Over the past year, I’m sure most of us will have experienced varying levels of frustration with the fluid easing and tightening of restrictions. It can leave us feeling like our whole lives, careers, family plans and callings are on hold. I’ve found myself repeatedly explaining that I’ve had to ‘pause’ this or that, and if I’m honest, as a very active, doing kind of person, being forced to slow down has been vexing.
Yet I’m so thankful for many moments in God’s presence where I’ve heard His soothing whisper, ‘It’s ok, I’m outworking my will in all of this, just wait…’ As I’ve repeatedly paused through wave after wave of restrictions, I’ve increasingly realised that I need to better develop the difficult skill of ‘waiting well’.
The Message paraphrases this need beautifully:
“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8:22–25, The Message)
The understanding that in Christ all things hold together (Colossians 1:17) should provide peace and produce in us an ability to find rest… While we know we have been called to partner with Christ in His mission, we also know that He leads us well to fulfil His purposes in His timing.
So, waiting well helps to produce the thing that God is birthing, in His timing, and when it’s the Spirit who moves to birth that thing, we know God will see it through.
But maybe you’re frustrated with timing and passionate about moving forward but it seems you just keep hitting brick walls. Maybe every time you take a step into that thing, issues, challenges, conflicts, family difficulties or a million other things begin to pop up. Although the enemy may have a hand in some of it, as we wait expectantly on God in a state of readiness, He will always outwork His purposes through us. It’s a precious thing to experience these labour pains as Christ is formed in the people and the world around us (Galatians 4:19).
Therefore, embrace the journey as the Holy Spirit leads you into what He’s birthing. Be at peace! Count it all joy when trials come, knowing they produce character and endurance (James 1:2-4; ). Waiting expectantly is an important faith producing activity and a crucial part of the birthing process. So learn to wait well!
“But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8:25, The Message) “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world…” (1 John 5:4)
Lord, thank You for Your long-suffering! I need Your physical, mental and spiritual empowerment to help me to overcome frustration, doubt, impatience and self-reliance. Graciously teach me to ‘wait well’, especially in these days of such uncertainty. As I learn to wait well, birth in me and through me, the things you’ve planned that will impact those around me. Empower me to be a channel of Your grace and power as You outwork Your plan for Ireland! Amen