SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND THE SKILL OF WAITING
By Gretchen Stockman, MA, LMFT
Have you ever heard the saying, "Be careful what you pray for or you just might get it!" Along with that sentiment, it is often advised that one should never pray for patience, else God may flood your life with opportunities to develop it. Being patient involves waiting, and in our fast-paced "McLife" we often despise or avoid having to wait. But waiting is a major theme in the Bible. In fact, it is mentioned over 120 times, depending on what translation you use. It is apparent that the ability to wait is an important and highly desirable aspect of Christian character God desires to cultivate in us. When we accept waiting, and trust our faithful God to meet our needs and bring us through difficulties, then we can experience a level of supernatural peace in the midst of trying circumstances. The world marvels at the Christian who has the capacity to boldly and gracefully wait with assurance.
Below I offer a sampling of verses about waiting from God's Word .
O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Show me Your ways, OLord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for Youarethe God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Remember, OLord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for theyarefrom of old.
Wait on theLord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;Wait, I say, on theLord!
Our soul waits for theLord; Heisour help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.
Trust in theLord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in theLord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to theLord, trust also in Him, and He shall bringitto pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Rest in theLord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fretitonlycausesharm.
The steps of agoodman are ordered by theLord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for theLordupholdshim withHis hand.
Wait on theLord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.
And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hopeisin You. Deliver me from all my transgressions; do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth - Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision. I will wait for You, O You his Strength; for God is my defense. My God of mercy shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning - Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.
O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
HOW CHRISTIAN COUNSELING CAN HELP YOU WITH LIFE
I don't care what anyone says, life is not for the faint of heart. And the life of a Christian, unfortunately, is no exception. Victoriously navigating through a lifetime of joys pocked with frustrations and sometimes gut-wrenching trials requires spiritual maturity and the ability to wait. A Christian counselor not only has training and tools, but an understanding of scriptural truths to "make your paths straight." If you are waiting for a situation in your life to resolve and weariness and discouragement are clouding your view, call today to meet with a Christian counselor. You don't have to carry your burden alone!