Online Bible Studies

How Much Longer?

October 2, 2017
Wait and See

How much longer? ... If I could only count the number of times I’ve spoken these words.

Whether anxiously awaiting a destination, waiting for my food or in one of the “waiting rooms” God calls me to, I can become so impatient. It’s difficult for me to be still in the midst of my wait. I want to speed things up, rather than give the time needed.

For example, I’ve been known to serve half cooked Mac ‘N’ Cheese. Uh huh, you read that right! When the water takes too long to boil, the kids cry, and the noodles are “soft enough,” we eat. But while it’s edible, it isn’t how it’s intended to taste. When I rush the process, I alter the outcome ... and not for the better.

I tend to do this in my bigger “waits” as well. Those moments where I don’t feel like I can handle the unknowns any longer, when the end seems too far away, or when I want something SO badly I work to do whatever it takes to make it happen, instead of waiting on God’s timing.

Like the time my sole focus became moving away from where we were living. Instead of embracing my time there, I tried to create my own plans to relocate us. Which, by the way, I failed at and made myself miserable in the process!

But once I gave that part of my life over to God, my perspective changed and I began to enjoy each day there. And now having moved, I can look back and see God’s plan for every single thing that happened in the wait — the growth in my faith, the relationships formed and the opportunities that never would’ve happened otherwise. It helped me realize how impactful our responses to our wait can be.

In Chapter 8 of #WaitAndSee, Wendy Pope shares three typical ways we respond when desperate to end a wait:

  • Continue to seek the Lord, work out our salvation and tend our sheep.
  • “Help” God by manipulating circumstances to rush our desired outcome.
  • Turn the object of our wait into an idol.

While it can be difficult to faithfully “tend our sheep” in the midst of long waits, our hearts can be encouraged by this reminder Wendy also shares:

“Pauses are places meant to strengthen our resolve, not weaken our faith.” 

Reflect and Respond:

Observe — From the numbered list above, which are you responding to your current wait with?
Bible — Read 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. What comfort do you find in Paul’s words?
Stretch — We’re almost done completing our Chapter 10! After you’ve filled in your page for Chapter 8 there, reflect on how the object of your wait has become an idol.

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