the victory!! You can and will make it anchored to God.
Fourth, don’t waste the time! For years I spent my days feeling sorry for myself and locking myself away from other people. I kept looking at what I didn’t have, kept focused on me, the enemy, and the problems. Looking back now I can see things I should have done with the time, things I could have accomplished in it, but there was no one who had been through it to encourage me to see the possibilities in the waiting. So, here I am hoping to share with someone who might be waiting. Share the hard lessons learned that you might not have to learn the hard way. Look to the Lord, not as a punisher, but as a Friend. I encourage you to ask God how you can spend that time instead of wishing it away.
Fifth, waiting isn’t a punishment! Oh how many years of looking at God the wrong way have I spent! I confess, too many. I wonder what other things for God I could have been doing throughout these years, but looking backward does no good. Looking ahead and being near to God here and now is all there is that is worthwhile. When He asks us to wait for something it isn’t because He’s mad at us, or looking for a way to punish us. He loves us so much that He wants the best for us! Two specific events happened that changed my mind and heart: In a dream, Jesus stood before me holding a small globe of the earth. He handed it to me as a gift. While I was crying to the Lord one night praying that the waiting would end and so strongly He said “I’m about fullness”.
These two events turned my thinking and my heart to see His heart in asking me to wait. He stands before us wanting to give us the world. He loves us so much that He wants the absolute best for us in this life. When we are looking to Him as our Source in this life He looks back to us and lavishes His best on us. The problem comes in when He asks us to wait for it. We stomp up and down and demand to get what we want right now! We don’t want to wait so we try to create our desires for ourselves. Meeting our own needs our way. Making our life the way we want when we want it. Truth is, that is settling for far less than God wants us to have! I encourage you to renew your mind to who God is. It’s buying a lie to think He’d want any less for you than the best version/full measure of your heart’s desire!
Sixth, when the wait is long enough you come to end of yourself. You realize that it isn’t in your ability that you waited. You realize it’s all God! I know, 25 years later that it’s all God not me that I am still here. The wait is about over now, but I know that even as we will celebrate the victory that God is the one who brought us through! I can only boast in: how How Great Thou Art, O God! He is my source, my strength, and my ability.
When God asks us to do something it isn’t because we can go off and do it all by ourselves, it is because we can’t do it without Him!! His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts – He thinks bigger and better than we do so when He’s asked something of us it is going to be bigger than us and our abilities!
For years there was a power struggle going on inside me. I didn’t want to give up control, which is really only an illusion of control, but still I kept holding on. I thought life was about me, I thought I had a right to get what I wanted when I wanted it, and I wanted say so on what happened in my life. It doesn’t work that way as much as I wanted it too! Then came release! I gave up! Then came relief and thankfulness started to seep into my days. I found things to be thankful for and even thankful for in the waiting. I am thankful for all that God has done to change me through the waiting. I encourage you to look around, skipping what you don’t have to see what you do have and what God is doing. Keep your eyes on Him.
What happens when the waiting is over and the thing you waited for is actually happening!!