Just by the title, you probably thought of something you’re waiting for. We are almost always waiting on something, whether it’s a goal to accomplish, dream to achieve, promise delivered, or an answered prayer. Oh, and the lines at Disney.
There are always beginnings, middles, and ends to situations. The beginning of a new job, a marriage, new friendship, or new semester at school is fun and exciting. The ending might result in a promotion, the start of a family, lifelong impacts, or graduating with a degree. The middle, however, is not as sweet as the beginning and end. There’s a lot of waiting around, maybe some tears, a lot of perseverance, and a lot of hard work. Perhaps God intended it to be this way so he could use the most vital part of a situation to mold the best version of you.
Romans 8 (MSG) encourages that “we are enlarged in the waiting.” Oh, how true this is. We are stretched far and wide in “the middle.”
A lot of times we try to rush through seasons of our lives that are God-given, instead of growing though them at the pace He intended. We don’t have to know the reason behind our circumstances, but we do have to remember, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). God’s design is to bring you to your “end” with a deeper knowing of who He is with a heart that deeper resembles Him. Here are four things to know during your middle:
- The enemy is a liar. Okay, it’s no secret the enemy does not want you to grow closer to God. Instead, he wants you to fail miserably at being effective for God, and knowing who He is. He steals our joy, magnifies the negative, and whispers the lies that God is not working even in the middle of our waiting (which He is). After we’ve established this, we can now take hold of any negative thoughts that may block our sight of God and redirect them to the truth of God’s Word.
- We will go where our eyes are fixed. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 26:3-4). God’s love, faithfulness, and mercies never run dry. That’s amazing. When our eyes are fixed on His faithfulness while we trust in Him, we are consistently moving toward God, and not backward. When we allow ourselves to become a slave to our emotions and our no-good days, we do the enemy a favor, and we remain ineffective for Christ. We all mess this part up over and over…it’s impossible to be perfect. So what’s the good part about this? God’s grace covers these mess-ups and pity parties, and we can pick up and keep moving forward.
- God sees you, and He hasn’t forgotten. There were several people in the Bible who had to wait for a LONG time. Imagine never seeing rain before, God telling you it’s about to flood, and trusting Him to clear the water off the earth so you could get off your boat? I’m glad I wasn’t in Noah’s place! After 150 days of waiting for the rain to stop, Genesis 8:1 says that God remembered Noah, and the waters receded. This is such a familiar story that shows God’s faithfulness. I love that God doesn’t forget, and because I know this, I can have full assurance in His provision without worrying whether or not He will.
- Be joyful in the waiting. This is the hardest thing to do in my opinion (seriously, though). Who can actually say they love to wait? Although it seems like the hardest thing to do, it might be the easiest in some ways. If I step back and think about who God is, I don’t see my problems as big, and my waiting as long. If I know God has good plans for me, that He doesn’t forget His promises, and that He has divine timing for every dream of mine to align, then I can be joyful for the day that His plans will pass. The “when” part makes me impatient, but it comes down to a matter of trust, surrender to my own plans, and knowing that God will nurture me from now until I’m ready to move to the next season of my life.
Hold onto those desires deep within your heart. They’re God-given dreams and they’re seeds carefully planted by Him. They take watering (a time of growth and maturing) and they take patience. But we are enlarged in our waiting, and those dreams will bloom like the flowers on the trees in the springtime. God has impeccable timing. Wait on those desires, nurture them with God’s Word, prayer, and worship where you’re at, and in the season you’re in. After you’ve obeyed and trusted God to do His part, you’ll find your labor wasn’t in vain.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9