“I’m just waitin’ on God.”
“God is really teaching me patience.”
“Just praising Him in the hallway.”
“I know He’s working behind the scenes/even if I can’t see it…”
How many times have you heard these common Christian phrases? I say them all the time. I always feel as though I’m waiting for the next big thing: the next ministry opportunity, the next life change, the next roadtrip, the next _____. I constantly bring it before my Father. “Lord, I’m waiting on You! Help me to be patient.” It’s common for me to cry that out, while I am everything but patient. And maybe He is teaching me patience. But I’m afraid “I’m learning patience” has become our default answer: I daresay our excuse.
Today on my way home from work, I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s of all time; and 4 of the first 5 songs all seemed to be speaking the same message: God’s got this. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like where I am at in life right now or not. It doesn’t matter if I’m confused or frustrated or wishing for next. He is in control. I got a little huffy, as the first song ended. “Ok, Lord, I know. I shouldn’t be impatient or wish for more or for the next thing. I’m trying to wait on You, alright?” But it suddenly struck me: What if this isn’t a waiting period? What if this is where He wants me? Will I still trust Him?
Ouch. That hit hard, and I broke down in tears. Think about it: what is often our motivation to wait for God to do something? It’s waiting for God to do something. It’s the next thing. It’s the “I have faith that God doesn’t really want me here because this doesn’t seem best so I know He’ll bring something else.” When in reality, we have no say. Who are we? What are we? Why are we here? We are created beings, albeit created by a creative, glorious, holy Creator. We are here to glorify God. Point blank. How do we glorify Him? By letting Him do His perfect work in our lives.
Yes, I said “let.” God already knows everything, including what’s going to happen to you tomorrow or in 27 years. But we can refuse to trust and rest in His sovereignty. Do you know what’s best for yourself? No. Romans 11:33-34 says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?” Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us how great and high God is: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
When it comes down to it, I’m saying “Stop waiting.” “Wait” as defined in the Psalms is the Hebrew word “qavah” which means to patiently look or tarry. It implies expectation. And yes, we are told to wait on the Lord. Absolutely wait on Him and tell your soul to rest in Him. But check your heart. What kind of waiting are you doing? The Bible talks more about trusting God and having faith than it does about waiting. One Hebrew word we use “trust” for in the Psalms is “chasah” which means to flee for protection, or make refuge. Another Hebrew word for “trust” in the Psalms is “batach” which has a similar connotation: be bold, put confidence, to go quickly for refuge. Are you getting the picture? TRUST. Right where I am, I need to trust that God is good. Right where He has me, He is teaching me something. It may be patience! (It is almost always patience.) But there are many more things to learn right now as well. Perhaps there are certain ways He wants me to learn how to love. Perhaps I need to learn how to hold my tongue in various situations. Perhaps I just need to learn to trust Him more.
We’ve glorified the waiting period. We’ve made a big deal out of not knowing where to go next or where we think God may want us next. Stop waiting for next. Start trusting Him now. Know that, yes, He may be orchestrating something big to happen in your life soon. He may be getting ready to show up in a big way or open a brand new door for you. But He has you where you are for a reason. Don’t live big thing to big thing. Live today for the One who gave you this life.
Psalm 91:2 – “I will say of the LORD, he is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”