“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
I have a friend who is training to be a life coach. Recently she invited me to join her in an online Bible study on the book of Ruth. Having never completed a study with her before, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. This six-week study consisted of daily readings from an app along with daily activities in a workbook. Not wanting to fall behind, I diligently read every daily reading and worked through every activity consistently. Near the end of the study, I missed a few days due to a business trip but spent the weekend catching up in order to finish the study on time. This study ended approximately three weeks ago. I am finished but my friend, is still working through week 3. This is partly because her schedule doesn’t have room to work through it daily. This is also partly because when she does the work she researches the concepts and takes a deeper look at the message each reading provides in order to get the most out of it. Me? I read it, responded to the questions but have a hard time recalling any of it. My completed workbook sits on my table, now just collecting dust. In the meantime, I am patiently waiting for her to finish so we can start our next study together. I’m neither stressed no worried about the timing. I have other devotionals I can read until she is ready for a new study. Other areas in my life however, I don’t wait so patiently or as worry free.
When we decided to read this plan together we discussed carving out weekly time to discuss the readings together. Living in separate states made it impossible to meet in person so we scheduled weekly zoom meetings. Although our meetings were meant to be about the content we were reading, being on different weeks of the study made it difficult to truly discuss it. Thus, our meetings turned into “life coaching” sessions. During our most recent discussion, I found myself unloading all of the things I have been worried about and wrestling with. God has just brought me through a pruning season and I anticipated my next season to be one filled with harvesting. Instead, I’ve found myself planted in a waiting season. When I finished laying it all out, my friend asked me one question; “What are you in a hurry for?” This question took me by surprise and I had to take a pause before I could answer her. I then responded with “I’m afraid I’m running out of time and I don’t want to miss the mark” (referencing God’s calling on my life.) My friend was quick to respond with assurance that when it comes to God’s calling, there is no “mark.” She reminded me that God’s general calling for all of us is to 1.) Love Him with all our hearts and 2.) Love our neighbors as ourselves. Everything else is detail that He handles and reveals in His time and in His way. This truth settled my spirit briefly but to be honest, it wasn’t long before I experienced the daily battle of anxiousness and impatience, once again growing tired and weary of waiting.
Waiting seasons can be very difficult seasons. Especially, if we do not know what we’re waiting for. For example, I have answers to prayers I believe God has given me, yet in real time perspective, the opposite seems to be happening. In fact, one situation appears to be a closed door. By answers, I mean, I believe God moved me to open my heart back up to a dream I had let go of over ten years ago. I did, with a reluctant mind telling God He was going to have to bring it to me because I was not chasing it. I believe He did a few months later only to have it end almost as quickly as He brought it. Which left me wondering, did I hear God correctly and if so, was what I had from Him or a just a decoy?
Now, every time I asked God these specific questions, He gave me four answers, none of which were a simple yes or no. The four answers came through receiving the same four scriptures multiple times daily.
1.) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
2.) Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patient for the Lord. (Psalms 27:14)
3.) Be still and know that I am God… (Psalms 46:10a)
4.) You do not understand now what I am doing, but some day you will. (John 13:7)
While I am seeking a direct and clear, plain as day answer from God, He repeatedly responds with telling me that what doesn’t make sense now, will all make sense someday. For now, I am to trust in Him, leaning not on my own understanding, to wait on Him and to simply be still. For someone who was recently told she has a type A personality, waiting and being still are not easily put into practice. Thus, the inevitable wrestling match with wanting God to hurry up and move already and fearing I’ve missed the mark.
If you believe you’re in a waiting season, pray and seek clarity first to ensure God is calling you to wait. Sometimes, indecision or own refusal to move in the direction God is leading can be viewed as “waiting on God” when in reality, He’s waiting on you. Seeking wisdom and discernment will assist in clearing up any confusion regarding what season God currently has you in.
Pay attention to the scriptures He sends you. When you start receiving the same ones repeatedly, seek His truth behind those scriptures and ask how God to show you how they apply to you and your circumstances. God will speak to you through scripture. It may be in a devotional you read, it may come from a random text from a friend. It may be spoken in a sermon you hear at church or watch online. God may even speak through a social media post or in my case, having Proverbs 3:5-6 painted on a food truck in a mall parking lot and changing my phone wall paper to the very same scripture just two days later!
Whatever message God has for you, He will make sure you receive it and He will keep speaking it until you fully understand what He’s saying to you. In the meantime, let go of the hurry, spend your waiting season loving Him and your neighbor and surrender your circumstances to Him. God already knows the outcome to everything we stress about. What may seem as an ending could just simply be a pause. What may feel like a closed door now may be the very door that opens in His next chapter for you. If it seems like His timing is taking too long, just remember, “…a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” Whatever your heart’s desire is that you’re waiting for God to fulfill, if it’s His will, He will bring it to pass and that “thousand years” will be worth the wait!