How good are you at waiting? Chances are you’ve been stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an appointment. Sitting in an airport while your flight has been delayed, again? Maybe you’re expecting a call back from a recent job interview. Or waiting for some medical test results. Waiting can be hard. Many of us are not patient by nature.
How about when we’re waiting for an answer to prayer; when we’ve asked God to act in a situation and He doesn’t answer when we think He should? It’s easy to run out of patience, but we can also feel frustrated, ignored, that God doesn’t care about our request. “Why isn’t God answering me? Doesn’t He understand the urgency of my request? Are you there, God?” I’m currently in a season of waiting for God to answer my prayer for a close family member.
I know He will answer; I’m absolutely sure of it. I’ve seen His faithfulness displayed over and over again in my life. And the Bible is full of evidence of God’s responses to the prayers of His people. David praises the Lord God in Psalm 65:5, saying: “You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds.” But God answers in His time and according to His plan, not ours. I often have to remind myself of that because I’m not good at waiting. I can easily grow weary.
So it was with the Israelites during their exodus from captivity in Egypt and subsequent journey to the Promised Land. They had experienced God’s faithfulness in delivering them from bondage in Egypt, but they grew tired of waiting. Their impatience led them into a pattern of complaining and disobedience. As a result, they wandered in the wilderness because of their lack of trust in God’s divine plan.
David speaks from his heart in Psalm 27:14 when he writes “Wait patiently for the Lord.” He had to wait fourteen years after being anointed king to take his place on the throne. In all of David’s triumphs and failures, he knew without a doubt that God would fulfill His promises to him.
When we question God’s timing, we are really questioning His sovereignty and control over all things. The question we should be asking is “What does God desire to teach me during this season of waiting? Have I truly given up ownership of this issue, trusting in God’s perfect plan, even if the answer I get is not what I was hoping for?” The waiting would be easier if we took the focus off of what we want and put it on what God wants to do in us. God’s desire is for us to be dependent on Him; to be faithful in seeking and trusting Him. Proverbs 15:29b says “…He hears the prayers of the righteous.” And He will be faithful to answer. We don’t have to ask “Are you there, God?” Wait patiently on the Lord. His timing is perfect.