"God, the one and only-- I'll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not?"
- Psalm 62:1 MSG
Sometime last year, when one of our pets died, I was hurting so badly that I began doing anything I could to make something happen in my situation. As I got silent before the Lord one morning, I heard a voice in my spirit say, "Don't push!" I stopped in my tracks, sensing that this could very well be the Lord's voice warning me. Only an hour or so later, I was talking to my husband about some strong desires I had in my heart about our pet situation, and he told me firmly, "Don't push!" My heart sank. I knew that this was confirmation from God, and I promptly backed off from my frenzied activity, and put the matter in His hands. Several days later, the Lord worked wonders on our behalf to provide us with the perfect new pet, and I was so thankful that I had waited on God for His provision, instead of allowing my emotions to make decisions that I would regret later on.
My husband, Joe, has been going through a long period of unemployment, even though we have been earnestly praying and believing God for His intervention. When a friend of Joe's told him about a job opportunity that seemed perfect for my husband, he became hopeful that this was the answer to our prayers. Nevertheless, as Joe took steps to apply for the job, doors kept closing against him. With his friend egging him on, my husband decided that he was not going to take "no" for an answer, and that this was the job for him. Suddenly, I felt a distinct lack of peace in my heart about my husband's dogged determination, and I heard myself say to him, "Don't push!" With disappointment etched across his face, he told me, "I know you're right, and I'm going to leave this situation in God's hands."
Sometimes, doing nothing in a situation is the hardest thing for us to do. But often, it's the best thing. Sometimes, it's easier for us to hear "no" than to hear "wait." But the truth is that there are some blessings in this life that we can never receive, until we go through a period of waiting. Why does the Lord keep us waiting sometimes? There could be many reasons, some of which we may never know or understand. In some cases, God needs to do a work in our hearts and lives, before He can provide the answer to our prayers. It may be that the Lord will not change our circumstances, until our circumstances change US. Sometimes we are kept waiting because God is in the process of orchestrating events, or changing people's minds. What we have to remember is that the Lord does a lot of His best work behind the scenes, and just because we don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that it's not. God knows that these waiting periods stretch and strengthen our faith, and that they prepare us for the extraordinary blessings that He has in store for us. The worst thing we could possibly do is to try to control or manipulate circumstances, so that we end up violating God's perfect will and timing. That would only cause us pain, loss, and disappointment.
Scripture says, "Cease striving and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 NASB) I have been in situations where the Lord basically told me, "I'm not doing anything else in your situation until you begin trusting Me enough to settle down, and to wait for ME to work." The truth is that we're going to spend more of our lives waiting on God, than we are receiving from Him. That's why the Bible says, "Wait on your God continually." (Hosea 12:6 NKJV) But HOW we wait is important to the Lord, and can greatly affect our outcome. Lamentations 3:25 (AMP) says: "The Lord is good to those who hopefully and expectantly wait for Him." While we're waiting for the Lord to intervene, we are to wait with expectant hearts, knowing that as long as we're praying and believing, He is busy working on our behalf. We must keep in mind that Satan will do his best to make our circumstances look worse than they really are. He will try to fill us with fear in order to get us to do something hasty and outside the will of God. He wants more than anything for us to miss out on God's best, because it's in God's perfect will where we will be the most fruitful, successful, and blessed--and where we'll be the greatest threat to his kingdom of darkness. Psalm 106:13 (AMP) says: "They did not [earnestly] wait for His plans [to develop] regarding them..." The Bible tells the tragic story of how the Israelites refused to wait on God, and how they paid a terrible price for their impatience. May this Word from the Lord challenge and inspire you today--"Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along His pathway and in due season He will honor you with every blessing"! (Psalm 37:34 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, when I'm about to do something hasty or foolish, let me hear Your voice telling me, "Don't push!" Teach me how to seek You each day through prayer, praise, and the reading of Your Word. Thank You that as I wait upon You in faith, I will reap an abundance of blessings, instead of regrets!
- J. M. Farro