My husband and I have recently walked through what felt like a long waiting period to hear back on some news. There were multiple delays during this process and during each delay, we would step back and say, "it's ok, we will wait. God is working on this."
We've come to a recent realization after this waiting period that while we thought that God would do work in the OTHER people as a result of this waiting process, he was actually causing delays and pauses in the process to do work in US, namely me. Ultimately, as a result, our marriage.
After thinking through this and being very much humbled, or hit in head with a spiritual 2x4, I realize that so many of us do this in our day to day lives. There are a lot of us out there that think we need to wait until the time is right, or we believe that God has delayed gratification on a desire in our lives due to the fact that OTHER people or circumstances need to be changed. Oh how foolish we humans can be.
After my run in with the spiritual 2x4, I have realized that more often than not, the Lord has brought delay, pain, or long processes in our lives because he needs to work IN US. It is not fun. It requires a lot of patience and most of the time I am finding out that I really have no choice in the matter. At the end of the day, if the Lord wants to do a work in my life, he will bring along or allow, any circumstance necessary until I do the heart work. For some people, this probably sounds a little harsh, maybe insensitive, and could cause some theological, "why does God allow pain?" questions.
I prefer to go the route of simple faith. I will not always know the answers, and I will not know the reasons that there is hurt here on earth. I do, however, trust that through difficult circumstances God proves faithful. This proof of faithfulness is only seen by those that actively choose to be in relationship with Him or it is seen through the lives of other people who believe.
Are you in a current period of waiting? Have you been hoping that the Lord will do a work in other people's lives in order to better your own? Or, are you praying for changes in someone else's heart? If so, I would challenge you today to take a look within you, pray through it and ask if the Lord is trying to show YOU something during this time.
At the end of the waiting process for my husband and I, I realized that I can have reckless spiritual abandon in supporting God's calling on his life, just like he has had for me. We BOTH now know that it can be hard, and worldly things can be distracting, but we believe in God's will for our family over our own. And we are beginning to feel like leaps of faith are our extreme sport of choice.
Most of you probably think, easy for you to say, Dana, God always shows up for you. Truthfully, and embarassingly, it's not easy. I still get distracted by things that I shouldn't and for the first time in our marriage, we fought, actively fought, because my heart was not ready to hear what God wanted me to hear.
For those of you in the trenches of waiting, trust me when I say that God has a purpose for this time. It may not show up in others, like you hope, but it most definitely will show up in personal spiritual growth and better yet, stronger relationships. Refinement in life is necessary and will always happen but it so much better when you take an active role.