But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.
It was a Wednesday afternoon, May 2019. School was winding down, and I sat at the conference table with my heart pounding. I was on the verge of tears, for I was about to tell the team that I would not be returning for the coming school year. A month earlier, I had given my boss my resignation, realizing that after 13 years at the school, the Lord seemed to be moving me in a new direction. What direction it was, I had no idea.
A dear friend of mine (and now colleague!) had encouraged me to apply to Calvary Christian Academy, and I’d had one interview with some very fine folks here at CCA. However, I hadn’t heard from anyone at the school since. Other jobs I applied for seemed to be moving slowly or didn’t work out at all. For someone who traditionally hasn’t been very good with change, the whole situation — this period of waiting for direction, for answers, over many, many
months — was honestly terrifying, and the silence from God at times felt deafening.
I could not help but wonder, was I doing the right thing? Did I really trust that God knew what He was doing when I was still waiting for clear answers to materialize?
God has stretched me through periods of waiting
The truth is, for most of my life, God has stretched me through periods of waiting. No doubt, we’ve all been there at some point or the other. We pray and seek the Lord, but sometimes, we find ourselves waiting for direction on a decision, for a relationship to heal, for the doctor’s call with the results of our test, for the salvation of a loved one. We pray but wait for the brokenness in our country to be made whole, for the pandemic to be over, for school to get back to normal. My former pastor and his wife prayed and waited for 17 years for his prodigal daughter to return home. 17 years. Oh, that I would have this kind of faith.
The evening after I had informed my team about my resignation, I was sitting at my kitchen table and my cell phone suddenly started to flip out. I would learn later that my phone had been on the fritz for almost a week, and almost no calls had been getting through! Voicemail notifications started flooding in, including two from CCA asking me to give them a call.
Now, I don’t know that God prevented me from getting calls to teach me a lesson and stretch my faith. But I know that He sure used that time of waiting to do just that. It was almost like God was saying to me, “You are not making this decision to move into a new season based on what man can offer you. You’re going to do this based on My call on your life, and My call alone.” I realized God had used the waiting to bring me to a place of far greater dependency on Him. I sat at the kitchen table, dumbfounded, and in awe of our great God.
God had used the waiting to bring me to a place of far greater dependency on Him
Here are a few things I have learned throughout my life, and am still learning, about what it means to wait on the Lord and on His perfect timing and His perfect answers.
These are some of the beautiful ways God can stretch us as we wait on Him. And sometimes, after a period of waiting, the Lord answers our prayers as we had hoped, in marvelous ways. God’s answer to my prayers over a year ago were more than I could have asked for or imagined. Even better, the earthly things I had been clinging to were stripped away, and my faith was refined through it all.
But what happens when, after a period of waiting, we don’t get what we so earnestly hoped for? The doctor’s call leaves us devastated. A wayward child breaks our heart again. That opportunity didn’t work out the way we had hoped. Yet another act of racial injustice flashes across our TV screens.
To start, we can remember that when God says “no” or “not yet” — just like he did to His own Son in Gethsemane — He is still working out all things for our good and for His glory. Sometimes a disappointment or sorrow in one season makes a way for a blessing in another.
I am reminded of Priscilla and Aquila, forced by the emperor’s decree to leave their home in Italy but finding Paul in Corinth as a result, along with a whole host of new ministry opportunities (Acts 18). Even more so, as I heard a pastor say once, it was the “no” to Jesus that made a “yes” for our salvation.
Additionally, we can remember what James said
, and count the facing of trials pure joy because of the work it does in our lives. We can also remember that God’s mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-24
Be encouraged in your seasons of waiting! We serve a God who goes before us and is with us, a God who will never leave us nor forsake us.
Be encouraged in your seasons of waiting! We serve a God who goes before us and is with us, a God who will never leave us nor forsake us. We do not need to be discouraged or afraid (Deuteronomy 31:8
). He who spoke creation into existence and who holds all things in the palm of his hand holds us too!