Wait And See…

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If there is one thing I struggle with, it is waiting.

Actually, I think it’s not the waiting itself so much as the uncertainty.  If I know I am going to have to wait a certain length of time for something, I can do that, even if the wait is long, but waiting when I’m not sure how long it will take, or even if the wait will ever be over, is hard.

I began a study last week, looking at Wendy Pope’s book “Wait and See” and it was only as I began to get into the study that I realised just how much I have been struggling with waiting.

I feel like I’ve been sitting in the waiting room for a while now.  There is something I feel God has been calling me to, but it seems that I am having to wait for his timing and for him to open the right doors.

As I sat down and reflected on all that I have done over the last few years to try to pursue this dream, I realised that I have certainly done all that I can.  The lack of progress hasn’t been for want of trying- passivity isn’t really my style- but I feel that I’ve been struggling to move ahead.

I’m sure there have been small steps forward.  I have learned some things, and I feel like God has been working.  It hasn’t been entirely wasted, but there hasn’t been the breakthrough I would have liked to see, and as I write this, I’m still unsure how to move forward.  The ironic thing is that this was never my dream- it is so far from something I would have chosen myself that it can only come from God- but having embraced what I believe to be God’s will, I just want to see it happen.

Of course as I wait, the doubts begin to creep in: I must be mistaken, I must have heard God wrong, if this was really his will surely it would be happening, why would God even want to use me anyway?

In “Wait and See,” Wendy Pope looks at the example of King David.  He began as a shepherd boy and no-one ever expected that he would be king.  He wasn’t even invited to be there when Samuel was coming to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king, yet he was the one God had chosen.  But even then he had to wait.  He knew he would be king one day, but that didn’t become a reality for several years.  In the meantime he went back to tending his sheep.  The delay didn’t mean that it wasn’t God’s plan or that David hadn’t been chosen- it meant that it wasn’t yet time.

This encourages me that God’s timing is perfect.   He chooses unlikely people and he leads them into their calling in his time and in his way.  This doesn’t make it easy, but it reminds me that there is purpose in the waiting- it isn’t a waste.

I began watching the Netflix drama “The Crown” this week, and, as soon as I heard one of the lines, I had to immediately press pause to write it down.  Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, has a conversation with King George VI, trying to persuade him that Winston Churchill, the current prime minister, is too old to do the job properly and should be encouraged to resign.  The King obviously sees Eden’s underlying motive in desiring the role of prime minister for himself and he replies:

“It is better to be patient and get what you desire in the right time than have high office thrust upon you when you are not ready.  I speak from personal experience.”

I have no desires of “high office” but this reminded me that God knows what he is doing when he puts a dream in our hearts and then makes us wait.  We may feel that we are ready now, but he is the one who truly knows when we are ready, and if we seek him and walk with him, he will show us the way ahead.

Once again it comes back to my word for the year- surrender: surrendering our ways to God’s, trusting him to lead us forward in the right way at the right time and, in the meantime, learning to wait well.

There is so much more to explore around the topic of waiting, and it also seems an appropriate focus as we approach Advent, so over the next few weeks I am going to do a series looking at some of the challenges of waiting and some of the things the Bible has to say about it- good examples and bad examples of waiting, and how we can do it well.

I hope you’ll join me.  This is definitely not a topic where I have all the answers but hopefully we can explore it together.  There is no fixed plan for this series but I’ll probably be posting once or twice a week until Christmas.

As for where it’s going… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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46 thoughts on “Wait And See…

  1. Great post! Love the way you developed this.

    As a Zen Buddhist (and a Christian…Buddhism is a way of life, not a religion) I find waiting, and remaining ‘in the moment’ meanwhile, fairly simple. Simple after long training!

    Now my life is largely waiting…waiting for the next major decline in health. I can’t prevent that, but I can make the most of the moment I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andrew. I like what you say about remaining in the moment being “simple after long training!” It is encouraging that even the things we find difficult can eventually get easier with practice.
      I agree that we don’t always have control over our circumstances when we are waiting but we do have a choice about our attitude and it is important to make the most of every moment. I appreciate the example you set in this.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. God and I were having this conversation just this week… or rather, I was stating my case, and I’m sure He was smiling and nodding, lol. I too am in a season of waiting… but I feel as if I have been here all my life. I love that quote you shared. So often we want to run ahead when God is saying, “Be still.” It can be so very hard, but having run ahead of God more than once, I can definitively say that it never turns out well and nearly always results in heartache and/or frustration. So… wait….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Melanie. Yes, I have those conversations with God too where I’m sure he just smiles and nods and lets me offload!
      I agree, even though waiting is hard, the results are not good when we run ahead of God.

