Waiting is hard
There. I said it.
And if you, like me, are waiting for something (and you probably are), then you’ve surely thought it too. As Loraena and I approach 2 years of waiting for progress in our current adoption, we feel like we’ve experienced waiting. But some of you have probably waited much longer. I’m but a novice in the discipline of waiting, I’m certain, and have much to learn.
Sadly, I too often see waiting as a holding pattern, an invitation to stagnancy in my pursuit of God, a challenge to the reality and firmness of my faith. I usually don’t realize I’m doing this, but when I sit down and evaluate my attitudes and actions in response to waiting, that’s what they add up to. That’s why I found today’s blog article by Paul Tripp, “5 Signs Waiting Has Weakened Your Faith“ to be immensely helpful and faith-renewing.
Please, read the article…yeah, all of it if you can. It’s written to those in ministry, but widely applicable to all who are currently or will ever wait (yep, all of us!). Here is his major premise that hit home to where I’ve found myself recently (emphasis mine):
So waiting always presents us with a spiritual choice-point. Will I allow myself to question God’s goodness and progressively grow weaker in faith, or will I embrace the opportunity of faith that God is giving me and build my spiritual, pastoral, ministry muscles? It’s so easy to unknowingly revisit your belief system when you’re not sure what God is doing. It’s so easy to give way to doubt when you’re being called to wait. It’s so easy to forsake good spiritual and ministry habits and to take up habits of “unfaith” that weaken the muscles of the heart.
Then he walks through five possible responses we often give way to in our “unfaith”: doubt, anger, discouragement, envy, and inactivity. All of these can be so easy to fall into and so very dangerous at a heart level. If you want to “cut to the chase” for his conclusion, here’s where his application goes:
Here are the things that he’s designed for you that will build the muscles of your heart and strengthen your resolve: the regular devotional study of his Word, consistent and candid fellowship, looking for God’s glory in Creation every day, putting yourself under excellent preaching and teaching of Scripture (even preachers need to be regularly taught), investing your quiet mental time in meditating on the goodness of God (for example, as you are going off to sleep), reading excellent Christian books, and spending ample time in prayer. All of these things will result in spiritual strength and vitality.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on your Savior during a difficult wait? Others would love to hear what you’ve learned while waiting…