“Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land…” Psalms 37:34
Have you ever been in a season between the prayer and the answer? It’s challenging at times to press on in faith when you’ve been waiting for an answered prayer for what may seem like eternity. Waiting for the perfect job, a soul mate, a baby, an illness to be cured, a family member’s salvation, a relationship to be healed. These kind of prayers don’t usually happen overnight. There is a time when we put our desires on God’s alter and then trust Him for an answer. But this is where it gets hard. The waiting. The answer just doesn’t seem to be coming and feelings of doubt and impossibility seems to sink in. Hope gets lost. Many throw in the towel and walk away. Walk away from that dream, from their family and friends, church, and even God. This season is a difficult one to walk.
As I was reflecting on Holy Week and its events I kept getting stuck on Saturday. The Saturday between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. It was a day of waiting. I wondered what in the world did all the followers of Jesus do on that day? What would I do if the person I put all my hope in was crucified before my eyes? Of course God answered my questions at church on Sunday. My pastor addressed just this; how many reacted on Saturday. Some of the disciplines mourned, they doubted, they were confused. But some went back to what they were doing before Jesus. They returned to their old ways.
Isn’t that a pretty accurate reflection of what happens in times of waiting? We mourn, we are confused, we start to doubt, and we give up and go back to our old way of doing things. I don’t know what your waiting season looks like but you are not alone. I found myself in a season of waiting and did what I knew and that was to seek wise counsel. So I talked with my pastor and as I described what I was facing he told me the best piece of advice I have ever received. It’s something that has led me through countless days since and something I have shared with many others . “Cling to people and things that give life and produce fruit. No matter what the outcome is when you come out on the other side there will be life.”
Even in the waiting there can be life. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
Abundant Life isn’t reserved for times when we have it all together or we think things are perfect. It is also for the messy times, the periods of uncertainty, the moments we don’t have it all figured out. Romans 12:12 NIV tells us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Seasons will pass. You will get through this. It may a take a month of Sundays but at some point you will be on the other side of that prayer, that mountain, that season.
What do you hope to find there?
The choices we make during the waiting create the environment on the other side of the answer. God wants more for us than to just answer our prayers. He wants to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. He wants to work in us and through us. He will give purpose and abundant life in every circumstance.
So what do we do in this season? “keep his way…” Psalm 37:34. God’s way brings life and produces fruit despite your circumstances or what you are facing. This is not an all-inclusive list but here are a few things the bible shows us.
1. Persevere. Do not give up. Push through and continue to go to church or your small group or your bible study. Do not step back into your old ways or patterns when the answer seems like it is not in sight.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.” Romans 5:3-4 NIV
2. Pray. “Just keep praying,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Even when it’s hard.
3. Soak up His word daily and really take time to think about it. Just sit a while with God’s precious words to us and let them sink in. Don’t make this another check off the Christian to do list. Receive His word and let it refresh and change you. “But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. The person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3 NIV
4. Serve Jesus. What is he calling you to do? Volunteer with the children of the church? Go on a missions trip? Help that neighbor down the street? Prison Ministry? Whatever the calling the desire you have, serve Him. You won’t regret it.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”Galatians 6:9-10 The Message
5. Trust God. “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17 NLT
6. Love God. “The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”” Psalm 91:14-16
Sunday is coming. The promise is coming. You are more than a conqueror and you will make it through this. And while waiting for the next season keep His way and there will be life and fruit on the other side. Jesus gave His life so he could make all things new in ours.
Jesus, thank you that you never leave us or give up on us. You meet us right where we are. Help us to pray even when it’s hard. While waiting renew our strength and faith so we will persevere, receive your word, trust in you, love and serve you. Be our shepherd. Guide us so that no matter the answer to our prayer there will be fruit and life and your glory will show strong. Thank you for being a Good Father. Amen
Amanda Waller is a small town girl who loves Jesus and has never met a stranger. Her deepest desire is to be like Mary in Luke 10:41-42, “…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Her daily aspiration is to spend time at the feet of Jesus and be a woman marked by His presence. Amanda’s heart is for the hurting, families, and God’s church. She is the mommy to a beautiful kindergartner who is full of life and joy. Professionally, Amanda is the director of a nonprofit family resource center dedicated to strengthening and empowering families. She longs to make an eternal impact and being a part of Craving God Ministries is a way she hopes to encourage the discouraged and give hope to the hopeless.