We all have things we’re waiting for, right?
Healing. A better job. Children. A spouse. Wayward children to come back. A broken relationship healed.
I usually assume God has me wait because I need to develop patience.
But lately I was thinking that maybe God might be having me wait because I need time to become the person I need to be in order to appreciate or handle what He’s going to give me.
This week I spent a good bit of time on the phone with one of my boys. He called me (and gave me a hard time because I didn’t answer his texts fast enough, lol) and wanted a little advice. Right there, I just want to stop and shake my head in amazement. I can’t believe my kids call me and ask for advice.
Anyway, several years ago he asked me about a girl and I told him he was too young. He wasn’t ready and neither was she. (I know my beliefs are weird, but I am completely against dating. To me, it’s practice for divorce.) I told him they both needed to grow up; they both needed to grow closer to the Lord.
To him, the few years I suggested seemed like an eternity.
At the time I told him he didn’t have to “waste” those years. He could spend them working on himself, becoming a better Christian, a better human, to grow and develop himself so that she wouldn’t just be getting a good husband, she’d be getting a great one (we all have room for improvement, right?).
I said to ask people what his faults were. Ask God to show him areas where he could grow and get better. Then do the hard work of self-control and self-denial and become better. It’s tough.
Anyway, he didn’t want to, but he listened to me and didn’t pursue a relationship with that girl.
This week when we talked he said, “I’m reading my Bible, I have a closer walk with the Lord than ever before, I’m reading books, I’ve limited the amount of TV I watch to a football game on Sunday afternoon, I’ve lost ten pounds and here’s what else I’ve been doing.”
We talked for a really long time. Honestly, it was a little surreal because I heard echoes of my words through the years of his childhood in the things that he said to me and in the advice that he’d mentioned he’d given to someone.
My advice to him this time when he asked me (about the same girl) was much different than it had been all those years ago. For me, asking my son to wait wasn’t as much about him needing to develop patience as it was about knowing he needed to grow and mature.
He didn’t like the waiting, and it wasn’t easy, but he used that time wisely and the girl he wants is going to be getting a really great guy (okay, my opinion is just a touch biased) who loves the Lord and who wants to do God’s will for his life, wants to lead his family and love, (Biblically, sacrificially) love, his wife.
He will be a much better husband, father and person because he used his time of “waiting” to grow his character and develop his relationship with the Lord. Growth takes time. It also takes work.
Waiting on God to answer our prayer is hard. And some things just aren’t going to happen without a miraculous intervention. But, while I’m waiting for that miracle, while I’m waiting on God to answer, while I’m waiting for God to give me the desire of my heart, I can use my time wisely.
Dust off my Bible, make a prayer list and talk to God, deny myself and look around for someone to help, walk away from the internet, turn off the TV, read books that inspire, find friends who encourage me to be a better human (and I encourage them the same way), stop fussing over stupid politics, focus on being a servant, take a walk, be thankful for little things, smile, laugh, find a way to make other people smile and laugh, encourage someone and pray for them, too…goodness, there’s no end to the things we can do. And we don’t have to do them by ourselves. If your kid wants to do something good, you’re going to do everything in your power to help them, right?
God will help you learn new habits and become a better person, just ask. (But still expect to put the work in. He’ll help, but He doesn’t usually do it for us. : )
Waiting is hard. It’s frustrating. It can be discouraging. But God always has a plan. And maybe He really wants to implement that plan, but He’s waiting on us to grow first, so we’re able to handle all the good stuff He wants to give us.
Are we working to become more like Christ while we wait for God to move?