Updated: May 2, 2020
“Wait” is one of the more dreaded words in the English language. And yet, every aspect of our world requires us to wait. Red lights, restaurant seating, entertainment, travel, doctor’s offices, and especially… children. Red lights protect us by waiting for opposing traffic to cross. We are told to “wait to be seated” at a restaurant. We are asked to wait to see a doctor. DisneyWorld is (was!) full of lines to get on rides. As kids we spent a lot of time waiting on our parents because we were unable to do many tasks on our own. Lest we forget, life has always been full of waiting. And we have grown numb to its value.
Since embarking on this adventure of starting a ministry and dedicating ourselves to following God and serving others, there have been countless times that we weren’t sure what to do - and most of those times, God’s response was to “just wait.” He wanted us to wait for an answer, clarity, wisdom, response, or funding; basically, He wanted us to wait for Him to provide whatever we were lacking. His direction to wait could be for one (or more!) of a million reasons: protection, propulsion, provision, production; maybe there’s a huge blessing around the corner, or He has made us a divine appointment to serve someone specific. We must remember that the possibilities for His reasons are endless, just as He is.
Many people have told me to stop waiting and start moving, even though I thought I’d made it clear that God told me to wait. The sad thing is, most of these people pushing me to ignore God’s direction claim that they are Christians who love God. Their opinion is that God only moves in certain ways, or that He is not moving fast enough. We should never take things into our own hands when God is telling us to wait. If we take it in our own hands and step before God’s plan is ready, we risk having it perfectly prepared for us. It’s true the other way as well: if His plan is ready for us to step out and we don’t, we risk missing all the awesomeness He has planned for us, and oftentimes the road is much more difficult than it would have been if we’d made a move when He said to. We saw Abraham do make a move outside God’s direction - and look at what a mess it created because humans took God’s plan into their own hands. Reading the Bible will give you the basic overview of how not following God’s direction causes infinite difficulty and unnecessary pain.
Waiting on God is crucial! When we choose not to wait on God, we are seeking our own satisfaction, but when we wait on God’s timing, He gets the credit for perfect planning, and things are the best they could ever be. When we wait, we get to be a part of something much greater than ourselves.
Anne and I have learned to wait patiently on God, and we have dedicated all our remaining years left on this earth to follow as our God directs. We cannot stop passing on to others all the blessings He’s given us, offering people the opportunity to see who our awesome and incredible God is. I long to hear that He is proud of me as His representative. I delight in sharing the story of my struggles and triumphs with anyone who will listen, giving them the chance to hear the joy I have in being rescued from everything my God has brought me through. (If you haven’t yet read my story, click here.)
I am filled with trust for my God, and there is no room for anything but Him. There is no room left for doubt, fear, or worry, and no need to scramble to obtain to fill a need because I trust Him to fill me and fulfill my needs. I don’t know what God’s timeline is, but I’m willing to wait as long as He asks me to. He asks us to “just wait” all the time. And because we wait, we always have what we need. Anne and I stepped out in faith, asking God to fill us with Himself. We are willing to follow God’s direction, to have Him use us in the lives of others. We asked only for God to never let us fail Him!
Forced isolation and quarantining across the United States (and the globe!) has people suddenly stopped in their tracks as their familiar way of life is ripped out from under them. The whole world is being told to wait… “Wait until this blows over, wait until we lift the quarantine orders, wait until we recover from this virus, wait until economies improve.”
A friend once told me that I was a fool for waiting on God, that I should make things happen myself! This goes against everything God has said about waiting for Him:
“No one who waits for You will be disgraced.” - Psalms 25:3a
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.” - Psalms 27:14
“The Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are content.” - Isaiah 30:18
“Lord, be gracious to us! We wait for you.” - Isaiah 33:2
“From ancient times… no eye has seen any God except you who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.” - Isaiah 64:4
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him.” - Lamentations 3:25
“And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise.” - Hebrews 6:15
God Himself is there, in the waiting. The waiting brings us to Him. He is trying to get our attention. As a nation and as the human race, we have ignored our internal GPS (God-Pointing System!) - the voice that God is constantly using to get us on the track we should be on - always giving us choices and opportunities, always recalculating to bring our lives to a position that points back to Him.
