“Go for it!” “Follow Your Dreams.” “Become your highest potential.” “You are your only limit.”
We see these popular mantras splashed across Pinterest, shared on Facebook, made into cute free printables. They cheer us on to pursue that big dream, accomplish that challenging goal, to stop procrastinating.
But, what happens when you’re in a season of waiting? There aren’t many cute printables or catchy mantras for that. I know. I googled it. It came up with results such as, “Waiting is a waste of time” and “A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.”
Ouch. Our culture doesn’t know how to wait. We run ourselves ragged to avoid waiting. We see waiting as a negative; as a short-coming or lazy attitude.
I am the queen of hating to wait. I’ve spent nights lying awake, pondering how to rush the wait. I’ve spent hours chiding myself for not grabbing every opportunity. I’ve missed savoring the precious slow moments, longing for the next big thing to finally arrive and envelop me in excitement and energy.
Waiting is not easy. It is shrouded in the pain of unmet expectations and disappointment. It feels stale and stagnant.
Waiting is not our enemy. Instead, she is a quiet friend who sits with us in our longing and holds our hand in the pain. She has a purpose. God uses her to sanctify us, prepare our hearts, prepare others’ hearts, and fulfill his plan.
No one knows the difficulty of waiting more than our Savior. Luke 3:23 tells us he was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. Thirty is young, but most of us by then are well-established in our careers. He was the majestic, powerful Savior of the World-capable of great power, miracles, and signs. Yet, he did not perform one until he was 30 years old at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12). He did not rush in and perform wonders for kings. Instead, his first sign was done before a group of lowly servants.
He lived for 30 years as an ordinary man with his divinity mostly hidden because “his hour had not yet come.” Throughout his ministry, well-meaning family members and friends urged him to rush the revelation of his Christhood. But, still he waited patiently because he knew who he was. He knew he didn’t have to prove himself to any man because his Father was pleased with him.
How often are we in a rush to make others believe we are spectacular? What motivates us to post that Instagram photo? Post that Facebook status? When others ask what are we doing, how often do we avoid talking about the waiting or admitting that we are not working toward the next big thing?
When it came time for Jesus to show his divinity, it didn’t look at first like thrones and jeweled crowns. It came as excruciating death on a cross and a crown of thorns. It looked like lost hope. But, something spectacular and holy, beyond any human’s imagination, was taking place. In the stillness of the grave, God was doing a mighty work. He waited three days in the agony of death and arose in marvelous glory. In the waiting, he saved the world.
God sees you in the waiting. He knows your agony because he experienced it himself. He gives you the freedom to not go for it now, to hold your dreams close, and to know your limits and embrace them. He gives you the freedom to be still for a season.
Despite what our culture tells us, stillness is not stagnancy. In the stillness, God is doing a mighty work. We may have the privilege of seeing the fruit of that mighty work on this side of heaven-and we may not. Even if we do not, we can trust in a God who is always working for the good of our souls, conforming those who love him to be like Jesus (Romans 8:28).
There is pain in the waiting, but there is also purpose.
So...after searching for waiting printables and finding only ones with hopeless messages, I made some myself and I am sharing them for free if you sign up for my monthly newsletter.
Sign up here and you will receive a link to all three prints in the sizes of 8x10 or 5x7. You will also receive links to my other free printables, including a guide to slowing down and experiencing God in the everyday.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:
The Silent Saturday: The Significance of the Day In Between the Cross and the Resurrection
Hope For When Life Is Hard
For Those Doing the Hard Work of Sowing