Waiting and Patience

Waiting and Patience

Are you waiting on something? It seems like we spend our entire lives waiting. We wait at the doctor’s office, wait on our friends to show up, or wait in the interview room. There are a lot of different situations that arise in our lives, but the same thing always seems to happen. We wait, though we’re really not big fans of waiting. In our modern day context, we have all the answers we want at our fingertips in an instant. We can barely wait two minutes in life for our specialty brewed coffee.

What happens when we have to wait on God?

Yet, what happens when we have to wait for God? What happens when the five-year plan gets tossed out the window? What’s really going on when we’re more terrified of being asked what’s next than any other question. We squirm at the thought of this happening. We can handle not knowing where we’re going to eat lunch tomorrow, but we want to know where we’re going to school next year, what city we’ll work in after graduation, etc. Has God ever asked you to be patient in a situation like this, where there is no end in sight and no clear path to take?

This past year has been one of those times of waiting for me; it was like life just hit the pause button. The part I struggled with the most was facing the reality of having to wait. When the summer after graduation started winding down, job offers didn’t come and invitations to interview weren’t extended, panic began welling up. I started asking, how did I not get such and such job or such and such opportunity ? Why did this not come through for me? I certainly had doubts about each job that I had interviewed for or applied for, but the thought that nothing would come through had never crossed my mind. Nothing. Absolutely 0% of what I thought my life would be like after graduation had happened.

what does serving God look like while I’m waiting?

I had no idea what was to happen next; was I supposed to go for a job or more school? The more I went down that path, the less I wanted to do because… what if I was wrong? In some ways, I started to shut down because I could find no answer to the question, “how can I get where I’m supposed to be?” Then I asked a different question, “what does serving God look like while I’m waiting?” I began praying, “Lord, how am I supposed to serve you?” The answer I got was something I hadn’t quite expected.

During this period of struggle, my college group was going through the book of Acts to study the early church. One character, and how he handled himself in specific situations, jumped out in particular. Acts records the actual paths that Paul took. Several times along the way, Paul finds himself in prison. Many of his captivities were for illegitimate or unknown reasons, had no definitive timeline for resolution, and had an unknown end result. Any of this sound familiar? In spite of all this, we find him praying and singing praises (Acts 16), giving his testimony to his captors (Acts 22), and using every opportunity to present the gospel.

The answer I got from Paul’s example is:

Serving God while we’re waiting looks just like it does when we’re not .

What does that mean? What does that look like?

I have the responsibility of being faithful with what He has commanded me today.

Suddenly, life was not just a long string of days spent waiting for something to pan out eventually. God may place us in times of what we call waiting, but they’re never just for waiting. Even though we must be patient in waiting for the Lord’s direction, simply being patient isn’t enough. We were never just supposed to wait or get by while waiting because of the knowledge that God has his perfect will. He will get us where He wants us to be in His time. And right now, I am where He wants me to be which means I have the responsibility of being faithful with what He has commanded me today. We are all part of churches, and schools or various work places where we are commanded to pour out God’s blessings. Whether or not we know what is going to happen next week or next year, we woke up today with the opportunity to pray to the God of heaven and earth, to praise the Creator of all things, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.

Zach Lim

Zach was an intern for Transform in 2013. He is no stranger to Inductive Bible Study, Precept, or Transform Student Ministries. Zach went to the University of Tennessee where he was active in the Baptist Student Ministry. He is looking at returning to get his Masters.

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