Life. It is a series of milestones. It starts early on in our lives. We wait until we are old enough to stay up a little later, to drive a car, or to become an official adult. Then, the milestones we wait on become larger. When will I find the right spouse? Will I ever be able to conceive? How long until I receive that big promotion? When will I be able to afford that house in the suburbs, or in my case, when will our house sell so we can move and get on with our lives?! I think we can all agree that waiting isn’t fun. In fact, it is downright nerve-racking, but what if our perspective is askew?
Bear with me for a moment as I describe one of my favorite types of workouts – yoga. Now yoga can be easy, relaxing and calming in some poses, but there are a few poses out there that I would say are positively agonizing. Take for example my nemesis, the Frog Pose. To do this pose, one must kneel down with your hands under your shoulders. Your feet and knees must be parallel and splayed out to each side as far as you can comfortably stretch, much like the back-leg position of a frog. Next comes the fun part, you must deepen the stretch by pushing your torso as far back towards your legs as possible while lowering to your elbows and hold yourself there. I despise this position! But as my favorite trainer, Tony Horton, remarks, “Yoga is effective when you sit quietly in, sometimes, uncomfortable positions.” And effective it is. The Frog pose is said to have numerous benefits including increased lung capacity, stress and headache relief, digestive support and more.[i] The thing is… you have to wade through the discomfort to get the benefits.
If you too are in an uncomfortable season of life where you are waiting on God, be assured you are not alone. Waiting has been part of the game plan since the beginning of time. For an example, look at the life of Abraham in the book of Genesis. Abraham was living the good life in the land of Ur. At the age of 75, he had a wife named Sarah, lived among his relatives, and was wealthy enough to have acquired a few people to serve under him. He and Sarah lacked only one thing – a child. Genesis 11:30 tells us that Sarah “was unable to conceive; she did not have a child” (HCSB). By this age, one might assume that the couple had given up on the idea; for Abraham was 75 and scripture leads us to believe that Sarah was of similar age. So on with their lives they went until one day the Lord called upon Abraham and told him to leave his home and relatives and to travel out to the land that the Lord was going to give him. God promised to make Abraham’s name great and his descendants as numerous as the stars. Abraham chose to act on the Lord’s command, but it would be 25 years before the Lord fulfilled His promise. To get a more complete picture of the life of Abraham read through Genesis 11:27-24:1.
So, what things can we learn from Abraham’s life and how can we apply them to our times of anticipation? Here are a few things we can do and some to avoid:
Trust God. Twice during his journey, Abraham’s faith wavered and he claimed his beautiful wife as his sister so that he would not be killed for her in a foreign land. Both times God, in His providence, saved Sarah from a becoming defiled and kept Abraham safe despite his lack of faith; thereby, protecting the covenant He made with him.
Avoid acts of desperation. After 11 years of waiting, Abraham grew impatient as his faith again wavered. He took his wife’s slave, Hagar, and fathered a child with her. She gave birth to a son Ishmael. This act led to much conflict and division in the family. Eventually, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away.
Ask God for comfort and reassurance. Several times throughout Abraham’s adventure the Lord reminded Abraham of His promise. God may not speak to us directly as He did for Abraham, but He does send us comfort and reassurance through our trials – often through the words and actions of others.
Persevere. Don’t press the hold button on your life waiting for something to happen. Keep living! Often times God makes us wait to deepen our faith and character. Your experiences may someday bring comfort and wisdom to another.
Surrender. Not my will Lord, but Your will. God’s plans for our lives are so much greater than we can imagine. He may not choose to answer our requests right away or even at all, but His ways are always better than our ways.
So, my fellow sojourners, if you are waiting along side of me, keep the faith. Focus on the benefits that come from waiting. Can you see any growth happening within you? Have you seen the hand of God in the way of comfort upon you? If not, hold tight. Trust God and His promises. Press on in your adventures and remember that God’s timing is always perfect!
Until next time,
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes shall not be shaken.”
Isaiah 28:16 HCSB
Beisecker, Ling. 2017. The Holistic Benefits of Frog pose. Accessed January 4, 2018. https://www.doyouyoga.com/the-holistic-benefits-of-frog-pose-22331/.
[i] (Beisecker 2017)