The Unexpected Joy Found in Waiting
[Guest post by Jennifer Kelly: Happy New Year! When Jennifer sent me this post, I just knew it had to be the first Devotional Diva post of 2015! She tells us of the joy found in waiting when this New Year is such a time of change.]
Wait on the Lord.
This is my season right now. My limbo. My song. My thing. My line. My joy and my pain.
Why is it so hard to wait? What is it about waiting that tail-spins my impatient, stubborn self into a frenzied, spoiled three-year old brat? Honestly! I’m like THAT little girl you see in the store: arms furiously crossed, crazy-eyed, and spewing out a rather large sized temper tantrum of impatience, “But, I want it now daddy… RIGHT NOW”.
That might be a little dramatic, but I’m afraid not that far off.
Why does God require us to wait?
What good comes from being patient and still and hopefully expectant?
When is the last time (I can honestly say) that I waited upon the Lord for something?
This year holds a lot of unanswered questions for my family, but specifically for me. Both of my girls will be in school full-time this year. I’ve been a stay at home mom. What will I do with my time? Will I work? Will I write? Will I finish school? Will I volunteer?
And I wonder as I write this, if this year marks changes for you as well?
Recently, I was challenged to give my thoughts, my desires, my questions and my worries over to God in prayer and WAIT for His response.
Like a FOR-REAL kind of wait. No manipulating. No making big decisions. No self-initiations. Just me being faithful, right-where-I-am-at.
The New Year is a time when we are pressured and bombarded to change everything about ourselves (our job, our diet, our money, our blah-blah-blah) I had no idea how hard waiting could be. Think about it. Have you ever heard anyone say, “My New Year resolution is to wait upon the Lord”? I don’t think so.
As I find myself quieting down, on my knees, praying, and waiting, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1.) When I wait – I pray.
I find it most interesting that I am praying more than ever before. Waiting ushers in prayer. It’s much like meditation. It’s long and quiet. Most days waiting comes with no acknowledgment or feeling of gratification. I can either grumble or complain about my situation or I can go to God in prayer and lay it at His feet.
2.) Waiting produces perseverance.
Waiting (CAN) produce perseverance, but only by choosing to patiently obey. Mostly because waiting automatically brings us to a crossroads: Either to endure the present, expectantly waiting on God (even though we do not see – and trust Him) OR to take the present choices, decisions and actions into our own accord (even though we STILL do not see – and trust ourselves). Either way – it’s a choice. Paul writes, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:25)
3.) Waiting reminds me of a much different perspective – an ETERNAL perspective.
As I reflect and pray, I find the things that I am anxious about, the hopes and desires for my family and church and myself, pales in comparison to what it means for a world in which Jesus is returning. The redemption and glory that will occur in the future is beyond exciting. Waiting reminds me that I am meant for another world! Again, Paul writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18)
When I look back on my time of waiting thus far, there have been mistakes and successes, but I am encouraged by the work that is being accomplished in my heart. When I wait for Jesus – my heart changes to be a little more like His. I become more available to be used by Him. I find the smallest of duties (where I am called to be a wife and mom) to be of great satisfaction right now. I understand Isaiah 64:4 much clearer, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him”
God knows the desires of my heart, much more than I do.
God knows my gifts, my talents, and my abilities. He knows my anticipations, my worries and my cares. Do I trust Him? With all of it? The whole-thing? Or am I going to rely on my own strengths, my own ideas, my own attempts to do what I think is best?
May God bless you and keep you in this New Year, but may we learn to sit at Jesus’ feet and patiently wait on His perfect timing, His perfect plan, His love and His power.
So that our source of waiting might become the joy of our soul found only in Christ Jesus!
Jennifer Kelly is a very messy wife and mom. She loves reading, writing, philosophy, music, art, theatre, and really anything that is created by an artist. Jennifer currently attends Christian Colorado University where she is studying Biblical Studies. Follow along with her at www.jenjkelly.com