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  3. I have lived the last year in a period of waiting and am now beginning to see the other side. One of the best things I am learning is that God’s timing is impeccable. He showed me that two weekends ago as I spoke at a women’s retreat. I was in awe of how every detail was planned by Him for me. I will pray for you in your waiting. God is patient and knows you well. Be prepared to be amazed at what He can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary. I really appreciate your encouragement and your prayers. I think, as you say, we can often only see God’s perfect timing when we look back but we have to trust that he knows us and knows what he’s doing.

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  4. Hi Lesley! I just read a little piece on FB and it was about hope. If we were a people of hope, then we would be infinitely patient. That really connected with me.
    The thought that God is waiting for the best time is a really good point too. He knows me better than I know myself, and he’ll do what will benefit me the most. Even if that means I have to wait…or even feel ignored for a while.
    I haven’t see Crown yet, but have heard good things. Maybe I should take a peek!
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ceil. I think it’s true that hope leads to patience, especially when our hope is in God’s goodness and faithfulness. We know he has good plans and that he will keep his promises to us, even if it seems to be taking a while to happen!
      I’ve only watched a couple of episodes of The Crown but I am enjoying it so far!

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  5. Thank you for this encouraging insight about waiting, Lesley. It’s really amazing how God uses these waiting times to better prepare us for what He has in store for us. Like you, I think it’s the uncertainty that is so hard. May we learn to trust God’s way and timing. Blessings and hugs!

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  6. Dear Melanie, thank you so much for your insights and reminders! I am in a similar place, and waiting can be so hard. My word this year is ACCEPT. I have to accept that I may not be ready for the big step forward. That doesn’t mean my heart heard wrong, it’s just not time yet. Blessings as you wait

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Melanie, I’m blessed to be your neighbor again today at Crystal’s linkup. Since reading your post, I’ve had more peace in knowing a sister shares the same angst in waiting, while learning to trust and obey. Thank you for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, it is encouraging to know we’re not alone in our struggles. P.S. my name is Lesley – Melanie was someone else who commented on the post. I seem to have been called 3 different names on here this week other than my own so just to clear up any confusion! 🙂

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  7. So interesting for me to come across this post today. Yesterday, at my therapist’s office, I was complaining about how long this process was taking. She told me I was trying to control the time, and I can’t because “It’s God’s time”. I have to constantly remind myself to trust the process…often easier said than done.

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    1. I’m glad you found the post. I think part of what makes waiting so hard is that we’re not in control of how long it is taking. We do have to trust God’s timing but as you say, it’s not always easy.

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  8. You completely described me! I am struggle waiting if I don’t have a set timeline. I want it as soon as possible and the fact that so often I need to chill and wait for God’s timing is a constant battle. I learned this lesson over and over as we were trying for each of our children. But then there are are other times when I’m content waiting because the dream or calling of God seems so big and daunting that I’m okay if it takes forever because I’m not ready!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Katie. It’s a lesson I have to learn over and over too, and constantly remind myself of the times God has been faithful in the past. I also relate to times when I don’t want to move ahead because I don’t feel ready. It’s definitely hard to accept that God’s timing is often different from ours.

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  9. oh what a perfect topic, what a timely post, Lesley! as we wait for advent’s unfurling, we are invited to see ourselves as wait-ers.

    and this season of waiting can be a difficult task … but i’m finding contentment and peace even as I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m in the same online Bible study with you Lesley. And, I am also in a wait-and-see period with my writing career. Wendy’s book is timely for my circumstances, and I’ve gained much peace from reading it. Glad to be on the journey with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve almost picked up this book multiple times…guess it needs to go on my list officially!! This series is going to be dear to me, Lesley! I completely hear you. My husband and I both recognized the Lord placing a desire in us that is far from what we’ve naturally desired or planned on, and it’s been months and months now of believing the Lord, witnessing Him confirming it, and still hearing “Yes. But not yet.” Like you, I’m good with not yet if I know when. But we don’t know when, or what, or where….we just know He’s grown the desire, confirms it regularly, and when we rely on Him in the waiting, we have peace in His perfect timing!

    Liked by 1 person

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