“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Waiting can be So. Hard. Whether it’s waiting to find out if you’ve made the team, to receive a callback for an audition, to get a test grade, to go on your first date, to make a new friend, or for the brownies to finish baking. Whatever the scenario of waiting might be, we tend to find it difficult to muster up the patience needed to get through the dreaded waiting period.
Why? Well, I think most of us prefer instant gratification. We are really gifted at recognizing the things that we want, but instead of being okay with those things coming in their proper time, we say, “No, I want it now!”
But the truth is, sometimes now is not the best time. Often, God shows us a want or void in our life, but He gives us a season of waiting to demonstrate how He is the only one who can fully satisfy that void. He uses the season to prepare our hearts, souls, and minds for the very thing we wait for.
One man in the Bible who endured a long season of waiting, including many hardships along the way, was Joseph (he’s the one with the colorful coat). Joseph had several dreams through which God promised him the leadership of His people. Not too shabby-the promise of being a ruler!
When Joseph shared this with his brothers however, they weren’t too impressed and out of jealousy and malice, sold their own brother into slavery. Later, after finding favor amongst the Egyptians, he was falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison.
In his turmoil, Joseph saw how God used each experience as a step of preparation towards the fulfillment of His initial promise. He formed an intimacy with God and a dependence upon Him during his season of waiting. His wait was a long one too—more than twenty years!
After this span of time though, Joseph was ready. Egypt and the lands surrounding it were in a terrible season of famine, and Joseph was equipped with the necessary skills to lead God’s people. Eventually reconciled with his brothers, Joseph tells them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Now, God might not promise us something in a dream (or He might!), but it is inevitable that we will have seasons of waiting in life. Even though it might be our inclination to rush the process and seek instant gratification, we will benefit more from waiting on the Lord’s timing, because His timing is perfect.
Use the delay that God is giving you productively. Ask Him to prepare you, because the end result of what you’re waiting for might not be what you expect, but it will be exactly what God has planned.