I am not a naturally patient person. When I am waiting for an email, I refresh my mail app multiple times in one hour. When I am looking forward to a day, I count down both the days and hours. When one renovation in our house is finished, I am already looking forward to the next one. When children ask to help me with a task, I put on a smile, but inwardly I’m groaning thinking about how much longer the task is now going to take.
In seasons of waiting, I’m just as impatient. Waiting to find a boyfriend, waiting to be married, waiting to have children, waiting for morning sickness to end… I always kept my eyes focused on the end while wishing “fast forward” was a real-life option.
While waiting for the next book to come out in one of my favorite book series (which was over six months away) I said to my aunt, “I just want it to be May already so I can read that book!” She laughed and replied, “I can! I don’t want to wish that much of my life away!”
Those words ring as a reminder in my seasons of waiting. When I focus on the end of my waiting, I miss the time in between. In my impatience, I often waste the season of waiting.
Today, I want to learn to wait well by cultivating eyes to see God at work, hands ready for obedience, and a heart that is willing to learn. Will you join me?
Eyes to See God At Work
God doesn’t “show up” in our lives. He is always involved in our lives as the Sovereign Orchestrator. He is always at work organizing our lives to bring Him glory and grow us in Christlikeness. As Romans 8:28-30 says:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
This is true in seasons of waiting as well.
Whether a short or long season of waiting, God is not only present in it but also at work doing beautiful things. You may not have noticed because, like me, your eyes were too fixed on the end when the waiting is over.
I encourage you today in your waiting season to take your eyes off the end; stop straining to reach the finish line, and take a look around you. How is God at work? What praiseworthy work is He doing for His glory? In what way is He training and changing you? How can you worship God in this waiting season?
Taking the time to see God at work can help us build an attitude of contentment in the waiting season. Rather than despising this season, learn to be content by thanking God for what He is already doing, not just what He will do. By being content, patience will come much easier.
Hands Ready to Be Obedient
In seasons of waiting, I often focus on how I will glorify God and be obedient to Him when the season is over. I think of what will be required of me as a believer when I reach the end of this waiting.
This is good to do and definitely beneficial (like an engaged woman studying her biblical role as a wife). But if our entire lives revolve around that future event and how we will be obedient then, sometimes we can miss how to be obedient now while we wait. The engaged woman might spend so much time focusing on how to be obedient as a wife, that she puts off serving and loving her fiancé now.
Rather than wishing away the time you have for a future event that hasn’t happened yet, look for ways to be obedient in the present. God has prepared good things for you to do now and then. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (NASB). Use all your time wisely to His glory, not just your future time.
Ask yourself today, “What can I do right now to bring glory to God?”
A Heart Willing to Learn
In our impatience to see the end of the waiting, we can be so focused on the end that we miss the lesson God was trying to teach us in that season. We definitely miss the opportunity to learn patience, but we also may miss other lessons as well.
When cultivating patience in seasons of waiting, develop an attitude that desires to learn. As you read Scripture and seek to properly apply it, also be looking to see how it may apply to you in this situation. As you listen in church, think about how the sermon may apply to your current moment. Be a willing student in your waiting season, rather than trying to run ahead in hopes of being done early.
Using Your Waiting Time Wisely
Friend, let’s not waste this season of waiting. There is so much to be harvested—praiseworthy works to see, opportunities for obedience, and lessons to learn. Don’t waste this time of waiting with anxious impatience, but use it wisely to God’s glory.