“Why do you think God gave you this specific timeline? Why 2 years?” The question made me pause as we talked about the work God is doing in my life. I took another sip of my coffee, then picked at the half-eaten bagel in front of me, stalling while I considered the question. Why this waiting period? I’m ready for a change, so why isn’t He getting me there now? Is there a purpose in the wait?
How often have your found yourself waiting? Waiting for that special someone to enter your life, for the wedding you’ve always dreamed of, for a life together you so long for? Waiting for a baby when all your other friends are starting their families, but now you are caught up in the uncertain world of infertility? Waiting for that promotion, that next step in your career? Waiting for healing, for the long nights of grief to finally end, for the pain to subside and life to return to normal? Waiting to fulfill a calling God has placed on your heart, yet it seems impossible from your current circumstance? And the list continues…
I find it hard to wait, especially in our culture of immediate gratification. Restaurants that serve food within minutes of ordering, 2 day delivery on Amazon purchases (sometimes even same day!), instant internet access on the ever-present iPhone, all-electronic toll lanes on the highway so we never have to slow down. We are not a people who like to wait for anything!
Yet, the Bible is full of stories of waiting. Time and again, God takes a long-term vision to His promises, often involving long waiting periods for those to whom He has made promises. So, why this waiting? What is God’s purpose in making us wait?
When God asks you to wait, trust that He has a purpose!
These seasons of waiting do have purpose. To draw us nearer to God. To learn to rely on God’s power instead of our own. To believe in His promises for our lives. To prepare ourselves or to allow time for God to prepare others for our next step.
I knew the answer to the question why I have to wait two years. I’m not completely ready for the next step. I need this time for God to continue preparing my heart, to build the skills and confidence I need for what’s next and for God to align the pieces that will bring me to the next step. These two years are a gift of grace from God, an opportunity to stay in familiar turf for a little while longer while preparing for whatever is next.
The waiting period hasn’t always been so clear, though. Other seasons of waiting have felt more indefinite, less clear on the reasons for the wait. Such as waiting through years of infertility to start a family. Wondering why I had to endure that wait when it came so quickly for others. Yet, that waiting period became a pivotal moment in my faith journey.
So, what will I learn from this latest period of waiting? I don’t know yet, but as anxious as I am to get through the waiting and arrive at the next destination, I know the journey is important. The journey is where I’m learning and growing. The journey is developing me into who I need to be for the next destination.
There is purpose in God’s wait. That wait is where we grow, where we build character, where we draw closer to God, where we test our determination and faithfulness, where we become who God wants us to be.
What are you waiting on today? Can you see the purpose in your wait? Look closer. Trust there is purpose in the waiting and lean on that promise for more hope and patience as you journey on.