I want you to know that you are not the only one experiencing a season of waiting. We all experience seasons of waiting regardless of where we are in our journey.
Perhaps you’re in a season of waiting today. Maybe you’re experiencing a prolonged time of silence and stillness, and you are anxiously waiting for God’s direction.
I know it’s not easy waiting for direction certainly when we are leading others. As leaders, we want to be known as the person with the plan. But, know this – leadership isn’t always about taking action. Leadership is knowing when to act and when to wait.
A Season of Silence
Are you in a season of waiting, seeking God’s direction? Do you believe in His promises, but the silence is beginning to wear you down, or your thoughts are telling you that your dreams may never happen?
I believe if you’re reading this, you just may be in a season of waiting. I wish I could tell you the answers to your prayers will come soon or that your dreams are just around the corner, but I can’t because I really don’t know for sure.
You see, we all have our seasons of waiting. Seasons filled with excitement, anticipation, doubt, fear, and silence. Lots and lots of silence. It’s a real challenge to sit and wait. Although we know God’s promises to be true, we tend to struggle with self-control and impatience.
What are God’s Promises in Our Time of Waiting?
The problem in the waiting is that we take our eyes off God and focus on ourselves. We can tend to be a bit selfish and want things our way on our timeline. We forget about His promises because we are focusing on our circumstances.
What are God’s promises to us in the waiting?
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:25 (NKJV)
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)
Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (NKJV)
God’s word tells us:
- When we wait for Him, He is good to us.
- When we wait for Him, He will strengthen our heart.
- When we wait for Him, He will hear us.
Striving or Waiting?
I’m not sure how you feel when you read these verses, but I feel relieved! I know God has a plan for me and I know that through the journey He will hear me, strengthen me, and do good things for me. God wants me to succeed! God wants YOU to succeed!
So, if we know His promises to be true and He only wants the best for us, why is it we wrestle with our thoughts and try to control the outcome? Why do we strive and plan determined to get our way?
Why do we make the mistake of thinking God needs us to make it happen? Why do we convince ourselves that in order for our dreams to come true, we need to maneuver and manipulate working through our own strength and not wait on God? Because we take our eyes off God!
Sarah’s Season of Waiting
I’d like to remind you of the situation created by Sarah (Sarai), the wife of Abraham (Abram). She is described as strong-willed and outspoken. Sarah was a Godly woman who in her season of waiting became impatient and took matters into her own hands. Big, big, big mistake.
Abraham was first known as Abram. God gave Abram the name Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” when Abraham was ninety-nine years old. Both Sarah and Abraham had a hard time accepting Abraham would be a father of a multitude because of Sarah’s barrenness. They believed in God’s promises, but Sarah became impatient and convinced herself and Abraham that she had the perfect plan. Sound familiar?
Sarah and Abraham were well beyond their child-bearing years (this is where the doubt creeps in), so instead of trusting God, they allowed their circumstances to influence their thoughts and became uncertain about their future. Instead of focusing on God’s strength and power, they focused on things of this world, their age. Sarah and Abraham were in a season of waiting.
Yet, Sarah and Abraham did not wait. Instead, Sarah became anxious and began to plot.
Can you relate? Have you ever felt like God’s promises were out of reach? Have you felt that God laid a promise on your heart, but it was up to you to fulfill the promise?
Sarah allowed her impatience to get the best of her and decided on a whim that she would take on the responsibility of seeing God’s promise fulfilled. Uh-oh.
Sarah’s plan included her faithful maid Hagar. Sarah chose Hagar to serve as a surrogate mother. Yep, that was her plan to find a surrogate to build a family. Sarah then encouraged Abraham to lay with Hagar.
Not only does Sarah take control of the situation, but she also takes advantage of her servant. As the story unfolds, Hagar becomes a bit prideful as the surrogate of Abraham’s firstborn. The competition and envy between the two women completely destroyed their relationship.
What a mess! Sarah got what she wanted, an heir for Abraham but at what cost? Through her scheming she created a situation that not only brought conflict upon her family, she felt worse about herself.
Have you ever become so desperate that you took it upon yourself to make things happen when God has told you to wait? Did you ever think you had a better way and God needed your help?
My friend, waiting is hard. When God places a dream in our heart, a vision to be fulfilled, it’s hard to wait for the fulfillment of that dream. We get so excited about the future that we begin to run around making plans and strategizing our next step. Life is great. And then it seems our dreams are placed on hold or at least postponed.
You see, God gives us the vision but not a timeline or outline of His plans. It would be great if He did but then where would the trust come in? It’s easy to step out in faith when we see what’s ahead. But sometimes we just aren’t ready for the plan. We need cropping and enhancement just like some of our photos!
As with Sarah, we learn a valuable lesson – the waiting becomes complicated when we try to make things happen in our own strength.
Yes, Sarah’s plans were successful, Hagar bore a son, Ishmael. But Sarah became so envious of Hagar’s fertility that she became unmannerly towards Hagar. Sarah was jealous, and she became insecure taking her unhappiness out on Hagar, which caused strife and division in her family.
In fact, Sarah became so resentful she sent Hagar and Ishmael away. Sarah’s decision to take matters into her own hands, her lack of obedience, affected her even after the promise of an heir was fulfilled!
Lesson learned? Had Sarah trusted God to fulfill His promise, she would have avoided so much pain and frustration. Yet, she did not wait. She did not walk in obedience. Her plotting and planning brought distress upon her household.
In reflection, have you ever reacted during your season of waiting in a way that affected you even after the season? Perhaps you manipulated situations, and your plans came to fruition but at what expense? The expense of your family, relationships, or reputation?
If you are in a season of waiting, I encourage you to wait. Wait upon the Lord with excitement and praise. Ask God to show you where you are to serve in your current season. Take this time of waiting to learn from women leaders of the Bible. Use this time wisely because we know when we wait for God – He is good to us, He will strengthen our hearts, and He will hear our cries. Amen!