God of my waiting
Isabel Ong // October 19, 2018, 5:33 pm
I am not the sort of girl who cries easily.
But I was suddenly and briefly overcome with emotion one afternoon, when listening to the song “Take Courage” by Kristene DiMarco. The lines that moved went: “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul / He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting”.
For the past year, I’ve been on sabbatical after eight years of slogging away in the workplace.
It’s been a precious time of rest and renewal, and I have zero regrets about making this decision to step away from the frenetic pace of my former life.
On March 1, 2018, my sabbatical officially ended. And in the weeks before this day arrived, I was plagued with anxiety and fear. I had no clear directive from God as to where I should be headed and what I should be doing next. And I wanted answers. Now.
So when I heard those lines, I was moved, something broke within. It was as if God was speaking to me and answering my heart’s cry: “There is peace and purpose to be found in the waiting”.
The veil over my eyes was lifted, ever so gently and lovingly.
“Perhaps God is making me, and you, wait for the same reasons that he made Abraham wait,” writes Vaneetha Risner.
“To forge our faith. To make us attentive to his voice. To deepen our relationship. To solidify our trust. To prepare us for ministry. To transform us into his likeness.”
My season of waiting has indeed proven fruitful, and here are some personal examples.
3 WAYS WAITING GREW ME
1. I’ve become wiser
Waiting goes against my humanness. I yearn for quick resolution and immediate satisfaction. But waiting has diluted my propensity for impatient and impulsive action.
It’s made me realise that nothing is under my control, and that I don’t have all the answers.
Waiting has helped me to cut through the blather of this busy world and hone in on my deepest desire: to live a life pleasing to Him. And because that is now the guiding principle of my life, it’s become a lot easier to decide what to invest time and energy in, what to let go of, and what to move forward into.
Waiting has helped me to cut through the blather of this busy world and hone in on my deepest desire: to live a life pleasing to Him.
2. I’ve stopped operating on autopilot
While I was “gainfully employed”, I appeared to be leading a full life on the outside, but the truth is that I was running on empty.
I was doing what I had to do to survive, but I constantly felt like I was dying inside. Shopping and binge-watching TV shows were my favourite ways of escaping a dreary, monotonous reality.
Waiting has brought all that to a screeching halt. It’s led me to confront myself and recognise that there are scars that still need healing, and that it’s okay to not be 100% okay.
It’s showed me that I need to fuel up – not on things that temporarily satisfy and momentarily distract, but in the One from whom living waters flow. And it’s caused me to slow down and find joy in my current reality, despite its many imperfections.
3. I see and sense others’ needs more
More often than not, the prayers I offer up lean heavily toward solving my problems or improving my circumstances. But this season has cultivated in me a keener awareness of the difficulties and struggles that others around me are facing.
Waiting has created space for me to encourage, counsel and minister. It’s helped me to see my fellow man the way Jesus sees them: loved, redeemed, and forgiven. And it’s turned my focus away from praying over my own needs to praying for others who need a touch from God more than I do.
So where is God in the waiting?
Well, He is right here. He has always been here. He is waiting, too – for you to run to Him and pour yourself out onto Him. He is grace, and love, and freedom.
He is everything your heart desires – and so much more.
This was originally posted on Isabel’s blog, and has been republished with permission.