“Waiting for your answer is one of the most painful things I have ever been through. At least, let me know whether or not I hurt you.” ― Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
“Thank you for patiently waiting!” This is a common statement you would hear an associate in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry say on the phone after placing a client on hold. In the fast food restaurant, when my order is not immediately available, the cashier would always ask me, “Sir, are you willing to wait?”
In a world that delights itself with instant gratification, how much patience and willingness can you put on waiting? In what areas of your life right now do you feel that you have been waiting for so long?
Are you studying more than the usual course period, waiting for graduation? Are you reviewing so hard, waiting to pass the licensure examination that you have taken more than once? Are you getting tired of sending applications, waiting for a job interview? Are you running out of savings, waiting for a job offer? Are you working for more than five years, waiting for a career promotion? Are you in a “critical wallet week,” waiting for the salary to be credited ahead of the 15th or end of the month? Are you past thirty, waiting for “the right one” to come? Are you battling an affliction, waiting for the healing and restoration of your health? Are you uttering the same prayers again and again, waiting for them to be answered?
Everybody is waiting, and waiting is never fun. Waiting can be very lonely. In fact, waiting time is the hardest time of the whole process.
More often than not, we want things to happen now and not later; we want our wishes to be granted not even today, but yesterday. But sometimes, there are things we just do not get the first time we desired them. We have to wait.
As someone who have been through the agony involved in the process of waiting, here are lessons I have learned during 68 days of being unemployed.
1. Waiting time is an opportunity to re-examine ourselves.
What kind of reactions do we manifest when things do not turn out the way we want them to be? What is the attitude that prevails in us when our plans do not come to pass? Perhaps, the achievement of our goals is extended for a longer time of waiting because something in us needs to change first. Our character must be one of them. Or maybe, we are waiting in the wrong places and we need to switch positions.
2. Greater plans are revealed in times of waiting.
We tend to rush things. We want to help God speed up, and in the process we forget that He is almighty and He is in control. Let go and let God. His plans are always and will always be greater than ours.
In Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), His promise is very well expressed: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So let us trust in what He has in mind for us, and trusting means waiting patiently in silence while the Lord works His plans.
3. Impatience can get us into trouble.
A fruit that did not ripen naturally is no match in taste and sweetness with a fruit that was allowed to go through the season of maturity. Similarly, we might not get the fullness of the results we have been waiting for or we may not get into where we want to be if we bypass the hours of waiting. Impatience sometimes destroys the natural process of things and brings us to chaos.
4. Waiting has its purpose.
Is it love that you are waiting for? Embrace the thinking that God may be working to fix something in your life so that you can love effectively and enjoy the most out of a loving relationship. Waiting is not meant to make us suffer. There is always a reason why we are being asked to wait.
5. The sound of waiting can determine our duration of waiting.
Do you wait for the things you have prayed hard for with a loud, unpleasant noise? Do you press that doorbell in close successions to compel the heavenly door to open and unleash the opportunities you have always desired? Do you always complain on how much time God is taking to send you the help you needed?
I heard in one of the preachings in our Sunday service that silence is the sound of waiting. Silence has a sound? It may sound ridiculous, but it is true. A peaceful mind and a quiet heart that are both trusting in the ways of the Lord must be our response to every waiting situation.
6. There is a living promise for every waiting situation.
We are not given any trials that are beyond our capacity to remain firm and every waiting situation carries a promise that we can always count on.
Are you waiting for your heart to be whole again? Do not worry for God has a promise in Psalm 34:18 (NIV): “God is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Are you waiting for a seemingly incurable disease to go away? God has spoken an assurance and comfort in 2 Kings 20:5 (NIV): “I have heard your prayers and seen your tears, I will heal you.”
Are you afraid about your future? The answer to your worries is on Matthew 6:34 (NIV): “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Whenever you feel weary or bored in your waiting place, search for that living promise and claim it up to the last second of your waiting time and expect that you will be blessed.
7. God’s timing is the perfect timing.
As we wait for God to reveal the right time, we are being asked one thing as stated in Psalms 37:7 (NIV): “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Let us not put the matters in our hands; instead, we must continue to put our trust and faith in Him. It is true that “He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).”
We have no knowledge of when the right time is, but our faith should tell us that such time will definitely come. We just have to wait with our eyes fixed on Him for “there is a time for everything, and season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).”
Are you waiting for something or perhaps someone for some time now? Have you been waiting in silence or have you been pounding the doors of heaven? Do you trust God with all your heart as you wait? Do you believe that His timing is perfect? Share your thoughts and personal experiences about waiting in the comments.