THE WAITING GAME
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."
Waiting is hard. But so often that is just what the Lord requires his people to do. If you are like me you would like to get an immediate response from God when you pray. In my humanness I would like for prayer to be more like going to Chick-fil-A and ordering a salad. I place my order, I get my salad; there isn't a whole lot of waiting involved. Well friend, the truth is that God DOES respond immediately to your prayer . . . it’s just that He doesn't always say "Yes." When He does say yes, the distance between your need and His provision might not be very long. Of course, sometimes, God being all-wise and all that, says "No." When that is His answer it is usually pretty clear; no waiting involved there either. But the truth is that a lot of the time you end up in what I call "the area in between" . . . you come boldly before His throne of grace seeking help in your time of need and God says, "Yes, but you’ll have to wait." So there you are, caught somewhere between your problem and His solution, trapped between need and provision.
I like what David says in Psalm 27: Okay, things don't look good at the moment, but I still have confidence. I know my God is here, I can still sing and make music; my enemies are here too, but they can't prevail against me. Listen, I WILL see the goodness of the Lord! And I'm not talking about pie in the sky bye and bye when I die; I will see the goodness of the Lord IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING! And then King David turns to you, as you're standing there in the great between, and says: "Hey, what are you all worried about? God is still faithful, just wait and see!"
Did you ever consider WHY God makes you wait? He could just be giving you time to focus your faith; to make sure you're trusting in His wisdom and not your own timetable. He could simply be working to build your endurance and patience. Remember what James says: ". . . when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow" -- James 1:3 (NLT). Roddy Clyde similarly points out: "What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." Or it could be that it just takes God a while to answer your prayer with a perfected blessing. You know what you want, but God knows what you need. You are concerned with the needs of today, but God knows your needs for eternity. God doesn't just want something good for you, nor has He planned to give you the best you can imagine. As Paul wrote in Eph. 3:20: "[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” God's plan for you is PERFECT, and He isn’t willing to settle for anything less than that.
So be confident, be strong, and take heart. God has not put you in the great between to abandon you there. He has put you there to prepare you to make full use of His provision on the day that it comes.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews