anxiety, baptism, emotions, faith, fear, peace, personal relationships, romantic relationships, unbelief, work

the waiting game.

I am in multiple seasons of waiting right now, I just realized this morning, multiple circumstances in which I am waiting on something, patience being tested.
One, I am waiting to get married. My fiancé and I got engaged on 9/5/13 and are happily anticipating our 5/30/14 wedding, but it’s been a long engagement…or at least it feels like it! A number of times, we’ve discussed eloping on varying levels of seriousness, just because we’ve grown anxious from time to time. Each time, however, the Lord has encouraged us and affirmed to us that this is worth the wait, but I’ll get back to that in a second.
Two, I’m waiting for a promotion of sorts. I am currently employed and waiting for a few things within my company to fall into place in order for me to move into another position, which I have had my eyes set on since I started here in 2012. A new person has to be trained on my job, however before I can start my new job, and due to some unexpected twists, turns, and rearranging in our department, it’s taking much longer than expected.
Three, I am waiting on the Lord. For a few weeks now, I’ve noticed His silence and it severely convicted me.
And while there are a few other situations in which I am waiting, I’ll stop right there… because this morning, while strolling into my office building, I realized that that each of these things has me in a position of waiting on the Lord. And also, a season of waiting isn’t such a bad thing.

In all of this waiting, though, I’m reminded of the apostles who were told after the resurrection, while Jesus walked with them for 40 days, that they were to go out and share the gospel (the great commission in Matthew 28). However, in the account of Acts 1, Jesus literally says to them over dinner one night, “Do not leave Jersusalem, but WAIT for the gift my Father promised…the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5, emphasis mine). He said, here is what you are going to do… but first, you have to WAIT. There was a power that they would need, there was something that hadn’t yet come to them that was required for what He commissioned them to do: the Holy Spirit. The account of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that came upon the apostles is in Acts 2 and this is known as the Pentecost. What happened in between was a ten day period of constant prayer.

“When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Acts 1:13-14

Jesus had a great mission for them, but needed them to wait first, they needed a season of preparation, to prepare them for the gift of the Holy Spirit which they needed in order to minister to the world.

In my own life, something that the Holy Spirit has really been whispering to me throughout my period of engagement has been that seasons of waiting are not for sitting around pining over what is to come. Seasons of waiting are seasons of refinement and preparation. Nothing is ever wasted when it comes to what God is working in us; like the Scriptures say: He is working all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). This time prepping for the wedding is also time to prep for marriage. Had I eloped, I would have been diving in (which, I’m not knocking on people who elope or have shorter engagements – this is just what God’s been working in me, there’s a bigger idea building here) and would have missed this precious time spent looking forward to what was to come while preparing myself for it as well, seeking His counsel as well as Godly counsel from other married couples (and here is where I shamelessly plug pre-marital counseling – my fiancé and I love it and it has been such a worth-while experience. It comes highly recommended from this couple right here). There are things that the Holy Spirit is churning up in me that is allowing my heart to soften, my mind to change about some things, and my willingness to obey the Lord to be tested. It’s been incredible and an invaluable experience that I would have missed out on had I rushed to the end result.
At work, I’ll be honest, I’m having a much harder time seeing the good or feeling quite as appreciative, but that is mostly because my heart longs to be elsewhere, building a home for my family (Proverbs 14:1). If nothing else, though, this could be refining my patience, and again, my willingness to obey my God, and I do believe He is using all of this for my good.
Lastly, waiting to hear the voice of the Almighty is challenging me in new ways to walk by faith. Though I don’t hear Him all the time and I feel a little different, it’s causing me to dig deeper, hunger more, and take steps into the unknown. It’s building a trust between me and the God who calls me out onto the waves. It’s testing my beliefs and my convictions and my heart – and it’s refining me deeper than I’ve ever known the Lord to refine me before, and it’s allowing me to know Him in ways I’ve never known Him before. And knowing that makes the waiting a peaceful experience.

Waiting isn’t a bad thing, and it doesn’t have to even be a stressful or anxious thing. It can be a very effective tool that the Lord is using to bring you deeper waters, deeper commitment to Jesus, and a deeper knowledge of who this God really is as He prepares you for what is next. Sometimes, like with the apostles or my engagement, we pretty well know what is to come. But others, like while I’m waiting to hear from God again, who knows what He is preparing me for there? I don’t even claim to have a clue. It’s the same posture though, in both situations: praise Him while we’re waiting. Serve Him while we’re waiting. Seek Him while we’re waiting.
But in all that WAIT ON HIM. Because hope rises in those who wait on Him, and wait on His time, on His will.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

In a closing, like I love to do, here’s a song that has offered me a lot of encouragement:
“While I’m waiting” by John Waller:

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

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