Patience is a virtue I do not possess. Waiting is really difficult for me and always has been. I am impatient and like to be in control–a pretty bad combination of characteristics. Last week in the gathering of my Church family, I felt a little inspiration to write about waiting–the pain in waiting, God’s role in our waiting, how bad I am at waiting/my heart in waiting. But as I was reading some articles on Desiring God, looking up bible verses about waiting on God, and looking back at some of my previous blog posts (because I vaguely remember already writing a post on patience and using that same opening line), I realized that seasons of waiting are way less about the actual waiting and way more about God’s faithfulness to His children when He asks them to wait.
I still want to talk about waiting. But now I want to talk about waiting through the lens of God’s faithfulness and not the lens of my pain and suffering and woe is me mindset.
So I mentioned before about the pain in waiting. Not only does waiting suck and drive me crazy, it is also really painful. Especially when what we are waiting on is a good thing, a gift from God, that seems like something He is withholding from us. For me in my life right now, that gift that feels like God is withholding from me (I may dare to say that He is dangling over me and snatching away whenever I try to reach for it) is engagement, marriage, and living in the same city as the man I love who I want to spend my life on mission for the glory of God with. Right now my boyfriend and I are in a season of not only waiting on God but waiting on people in our lives to give us the a-ok to move forward in our relationship–specifically our bosses in the organization we both work for. Because we work for a Christian organization (and because as followers of Christ we are commanded to respect and obey our authority), we want to honor what our authority tells us, and if that means staying in two separate cities for a little while longer to serve on the college campuses the Lord has called each of us to for now, then we have to respect and honor their decisions.
Waiting is painful because it attacks some of the biggest idols of our hearts–aka control and comfort–and forces us to trust and rely on someone else. Waiting is painful because it leaves questions unanswered, blanks unfilled. Waiting is painful because it leaves us vulnerable with our hopes and dreams out there on the line. It is easy to forget or ignore the blessings God gives us and what He teaches and shows us while we’re waiting because we’re too busy looking to the thing we’re waiting on. It is easy to forget God’s goodness because withholding what we want seems so bad (I blame our current culture for this need for instant gratification). We idolize the thing we’re waiting on, hoping for, wanting, placing that thing on God’s rightful place on the thrown of our lives.
But there is so much hope in waiting. And that is where the faithfulness of God comes in.
I desire to live in the same city as Ben (my Indiana boyfriend), and that desire is so good, I believe a desire of my heart straight from God’s heart. We long to be in the same city not only for the sake of our relationship, but for the sake of those around us, for the sake of God’s Kingdom coming in the city of Los Angeles. We long to live in the same city to be on mission together. To bring glory to the Lord while making His name known to the city of Los Angeles and the college students of UCLA. While learning from the church body at Soma Culver City how to live missionally as a couple, using our home and our time and our resources to be a blessing to those around us. And I think because of those desires that the Lord has planted in both of our hearts, there is so much hope in the waiting. There is hope not only for the potential of these amazing things to come, but there is hope in how God is going to teach us and grow us into His likeness in this long, painful, wonderful, grace-filled, lovely season of waiting. Waiting is hopeful because we can trust that God, in His never-ending faithfulness and grace, will teach us so much about who He is and who we are because of what He did for us through His Son. Waiting is hopeful because God is good, faithful, gracious, and loving, and we can stake our lives on that.
“In retrospect, I can see that “wait” is the most precious answer God can give us. It makes us cling to him rather than cling to an outcome. God knows what I need. I do not. He sees the future. I cannot. His perspective is eternal. Mine is not. He will give me what is best for me. When it is best for me.” (from Desiring God, “The Unwelcome Gift of Waiting”)
“Slow down, take time
Breathe in He said
He’d reveal what’s t come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal what’s to come
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing”
–“Take Courage” by Bethel Music