Do you remember the last time you had to wait for something you really wanted? The eagerness, the anxiety, the pacing around, the heartache, the feelings of doubt… would my time ever come? When will the doctor call my name? When will my name be on the admissions list? When will my bus arrive? When will this traffic start to move? Waiting is not easy. But there’s a way to have peace while waiting.
It’s interesting how throughout life’s journey, we must experience seasons of waiting. Everyone does. I was just thinking about that period after secondary school, where my chest felt like it would explode when I hadn’t heard anything from the admissions team at the only university I had applied to. The waiting became unbearable when I heard about my schoolmates who had already gained admission. Truth is I didn’t end up waiting as long as people who had to retake some examinations. At that moment though, it sure felt like my world was standing still. Now, years later, and two degrees after, I wonder why I was so fretful in that waiting season. I didn’t even have to wait for so long!
I’m confronted with another season of waiting. This one feels longer than all the other seasons. It’s like sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office without knowing when you’ll be called in. The temptation is there to give up and forget about the appointment. This just reminds me of how human we are. Remember Sarah? She knew Abraham was promised a son by God, but she was tired of waiting. She was way past her childbearing years. ‘What was the point of it all?’ She wondered. Then came the suggestion to find a maiden who would give birth to a son for her husband, Abraham. She was pretty strategic. Of course, the maiden had to be fertile for the plan to go through. Just like when you pick the next thing you’re sure would work out, instead of waiting for what you know God has in store for you. And when we get that next thing, we expect God to bless it. Thing is, we can’t cheat on the waiting process. It always finds us.
Waiting is like that compulsory course you take in the university, without which you can’t graduate. It’s the testing of your faith (the substance of what you hope for, and evidence of what’s not seen).
I like how James puts it:
“Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].” -James 1:3 AMP
The testing of your faith, through the experiences of waiting, strengthens your endurance muscle. I just watched the video of Hilda Baci, the Nigerian chef who broke the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking by an individual. She had to stand for all 100 hours (night and day). In this particular video, her personal trainer was talking about the exercises he had put her through to build her physical muscles and ability to stand. I mean, many of us can’t even stand to cook for 100 minutes, let alone 100 hours. Lol. That’s because our strength in that area is little.
If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. – Proverbs 24:10 (NLT)
Clearly, there’s need to build our endurance muscles so that we can wait for the things we hope for!
“Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” -James 1:4 GNT
Okay now that’s interesting! Our endurance needs to carry us all the way without failing, so we can be complete, lacking nothing. If you didn’t have the endurance to deal with all the courses and tests in the university, you would definitely not come out with a degree. Or a pregnant woman who must endure all 9 months to give birth to a healthy newborn. Your endurance has to carry you through until you complete all the requirements for your degree or childbirth (lacking nothing).
While I’m facing a season of waiting that is way longer than what I experienced when waiting for an admission, I however notice I’m not as fidgety or as fretful as I was back then. You know how experience gives you an edge in the professional world, that’s how it works here as well.
Remember all the times you waited, and the joy of finally taking hold of what you waited for. Sometimes, the journey itself is more satisfying than the thing you wanted. The Amplified version mentioned ‘inner peace’ and that has been one booster for me. You know how you’re playing a game on your phone (Eg Subway Surfers) and you pick up boosters along the way that help you gain points without putting any extra effort? That’s how it is with inner peace. It gives you the extra push to keep waiting. Joy, now that’s a strength booster! It doesn’t come naturally to us, it comes by the Spirit!
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”-Galatians 5:22 AMP
We need the fruits of the Spirit to get us through our waiting seasons. I like how the Amplified version talks about patience—not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting. Are you grumbling and whining while waiting? Are you scheming and planning other plan Bs and Cs for what you want? Or are you joyful, grateful and calm (inner peace)?
I know this season is hard in so many ways, but it gets better. Everything will work out for your good in the end. Let your endurance carry you through! (Just as your endurance carried you through reading this long post! Lol).
Thank you for reading!
Lots of love,