We don’t think God’s working within our opinion of “appropriate timing” and we throw tantrums when our wishes aren’t granted immediately. We usually ignore His direction, thinking to ourselves, “The world says we don’t have to wait. I want it all, right now.” This phrase and mindset echoes the anthem of the world:
“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!” - Queen
I trust God. I have been waiting on Him for almost 20 years to fulfill a promise He made to me. And in the last 2 years, I have learned the inestimable value of waiting. Waiting has led to the best, most peaceful and growth-filled time of my life. I am truly at peace with our personal situation and the mess that God has us in. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that I am putting my family at risk by trusting God in this way, and yet… we have always had food, shelter, warmth, clothing, transportation and everything necessary… and on top of that, He has also fed and cared for our four animals.
Our story of trusting God is very uncommon, but there are many other stories - proof of those who truly trust in God to provide what they need when they need it. I recall an interview I heard the other day about a missionary couple that trusted in God for everything, food, clothing, housing, safety, transportation, even down to the replacement strings on their guitars. When asked about income from a job, they said, “We trust in God solely and He keeps coming through for us.” This has been my family’s answer as well, and it warms my heart to know that we are not alone in waiting on Him for every need! There are people across the globe that are content to wait on our God to provide for them on His timeline.
My family and I are truly blessed, every day. We have experienced struggles, but God has delivered everything He promised us:
“Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you —
you of little faith?”
-(Matthew 6:25-30 CSB)
If you, Reader, are scared and unsure of the future, worried about what is going to happen next, and especially anxious about the possibility of catching the virus 🦠 from this outbreak… let me assure you of this:
Because God has taken care of our family for 2 years without a steady income and without a paying job, I know He will take care of you. He has created life, sustained humanity, raised the dead, saved the world and kept His promises… therefore He will definitely take care of you in all that is happening right now, even into the far future. If that’s not the résumé of ultimate power, I don’t know what is.
I dare you to trust Him, to “just wait” for Him, and see how He proves Himself. He’s waiting on YOU to take a step toward Him, and then to have the courage to just wait.
I used to view waiting as a curse, but I have since realized that waiting has been a blessing… when we stop striving to make things happen and allow the wait to slow our roll, we can actually begin seeing all the details, all the little things that God has been doing all along to provide for us. And when we can see the smallest of details, we are able to step back and realize that the bigger picture was being created all along… we ask for the obvious miracles, the “wow” moments that prove to us who He is.
Waiting teaches us that each move He makes, no matter how small, is a single brushstroke. And all the brushstrokes combined become the larger masterpiece. He wants us to appreciate each brushstroke of the painting, each thread of the tapestry, because without them there would be no story. All the little things God does on a daily basis are invisible unless we slow down and pay attention while we wait. NEVER take for granted all the little ways God orchestrates your life. If we miss the little things, why should He let us in on the “wow” moments? Would we even appreciate them?
Because God loves us, He asks us to “just wait.” There have been times my kids have asked for something, and they had no idea that I had something better just around the corner. I wanted to surprise them, so I told them to “just wait!” Because they did, they learned that the wait was more than worth it. Waiting always pays off.
I love God even more now because He has made me wait. I now look for the little moments, the little hidden “Easter eggs” of tiny ways He has provided for us. It blows my mind that He actually takes the time to plan out everything for us, including every last detail.
I challenge you, Reader, to wait and watch for God’s movement in your everyday life. It has been called “counting your blessings”: deliberately taking the time to see and acknowledge God’s work in your life, and to consciously thank Him for His attention to detail and His overall masterpiece forming.
God has given us all an opportunity to wait and watch as the Master does His work. In the midst of this virus outbreak that has halted everything, I hope that you seize the opportunity to see God working all the little details out.