It’s so often that I hear people say they lack patience… I remember clearly how impatient I was as a child. At the age of 13, I closed my eyes, and wished that when I opened it, I would be finished with school… as the saying goes, ‘in the blink of an eye’. I was very disappointed to see that my faith couldn’t make that saying manifest in the natural.
Often the very things we detest and fight against, are the tools God use to instil His fruit and character in us. We live in a ‘now’ era… where everything must be instant, at our fingertips and within our reach. God’s delayed answers bring about patience, endurance and dependancy on Him. Realising that we are not in control, only God is, is a very important life-lesson.
We need to be stubborn in our faith, knowing who God is and what He’s promised, not letting go of that bone of promise. It’s in that place of pain – for it hurts to wait for God’s promises – that we find ourselves surrendering to Him in depths we haven’t known before. As Hannah cried desperately before God for a son, she abandoned herself completely to Him in surrender and promise. The time of waiting wounded her, and brought her to a place of brokenness before the Lord. She was humbled, she was broken, she was totally dependant on God… for He was the ONLY one who could answer her prayer.
Whatever it is we face, especially when it is so out of our reach and control, we can be rest assured that God is always with us – even when we don’t see Him, feel Him or hear Him. When we feel abandoned and alone, by being left waiting and not seeing the fruit of our prayers or heart’s cry, we must remind ourselves that God is ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us. His promises are what we cling to, for His character is revealed through them. He said, nothing can ever seperate us from His love; He will never leave nor forsake us; His words and promises are yay and amen.
Sometimes the thing that brings the greatest pain and discouragement in the waiting, is the inability to understand what God is doing. One scripture that really carried me through a time of waiting in my life, was in Isaiah 55:8-11. Surrendering my mind to Him, trusting that He knows what He’s doing – even when I don’t – put me on a path of trusting in His kindness and love with all my heart.
Holding onto God’s promises for our lives, is the oxygen we breathe when we find ourselves in a desert season. Write down scriptures that God has given you, prophetic words spoken over your life and impressions of what God has been showing/saying to you over the years. Read it regularly, and thank God for bringing those promises into fruition. Praise Him, thank Him and see them fulfilled… for though they tarry, God will bring about His promises in His time and His way. Let the process of waiting ground you in patience… it is God’s gift to you in the waiting.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
1 Samuel 1:1-11
1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.a 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2 And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
(Recommended reads: ‘Just enough light for the step I’m on’ by Stormie Omartian; ‘The Fire of Delayed Answers’ by Bob Sorge)