How Good Are You at Waiting?
by Michelle Graham
Timing is one of my least favorite things in the entire world, mostly because it is the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong. When a first date bombs, it just wasn’t the right timing. If a potential employer sends me a cordial form refusal letter, it was simply bad timing. This nebulous idea of “timing” is responsible for so many of the things that go wrong in my life.
As I see people (and myself) deal with troubles and tribulations, I wonder, “What’s the difference if you add ‘God’s’ to the beginning of ‘timing’?” Well, first of all, you feel partly better and partly worse. On one hand, you still feel bummed about whatever didn’t work out. But on the other hand, you know that God is in control of everything you give to him.
They say that God has perfect timing, but that’s not always the right thing to say to someone right after they’ve had a door slammed in their face. If a door closes, a window is supposed to open, but that timing never seems to be prompt, either. Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Notice the part where the verse says that you should wait for things that seem slow? It brings to mind an image of windows that literally have to be cranked open. Doors are relatively easy to shut, but opening a window – especially one that hasn’t been touched in a while – can be a pain in the rear end.
It is one of the hardest things in the world to wait. No matter how often we remind ourselves of God’s perfect timing, waiting still feels like it takes an eternity. In Ecclesiastes 3 we’re told that God knows exactly how much time a thing needs to become beautiful. Of all the things I’ve heard about God’s timing, this resonates the most with me. Just think about it: every person wants to be attractive, and God wants us to be beautiful, as well. We have a common goal, but not a common way of attaining that goal.
That verse in Ecclesiastes helps me remember I’m not exactly powerless when it comes to waiting for God’s timing. I can have hope, and I can pray. Prayer is a very powerful tool that many people forget about. There are many verses in the Bible about praying and receiving, but they don’t make it sound easy. In Ephesians, you pray with perseverance. In Matthew, you pray with intense purpose. In Acts, the believers devote themselves to “earnest prayer” when Peter was in jail. If you haven’t seen a pattern yet, I’ll give you a hint: waiting is supposed to be full of the back-breaking work of prayer.
It’s not easy when a door shuts on you, but that’s why we have God. He’s the one working out the plan to make us beautiful, and I’d hate to interfere with the Maker of the Universe. Even if waiting seems to take forever, I know that in the end, I’ll be glad that I didn’t try to jump the gun.
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Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a Christian psychologist and owner of ChristianCrush.com, which aims to be the most trustworthy platform on the web for believers to connect and develop God-honoring relationships.
What's the hardest part for you waiting on God?