“I am counting on the Lord; Yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His Word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, Yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.” – Psalm 130:5-6
It was a busy day at school. I was knee deep in state testing materials and schedules, trying to make sure every student in our building finishes their test before the end of April. As I was walking down the hall into the teacher’s lounge, I saw “Tommy” coming down the opposite side. He smiled really big and said, “Mrs. Frazier, when are you going to get us?” (This is code word for ‘when is guidance class?’) I told “Tommy” that unfortunately I won’t be able to see him until another two months. (Thinking he would never understand how long that was, bless his heart.) He looked up to the sky, used both hands, as if to count the number of days within two months, stopped counting after five, and said, “Sounds good,” and walked away skipping down the hall. “Tommy” didn’t mind waiting, because he knew I would eventually spend time with him.
Waiting as a discipline
Unfortunately, when we have to wait, it’s not as easy. Waiting is defined in Webster’s dictionary as also preparing. Many of us, including myself, picture waiting as if we’re sitting in a doctor’s office with a couple of cooking magazines in front of us, watching the minute hand on the wall clock, listening carefully for our name to be called. But in reality, waiting is getting ready with expectation, (excitement) that God is going to complete His promises in and through us and answer our prayers.
Being prepared is not sitting around, it’s being proactive. Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching third graders the meaning of being proactive, which was our monthly character word at school. I asked them what they thought that word meant. Many had some clever ways to explain it, but only a couple understood its meaning. Proactive means to act or project future problems and being prepared for them. It means to respond before something happens, not responding after it happens. What a great lesson for our young people, but more so for us if we struggle in the waiting.
A procrastinator is something I am, and I own it. I have struggled with this trait all my life. I think it’s the ‘musician’ in me. A few weeks ago, in the middle of a busy week, I was getting ready to leave for work when God gently said to me as I opened the car door, “Be Prepared.” Little did I know that I would be asked to lead worship at my church two different days within the same week as well as leading a women’s conference that weekend. Isn’t God faithful to us in our waiting? We are wanting to see great things happen, yet we must be ready in His training for those things to come.
Consistency is key. The discipline of wait training always produces good outcomes.
It’s hard to look at waiting this way, but it is our benefit to do so. There is peace in the waiting. We find unrest when we decide we are tired of waiting and take matters into our own hands. Going ahead of God is never a good idea and it only leaves us with frustration, uneasiness, guilt and a sense of disappointment.
In my waiting and rest, I decided to look up scriptures to see what God’s Word says about this. Here are a few scriptures that resonated with me.
- “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (Other versions say “remain confident”) – Psalm 27:13-14
- “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1Corinthians 15:58
- “Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.” – Psalm 37:34
- “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” – James 5:11
Two things that we can keep with us in our waiting.
1) We will see an answer, because God always answers our prayers. It may not be exactly what we are looking for or want at the time, but I believe that if we are seeking God, He changes our wants and desires to reflect exactly what He wants and desires for us. Then we are delighted in the final answer and more visions and dreams develop when we surrender our waiting to Him.
2) Don’t take for granted what you are doing in the waiting. God is preparing you in your current situation, even if it doesn’t remotely look like it. By discrediting your training, you might miss out on a blessing that will later bless others.
Be busy, be diligent, and continue to learn until your name is called. Lean in and listen….be ready!