Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. ~Psalm 25:5
There are people and circumstances that I have been praying for/about for years. The salvation of family members, friends with difficult marriages, and others with long-term chronic illnesses, even my ministry, and a neighborhood full of people with needs I do not necessarily know.
I have had opportunities to offer advice to others waiting on God with similar concerns: “wait on the Lord, He’ll let you know what to do.” “Pray before you act.” “In the moment, ask yourself, what is God doing?” “Always check your responses with scripture, God blesses obedience.” I often like to teach that we should learn the Word of God well, so when difficult times come we will know what God’s word says and not be as tempted to make an emotional decision.
BUT, sometimes I make an emotional decision anyway and suffer the consequences.
I speak too soon or say something I wish I had not said. I get angry. Even if I don’t express it out loud I know it has not pleased God. I forget to follow my own advice and think about what God might be doing before I respond to some new set of circumstances.
What I know about God is that He does everything for our good and His glory. I have learned over time that I might not see that in the moment. I know He has a purpose in everything and one of His purposes is always to conform me to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29). His Son said He came only to do the will of His Father.
Apparently, when my life is rolling along and there is no hardship, I forget what I know I need to do when life gets more difficult.
In affliction, I rely on God’s instructions. Lately, it seems the afflictions have been in the form of meeting the needs of others and some real loose ends. These things seem urgent from a human perspective but I know God’s timing is perfect. Our prayers are answered in His time, not ours.
I jokingly say that I would like God to leave me a note laying out His plan – so I can relax (haven’t gotten one yet). I believe this would make the “wait” easier. Knowing that what He has for me is for my good and His glory helps me be patient without the note.
Not finding a note drives me back to the Word of God.
He has not left us without His Words. I can study His Word and see the principles that apply to each one of the situations about which I am praying.
The verse I like the least but seem to see the most is “wait on the Lord”. God gives us good reason for this. Psalm 37:34 says, “Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land.”
The way of blessing is to do things God’s way, waiting is sometimes His way.