Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
“But Mommy, all I want is what I want when I want it,” howled my friend’s three-year-old daughter in the middle of a tantrum. Like little Molly, all I want is “what I want when I want it.” Who doesn’t? But life doesn’t always work that way, does it? Truth is, I’ve had to wait for my most fervent prayers to be answered, sometimes for a very long time.
I’m not a patient person by nature. But I’ve discovered that not getting what I want when I want it is one way God gets me ready for whatever it is I most desire. Waiting gives my character a chance to mature as God prepares me for promotion. When our character doesn’t grow as fast as our calling, look out! Yet I’m tempted to walk away from my dream altogether than wait for it. Why? Because waiting is painful. Grinding. Frustrating. Boring. Out of my control. In short, waiting is hard work.
I became something of an expert in waiting when we wanted children. Each of our three babies required part medical strategy and part miracle to get here. I endured about nine years of infertility treatments, surgeries, drugs, prayers and more prayers. That’s about the length of time it takes to earn a PhD. Whew. By the time we finally had our three children, it felt like I’d earned a doctorate in “wait training.”
Let’s face it. Most of life is spent waiting for something. So it makes sense to find ways to not just survive, but to thrive. during our seasons of “wait training.” Though my years of waiting were often painful, I learned to grow close to the Lord, filling up on His goodness. The Psalmist got it right:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord;trust in Him, and He will act. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him...(Psalm 37:4,5, 7).
Jesus wants to be first among all our “desires” not just because He is God and He is good. But because He is also enough. I still draw strength from lessons learned during my times of wait training. Mostly, I’ve discovered that the words in the Bible are not just pious platitudes. It is possible to find contentment even before we get the answers we so desire. Then, as a friend of mine so aptly put it, the longing fulfilled becomes a lovely “add on.”
I love this quote from John Piper: “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
January 8th, 2014 at 8:43 am
Marilyn, I remember those years well. The struggle, pain & tears. The prayers. THE WAIT. The joy of announced pregnancy then birth. The Lord grew all of us around you by maturing us in patience and faith. I remember “wait training” being coined.and The truths I learned then have been reapplied many times in the following years. Thank you for your life’s witness then and now.
January 11th, 2014 at 9:25 am
Thanks for the encouraging response. So glad my time of waiting was a blessing. I was just wondering the other day if others remember me “when.” It was so many years ago. It means so much that your were blessed. And I’m blessed that you are following this blog:)
February 5th, 2014 at 12:39 pm
I followed you here from Prayer-coach.com where you commented on a guest post I did for Kevin. Glad you liked it.
This is such a great post. I am impatient, don’t like waiting at all. Yet in the past year, I’ve had to wait a lot. I’ve prayed and God allowed certain situations to bring me to a place where I had to totally rely on Him.
He’s still doing that in certain areas of my life. But you know, whilst I still don’t like waiting and struggle with the gift of patience, I do now see the benefit of waiting and how God uses it to mature me as a believer.
I doubt I’ll ever be a fan of waiting and if I can get by without waiting, I will but God continues to use the tool of waiting to craft my character so that it more resembles Jesus and teaches me patience, waiting on Him, leaning on Him, more depth in prayer and growth in faith.
Look forward to looking at the rest of your blog and also future posts.
Caroline at Maskedrabbitsblog.wordpress.com
February 6th, 2014 at 5:50 pm
Hi Caroline, Thanks for taking the time to respond. Glad you can relate about the difficulty/benefits of “wait training.” Not sure I’ve found the easy path of Christian living yet. I liked your post about the “five things you would tell a new Christian.” Great pointers. Wish someone had coached me along when I was a young believer. I’m guessing those who are searching will find their way to you…God loves to use people who keep it real and show others His love. Blessings, Marilynn