Last summer, I had the chance to attend an annual conference that often sells out within weeks of opening up to the public. This was an amazing opportunity to encounter women who were eager to step out in faith and pursue the ministry or call that God had placed on their hearts.
I remember the day I knew I wanted to attend this conference. “I’m doing it today! I’m going to sign up” I had joyfully called up my friend and exclaimed that I finally could register for the conference because I had gotten the money I needed. I eagerly got to work and proceeded to log on to the website. I felt that God was opening all the right doors and steering me in this direction and I could not wait to make it official. I anxiously logged on to the site and clicked the “Register” button.
And then all at once, it seemed as though my hopes were dashed as I read the screen: “The registration for this conference is closed.” The gold letters on the page glared at me and seemed to mock me. You thought you were going where? I thought God was calling you to this? And I could hear the mocking voices, making fun of my faith and what I thought I had clearly heard from God. What now? If God was really calling you to this, it would have worked out perfectly. But it didn’t.
Immediately, my hopes collapsed. In that moment, I was faced with 2 choices : to give up hope and believe the lie that God hadn’t really called me to it or to maintain faith and trust that God had indeed led me to this point and that He would complete what He had started in my heart and in my life. And I chose the latter. And on the page in front of me, the words read “Click here to get on the waiting list.” As I clicked the link and put in my contact information, I kept saying, God will open the door for me. And being put on the waiting list taught me a few things.
Being put on the waiting list taught me 5 truths that sustained me in the waiting:
1.Being required to wait does not negate the promise that was spoken. Often times we assume that if things don’t happen in the time we expect, it must mean that the thing will never come to pass. Many times we give up in process and quit too soon. We know what the promise is, but when we do not see it immediately or in the time that we believe we should have it, we shut things down and close up shop and head for the nearest exit. But the word of God says that God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19); His promises are sure to come to pass and we will reap in due season if we do not quit and get sidetracked (Galatians 6:9).
2. Having to wait may mean that you get your promise in God’s perfect timing. The right thing at the wrong time is actually the wrong thing. But the right thing in God’s time is perfect. Maybe you’ve been trying to make something happen on your own as it relates to what God has in store for you. You’ve been hustling and making contacts and doing the best you know how to do. Maybe you are at your wits end because you are meeting dead ends or you are being told to wait. Rest. Rest. God is able to bring you just what you need for this season of life.
3. Trust God before the process starts, trust Him during the Process and trust him still after the process. As we are being asked to wait, we must resolve to trust God at all stages of waiting. Resolve that God’s plans are perfect and they are plans that are meant for our good. Resolve that God in his infinite wisdom, knows what He is doing and how to do it.
4. Waiting time is the time for God to perfect the things you need to have for the next step. Sometimes God needs to develop his character in us because the next stage will require more from us. We may need more patience with others; we may need to learn how to be more gentle or more loving. We may need greater faith, a deeper knowledge of Him sustain us while we are in that next place. God uses this time to prepare the way for us. He uses this time to work on hearts that need to receive us and to lay out the path we need to take.This is the time to stay close to God through the word and prayer. Here, He can speak to us and instruct on us on what to do as we wait for Him.
5. During the waiting time, there will be tons of distractions, tons of things and people vying for your attention and for your resources. While I waited to hear back from the conference, there were moments of doubt that had they been entertained, would have caused me to lose hope. Use the waiting time wisely. During the wait, we have to tune out some things and focus in on others. This time is as the decisions we make in our impatience, will impact our situation for better or for worse.
Lord, as I wait on you to do Your next thing in me and in my life, help me to remain steadfast, confident and bold in what you are doing. Help me to believe and immerse myself in every word You have spoken for surely it will come to pass in your perfect timing. In my waiting, let my heart’s cry be: Lord, no matter what, I will trust you and follow you.
No matter what, I will hold tight to You and Your Word.
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