The Spiritual Discipline of Waiting

DSCN1667Waiting. It’s an easy word to say, but something that I have always struggled to practice.

And God keeps calling us to wait.

Recently, I have been overcome with the activeness involved in waiting. Since May of 2007 we have anxiously anticipated Brandon’s starting his phd and that day finally comes in August. But what has that waiting entailed? Studying, taking tests, submitting applications, receiving disappointing letters, re-submitting applications, talking to mentors, talking and praying with each other, crying out to God for some sort of direction… and now here we are on the cusp of what we’ve been wanting. And what does it bring? Excitement and a whole lot more waiting!

Recently I’ve been attending a Bible Study on the fruits of the spirit. When we were covering the fruits of Patience and Peace the themes of waiting came up. You see, God often doesn’t give us exactly what our hearts desire at exactly the moment we desire them. We can pray, pound our fists, serve others and have a million people praying for us, and it just may not be the right time. In God’s perfect will He allows us to wait. In these moments of waiting we sometimes see God most clearly and sometimes feel incredibly distant from him, but they are all within His good and perfect will.

In several years I’ve had a love and hate relationship with the phrase “God’s will.” You see, in college I heard so many people (including myself) speak of God’s will as it was this puzzle that you had to figure out at the risk of totally missing it and messing up your life for good. “Who does God’s will say I should marry? Where does God’s will say I should go to school?” In answer to a death, “It was God’s will to take your young sister now.” All of this began to seem very odd to me. I don’t believe God’s will is this puzzle we have to find, and I don’t know that at all times of our life it is terribly specific. Several mentors of mine challenged me to begin thinking beyond “What if I miss God’s will” to “How can I serve God where I am.” If we are serving God where we are, if we are working for the good of the Kingdom, might that be His will?

So Brandon and I are continuing to wait. Several of our heart’s desires seem a bit too personal for a public blog, but we continue to wait for God’s fulfillment. We trust that His timing is perfection. But that doesn’t make the pangs of waiting any less intense.

Oh, and the picture at the top is from a trip we took to Portland last May, I just found it appropriate to the topic of waiting!

Just some thoughts!

Oh, that we may reflect the goodness of the Father, the character of Christ and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in these moments of unfulfilled desires, painful reminders, frustrating set backs, surprising joys and unforgettable opportunities. Yes, may we reflect the trinity in how we handle waiting.


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