Sometimes we talk about getting a foot in the door. My oldest son just got a request to apply for a summer internship after his college group did well in a national contest sponsored by this large corporation. Of course we are excited that this may provide him good experience this summer, but also that it might be a helpful “foot in the door” for future employment.
But what if you have the foot in the door, but the other foot is still undecided? Not completely in all the way? Especially if you have been waiting on the Lord to act or for something to happen to give you room to walk all the way through the door? At first you may have had to wrestle with the decision, but once you decided you were thrilled to get going in the direction of your calling. But wait. Wait? What? Wasn’t the clear message to go? Isn’t that the opposite of waiting? Hmmm. It appears oftentimes we exercise our faith in God by doing things we don’t understand. As a parent, I don’t always appreciate when my children second guess me, or question “every” directive. Shouldn’t they just trust me and do what I say. After all, I am the parent and I have my reasons. God has his reasons. And there is precedent. Biblical examples exist of people who are sent one way and then sent another direction, or those who have been given a directive that has been seemingly derailed who had the job of waiting. Can you think of any. How long did it take Moses to lead the Israelites from slavery into the promised land? Hmm. Yet we are not good at waiting. We tend to second guess the initial decision. (The Israelites grumbled too, remember? Exodus 16:2-3 says: The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'” )
REMEMBER. That is one key to faithfully waiting on God’s perfect timing. Remember the call. Do you think God is like us wishy-washy humans and just changed his mind, or got it wrong in the first place? Remember. Also, remember the ways he has led you in the past and how things turned out. We don’t have to rely solely on our own experiences either. Remember the examples from God’s Word. There is often things going on that we are unaware of in preparing the way. There is spiritual warfare. (“Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above.” —Ephesians 6:12)
HOLD ON. Thinking about waiting we may think of a boring wait with nothing much happening. That may be the case at times. But at other times it may be a serious struggle. Think of waiting out a storm. You may be waiting while enduring some stormy trials in which your main focus is just to hold on. This is not a time to give up hope.
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:2
We must hold on to our faith. Hold on to God. Hold on to our calling from the Lord unless and until he changes our direction. How do we do this. How do we maintain in the face of severe adversity or of roadblocks that prevent us from moving on through the door we are directed to go through? How do we stand firm? I think it helps if we can have someone who encourages us when we question. I think it helps to refuse to complain about the waiting and circumstances of waiting while focusing on what we can thank God for during these times. I think it helps to spend more time in prayer and Bible study. We can ask what we should be doing while we wait, and pray for God to work in us to better prepare us. We can continue to express our confidence in him. God may be preparing others to go through the door with us. We can pray for them, even as they may be unknown to us. Waiting does not have to be idle time. Even in the storms there is work going on though it may be unseen to us.