Have you ever watched a preschooler learning their numbers do a connect-the-dots puzzle? It can be a hard effort of will to wait for them to finish; holding back and not jumping in to do it for them – to let them finish in their own time.
The same is true when we are waiting for The Lord. Part of our calling is just to wait on Him to move – not barreling ahead before He has had time to prepare the way. John Stott, in his commentary on the Church of Philadelphia from Revelation 3:7-13, states
More mistakes are probably made by speed…by impatience. God’s purposes often ripen slowly and if the door is shut, don’t put your shoulder to it. Wait till christ takes out the key and opens it up.
To wait or waiting on The Lord to reveal the next step is a continual theme in the Old and New Testaments; it is repeated twenty-five times. The people of God are called to be professionals in the area of waiting, no longer amateurs filled with the impatience of our pre-salvation lives.
That doesn’t mean, however, we just sit around twiddling our thumbs. We are to practice active waiting – devoting time to prayer, service, worship, study. These activities not only manifest our dependence on Him, but manifest how The Lord is going to lay out what is before us.
To wait on God is doing something. Spiritually speaking we P.U.S.H – Pray. Until. Something. Happens. Eyes open, heart at the ready – we listen, enthusiastically and expectantly. P.U.S.H means we are ready and aware for the opportunities God will place in our paths, on a daily basis. To wait eagerly for His cue is a mature effort, showing that we know how to recognize that The Lord is prepping hearts and circumstances around us.
When you are in a situation that requires God to make the next move – and especially if it has grown stale, examine your activities to see if you are watchfully waiting or have fallen asleep. Does The Spirit stir you when reading His Word, listening to music or even just out of the blue? Are you pursuing The Lord in prayer on a daily basis or does the busyness of life get in your way? Is corporate worship a priority or has it grown comfortable sleeping in on Sunday mornings? Do you rise ready to meet the day joyfully, or do you start full of impatience with those around you?
Depending on how you’ve answered those questions – it might be time for a heart to heart with your Heavenly Father. Whether it is confessing doubt or asking again for Him to show you the next step – remember He is waiting on you with open arms.
Sometimes we get a whole big piece of the puzzle put into place but most of the time; we only get to see the one dot in front of us. Rest assured one day the all of the pieces will fit. One day soon, we will see the design He has created, understand the big picture. But until then, He will bless us in the here and now for that patience, trusting all the while He turns everything, even when nothing seems to be happening, for His glory and our best!