Purpose In the Wait
Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 (GNTD)
One morning I was sitting at a 3 way intersection waiting to turn left for about 5 minutes or so. For the life of me, I couldn't not understand why my light was taking so long to change. I was the only person sitting at that light and I could see other cars freely pass in front of me. This made the wait agonizing. I wasn't sure if it was because it was early in the morning and the timer was off or if the light was broken. Which ever was true, the fact that I had to sit there and wait was nerve wrecking. It wasn't because I was running late, honestly, I just didn't want to wait anymore. So many thoughts of actions ran through my mind. I was tempted to make a u-turn and find another route. I thought about getting in the far right lane to make that turn, go further up, turn into a parking lot and then…. to much? Yes, that's how I felt that morning. I even thought about running the light. No one was there, who would see me? As I pondered what my next move would be I became more flustered and decided to just wait a little longer.
Often times we get frustrated with where we are in life and try to find ways to speed up the process. We exert energy and time searching for a ways to get beyond where we are. While intently contemplating the next step, we often fail to see the purpose in the moment. That moment could be a time for maturing, preparation, or protection. Because God is so good, it could be all three! While sitting at that light I spent more time and brain power trying to figure out how to get out of that dilemma than taking that moment to listen to God. I ended up taking another route and I'm not sure if that light ever changed (shaking my head and laughing as I write this).
Looking back I can see that instance was a lesson to be shared in this moment, but in other instances I found myself delaying the promises of God in my life. Because of the my unwillingness to wait and rest in Him, I've had to take the same test many times. In those moments, anxiety got the best of me and caused me to make desperate decisions most of which were emotionally driven. When emotions get the upper hand the outcome usually does not end well and is more overwhelming than the waiting.
Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." This scripture expresses that we are to lean in to God in EVERY situation, even when we are waiting. In those moments, God wants us to communicate with Him even when we feel it's insignificant. In Psalm 130:5 the psalmist words encourages us to eagerly wait on the Lord with our whole being and to put our hope and trust in His word. So the next time you find yourself at a stand still, I encourage you to lean in to God. You may not get what you would expect and it may not be the answer you want. It may not come a fast as you would like, but know that His will is good and perfect concerning you. There is purpose in the wait that precedes great promise.
Heavenly Father, your word tells me to not be anxious about anything and encourages me to lean in to you concerning everything. I often make impatient decisions in the moment when the answer does not seem to come fast enough. Today I ask that you would help me. I ask that you would teach me how to trust you while I wait. In Jesus name, Amen.