Why is waiting so hard? Seriously, I want to know. Why is it that it seems nearly impossible to wait for what we want? My six-year-old son is in a season where he seems to think I operate an on-demand factory. He acts as though the moment he asks me for something I am supposed to deliver it in exactly 0.25 seconds. It’s maddening! Because I am his teacher in addition to his mother, my remedy for this is to explain to him that there are times when he has to wait for what he wants, not because I don’t love him or don’t want him to have it, but because there are often a lot of factors that go into what he sees as a simple request.
He sees, “Can I have some pizza?” I see, I have to get the frozen pizza out of the deep freezer, put it in the oven for at least 15 minutes, and then allow it to cool. Not instant. He sees, “Can we go outside and play?” I see I have to finish and submit this article, put on your sunscreen and your shoes, get the toys you want to play with, gather the water and snacks you’ll inevitably want, and then we go outside. Not instant. He sees, “Will you get married so I can have a baby brother?” I see I have to meet a man, be in a long-term relationship, get engaged, get married, settle our lives as a family unit, get pregnant, let the baby bake for 9 months, and then deliver a child (maybe a brother, maybe not). Definitely not instant.
While comical when talking about my son’s childish perspective versus my adult perspective, it’s a great metaphor for our requests to God and His responses to us. We see something very simple- a new job, a spouse, a house, a car, a platform, a ministry, a business, or whatever it is that we desperately desire. God, on the other hand, sees all that goes into what we want and the outcome of us getting what we want. God’s choice to oblige, delay, or deny our requests is based on His complete understanding of the matter at hand.
God isn’t just out here making us wait for His fun. He’s not looking down at us as we squirm with impatience and throw temper tantrums out of frustration and getting His laughs for the day. There is purpose in the process of waiting, we just have to step outside the selfishness of what we want and when we want it in order to understand that.
Wait, Not Yet.
Delay does not mean denial. I know you’ve heard it before, but do you really believe it? The fact that you don’t get what you want when you want it does not mean you will never get it. I know the enemy tries to feed you that lie on a regular basis, but I need you to recognize it as a lie and call the enemy out the next time that thought pops into your head.
I’m guilty of it, especially when it comes to my desire for a spouse. Based on the vision I had for my life, I should have been married 4 years ago and should be expecting the last of my 3 children (my motto was “3 by 30”). Instead I have one child, no husband, and no prospects for who that man might be, when he’s coming along, and when these other two kids are going to follow. It’s beyond frustrating, especially when I feel like I am doing all the right things to be where I want, to have what I want, and what I know God has promised me. But still I wait.
As much as Satan wants me to latch on to the lie that marriage isn’t going to happen for me, I know that’s not true. God promised me a husband and He’s not a man that He should lie. In fact, God has started to reveal to me specific traits my future spouse will have. I even had a powerful moment where I actually heard my future spouse praying for me as his future wife (mind blown). There is no way God is allowing me that kind of insight into a future husband that doesn’t exist.
So I am choosing to stand on the promises of God, and we all must learn to do that in our situations. We have to substitute how we feel for what we know. Feelings are misleading and inaccurate. If we follow our feelings we will often be led astray, but God and His Word never lie. Rather than wallowing in worry as we wait, we need to resort to our Word.
Wait, There’s More.
What if the reason you’re waiting is that God has more in store for you than what you asked?
Imagine asking your dad for $10 and his response being, “I could give you $10 now, or you could wait and I’ll give you $100.” How many of us would wait for the $100? I know I would because $100 is more than $10 and I want the greater portion. That’s literally life as a child of God.
You see, God isn’t a God of bare minimums, He’s a God of abundance. He most certainly has the ability to give us what we ask for, but there is so much He desires for us. He doesn't just want you to have what you need to get by, He wants you to have an overflow. He doesn't just want you to have enough to meet your needs, He wants you to have enough to meet the needs of others. You're looking for God to add, but He wants to multiply.
God is not a lottery ticket. He's more like an investment account. We want instant play, instant win. Or instant prayer, instant delivery. But God wants you to put your request in, and let it simmer. He wants you to add to your investment (request) by revisiting it in prayer consistently. As mature Christians we have to know that our request won't manifest immediately, but overtime if we are faithful we will see huge things manifest.
Wait, There’s Better.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20). Did y’all catch that? We serve a God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think. That means that even if we present God with our most grand request, He can do exceedingly abundantly above what we’ve asked.
You’re asking for a job, but God wants to give you a business. You’re asking for a boyfriend, but God wants to give you a husband. You’re asking for mentee, but God wants to give you a whole ministry. God’s plans for us are always bigger than our own, and big things take time. Hence the whole Rome wasn’t built in a day thing.
Something the Holy Spirit spoke to me a few days ago was this, "The bigger the blessing, the longer the wait." For some of you that might not be the answer you want to hear, but for me that was a shouting moment because it re-framed the waiting process in my mind. It went from this "oh my gosh nothing is happening" feeling, to a feeling of "oh my gosh, God must really be doing something substantial." And while I want what I want, if God has something better for me, I want that way more.
So reject your flesh and rebuke an enemy that tries to make you doubt your God because you're waiting. Our Heavenly Father knows what's best for us. He knows what we are ready to handle. He knows when we need more preparation so we can adequately handle what we've asked for. Ultimately, He wants more for us than we often want for ourselves. And if we have to wait awhile to receive something so spectacular, so grand, and so personalized to us that it is going to blow our minds, then we should do so willingly and with joy.