“I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”
– Elisabeth Elliot
For me (and probably a lot of you) it’s not always the easiest thing to wait. However, as a child of God I know that waiting on Him is pretty much a requirement of my faith. In Scripture, there are many characters who had to wait in order for their purpose in the Lord to be fulfilled. In that time of waiting though, what are we to do?
Let’s look at Joseph. Joseph went through a period of waiting for two years. He waited in prison; a place where he was put after wrongly being accused. We often look over this detail of his story. But let’s really think about it. What was God trying to teach Joseph during those two years of his life? Were they just a waste or unimportant? Absolutely not.
Try to put yourself in his shoes. After Joseph interpreted the dream of the chief butler, he then said to the butler, “But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.” (Genesis 40:14) And when Joseph’s interpretation of the dream actually played out just as he said, the butler did not remember him. Seems like such a let down, right? But there’s a reason to this part of the story. Then two full years passed before Pharaoh was in need of an interpreter for his dream and the butler remembered Joseph. I am confident that God used those two years of Joseph’s life to build his character.
Soon after Joseph saw that Pharaoh’s chief butler was restored to his position, I’m sure Joseph was anxiously waiting the good news that he would be released from prison. I mean he asked the butler nicely to remember him. He was probably expecting that that’s the least the butler would do for him. But after days and days of no good news, we can only assume that God was building Joseph’s patience. God used this time to build Joseph up into a man who would love others with expecting nothing in return. We can see this if we fast forward to Joseph being reunited with his brothers.
This period of waiting for Joseph must have also meant that God was preparing him for something greater at the end of the period. And that’s exactly what was the case. Let’s say the butler did remember Joseph immediately and he was let out of prison; Joseph would not have been the one to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Who knows how things would have been for Joseph or where he would have ended up without this time of solitude. God had an exact plan for Joseph. He knew exactly when Joseph would reach his full potential in serving the Lord and fulfilling his purpose.
So, back to us. When we think of waiting it usually doesn’t have a positive connotation. But why? Like Joseph, this time of waiting in our lives could be the best thing for us, if we allow God to work. This time of waiting is time for God to mold us into who He wants us to be. The person He molds us into is the person who will fulfill a greater purpose for the Kingdom. So don’t lose heart. Use this time to grow closer to the Lord. Each day we are blessed with, is one day closer to fulfilling our purpose for Him.
For a lot of us girls in our twenties (maybe for some of you guys too), waiting is usually associated with waiting for “The One.” Well I have some great news…..are you ready for it?
You already have The One!
So if you’re waiting for what the next chapter holds – don’t wait for your husband or wife. “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14) The way I look at it, this wait time for me will be a time of preparation. I trust God is using this time to prepare me to be a virtuous woman who has the potential to be a great wife and amazing mom. But even more than that, this time of preparation is for me to become a stronger, more faithful daughter of the Most High King, who will exude the love of Jesus Christ to others.
As you wait, talk to God and listen to Him. Be willing to obey Him in whatever He calls you to do. With all of the passion we think we could have for our future spouse, let’s actually use that to be completely and undeniably passionate about Jesus.
As much as we have deep desires and are seeking something or someone to fulfill our needs, let’s turn those voids over to the Lord. Every doubt, every question and every new idea – let’s give it to the Lord and wait on Him. He will strengthen our hearts. Trust that the Lord has enough Love to fill every empty part of you. And remember the things of this world are only temporary. The everlasting Love is the Love of our Heavenly Father!
Wait. Be willing. And obey. He will bless you in ways you would never imagine.