Waiting is hard. I am impatient, and I also love control. It feels like I’m always waiting for something: completing the fostering license process, going back to school, my husband finishing dental school, or going on the next vacation.
ALWAYS LONGING FOR SOMETHING
One of the most difficult waiting periods of my life was when my husband and I first got married. We were young, attending different colleges in different states, and really wanted to get married, so we did. We ended up doing three years of long-distance, while married! Those were by far some of the most difficult years of my life and a season of waiting that I thought would never end.
During this season, I was consumed with a longing to rush through each day until we would finally be together. When the time came to establish our little home together, I was filled with such joy! But almost immediately, my heart was consumed with another longing—having children. Now I couldn’t wait for us to grow our family together, and my poor husband heard about it endlessly for a few years.
I couldn’t be satisfied; I was always waiting for either one thing or the other. But through these times of waiting, God began convicting me of the idols of my heart reflected in my worship of marriage and motherhood. Instead of waiting on God and making him my hope, joy, and future, I thought marriage, motherhood, and education would make me happy.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Although many of the things that we are waiting for are good, sin develops in our hearts when we set them in the place that only belongs to God. Right now, we all long to see our loved ones like normal again. We pray for peace. We want the public health emergency to go away. Maybe we crave community and fellowship with one another. We long for racial reconciliation. On a personal level, you might be waiting to get married, to have children, for the right time to go back to college, for your financial situation to improve, or for open doors to better employment. These are all good desires, but they become sinful when we long for them more than we long for the Lord.
WAITING FOR GOOD THINGS
While we wait, we must set our eyes on God. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (NIV). This verse teaches us three truths to cling to while we wait for what we long for:
- Every good and perfect thing we have are gifts. They are unmerited, underserved, and unpaid for. We live in a culture that praises personal effort and guarantees that you will get access to what you want if you work hard enough. But as Christians, we know that God, in his grace, gives us every good thing we have.
- Every good thing comes from our Heavenly Father. Because all good gifts come from God, our eyes should focus on the giver of gifts, not on the gifts themselves. Ouch, that is so hard! Especially in a time like now, when all we thought we had or knew has been taken away, changed for the rest of the year, or put on hold for even longer.
- God does not change like shifting shadows. Our hope in seasons of waiting is that we have a God who is steadfast, faithful, good, sovereign, and holy. The promises he has made to his people from the beginning of time remain the same today. He does not change!
REMEMBER TO WAIT
Even now, I need such reminders. I need my heart to be stirred toward affection and trust in Jesus Christ. My wait is not over, but while I am waiting, I have seen God’s mighty hand at work in ways that would not have been possible if I had things in my own timing!
Sisters, while we wait, we have hope! Because Jesus died for our sins on the cross, conquered death through his resurrection, and now sits at the throne, we have hope! We have a living hope that can “never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4). And this is why we rejoice! Not because everything is the way we like it or because there are no trials in our lives. No, we rejoice while we wait because our hope – our living hope – is in Jesus! And nothing, absolutely nothing, can take that away from us.