What Can I Do While I Wait?

God recently led me and my family into a time of transition. This transition includes a change of jobs (for me), a change of cities (for all of us), and a change of schools (for my kids). Changes can be exciting, but they are also stressful.

Our move has taken longer than originally anticipated. That requires a lot of patience and persistence. It has also caused me to ask, “What can I do to maximize this time in my life?”

I believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens to us in life – the good as well as the bad. This delay is part of God’s plan for me so I want make the most of it. I also don’t want to become passive, wasting the days I have between now and whenever.

You may also be experiencing a season of delay. You are tried of sitting on the sidelines and you want to make the most of your time. What can you do while you wait?

  1. Learn Something New. Transitions and delays are a great times to upgrade your knowledge or skills. Read a book or take a class. Take a trip or start a new hobby. Israel’s King David learned all kinds of things while he waited to ascend to the throne.
  2. Grow Your Faith. Abraham and Sarah waited for 25 years for a biological son. They made several mistakes along the way, but they eventually saw God’s promise come true. They exercised their faith in ways they never thought possible when they began their journey with God.
  3. Rest and Relax. Life can be hectic and draining. We don’t always take advantage of the natural rhythms of life that God had provided to sustain us. Waiting forces us to slow down for a season which can provided some much needed rest. Jesus expected a lot out of His disciples, but He also showed them how to rest.
  4. Reconnect with Loved Ones. Social media and electronics have given us the false impression that we can stay in touch with everyone all the time. That is simply not possible because there are only so many hours in the day. Season of delay might be just what you need to look up someone you haven’t seen in awhile. The apostle Paul used the transitions between his mission trips to reconnect with the believers that sent him out into ministry.
  5. Seek Clarity. This might be the toughest option because you may not be able to get the kind of clarity you are hoping for. Sometimes God explains the reasons for delay and sometimes the rationale doesn’t come until later. Nevertheless, it never a bad idea to lean into your relationship with and ask Him for wisdom and understanding.

Don’t have to waste your wait! Use it as an opportunity to prepare for what’s next. Use it as an opportunity to partner with God.

What else would you suggest to someone who is experiencing a time of transition? Join the conversation and leave your comment below.

Why Do I Have to Wait?

waitng by the roadWaiting seems like a waste of time.   It makes us feel unproductive, ineffective, and sometimes worthless.  It wears us down. Like treading water, waiting dulls our senses and saps our strength.

No one looks forward to waiting.  We pay large amounts of money and go to great lengths to avoid it.  We judge our satisfaction of products, places, and even people by how long they make us wait.  Patience may be virtue, but only in a bygone era.

Recently, I realized that waiting is a major theme in the Bible.  Many of the major characters in the Bible had to wait for days years, and even decades for their situations to be resolved and God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Noah waited for over a year on a boat filled with wild animals for the flood waters to recede (Genesis 7:6, 8:13-14).

Abraham and Sarah waited for 25 years for the birth of their special son, Isaac (Genesis 12:4, 21:5).

Joseph waited for two full years for the chief cupbearer to remember him and get him out of jail (Genesis 41:1).

Moses watched his father-in-law’s sheep on the back side of the desert for 40 years waiting for God’s plan to unfold (Exodus 2:23, Acts 7:30).

Job waited for seven days and seven nights for a comforting word from his so called “friends” and even longer for a comforting word from God (Job 2:12, 38:1).

David waited about 15 years to ascend to the throne of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13; 2 Samuel 5:1-5).  Mary and Martha watched their brother, Lazarus, die and then waited four agonizing days for Jesus to come to them (John 11:1-46).

The Apostles waited for three dark days before Jesus appeared to the them and commissioned them as witnesses (John 20:19-23).

The Apostle Paul waited for three years in the desert before starting his ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:17-18).

In addition, the Prophets waited for God’s judgment to fall (Jonah 4:5).  The Wisdom literature contains repeated references to patience and waiting (Psalms 27:14, Proverbs 15: 18, Ecclesiastics  7:8).  Patience is even listed as one of the nine fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

So what lessons can we learn from this survey of waiting in the Bible?

1.  Waiting is normal.

Following God does not mean you will have a wait-free life.  In fact, it guarantees that you will have to wait as He works out His perfect plan for you.

2.  Waiting is beneficial.

Waiting builds character as you learn to depend on God and His promises.  Waiting brings perspective to your life as you view things from the lens of eternity.

3.  Waiting is difficult

There are no short-cuts to patience.  Waiting is hard work, even if it feels like no work is getting done. 

Can you name another lesson we can learn from tracing the theme of waiting through the Bible?