The Art of Waiting

 
 
Steadfast. That’s the word the Lord gave to me at the beginning of the year 2016. “What an odd word,” I thought. I couldn’t help but wonder if something would soon shake my world or test my faith, requiring me to be steadfast. I felt unnerved.

My suspicions were right. Not long after receiving my word, I was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The diagnosis came as quite a shock; I lived a holistic, healthy lifestyle, and cancer doesn’t run in our family. Cancer is no respecter of persons. It can hit anyone.

The Lord knew that chemotherapy and its challenging side effects would require me to practice steadfastness. Each day I had to cling resolutely to what I knew to be true in my heart despite what I felt in my body.
What did I know to be true?

God loves me and His love for me is unchangeable.

Regardless of what I may suffer, God is for me, and not against me.

I am never alone in any trial.

God is with me.

He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my provider. He meets my every need as I walk difficult paths.

He is Jehovah Rophe, the Lord my healer. By the stripes upon His back, I am healed!

He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord my peace and wholeness.

He is Jehovah Nissi, my banner of victory.

Perhaps you are walking down an unexpected, painful road like I was. Take comfort! Your situation comes as no surprise to the Lord. He knows your situation intimately and He knows exactly what you need to emerge through your trial victoriously. No matter what you feel, know that you are not alone. God is with you. Your provider, healer, peace, wholeness, and victory, walks every step with you. You can trust His love and His plan.

Of all the trials I encountered during my battle with cancer, waiting for a desired outcome (in my case, health) proved one of the most difficult. I had to set my own desires and plans aside and trust the Lord while I wait for this season to pass. That doesn’t mean, however, that I just sat around doing nothing. While I couldn’t be very physically active, I was very spiritually and emotionally active. Actively waiting that is.

I’ve learned that there is an art to waiting. I want to share this art with you in hopes that it will benefit you as you wait on the Lord.

 

Wait Expectantly

Learning to wait expectantly is crucial. This means you wait with an expectation and confidence that the Lord is going to move on your behalf. Make a decision not to let what you see and feel dictate what you expect.

Reading God’s Word is the best way to build your faith. Search for God’s promises of provision in the Word as you wait. Then speak these truths daily over your situation. Put them on note cards or sticky notes to remind your self of God’s truths. (Ps 5:3 NLT; Micah 7:7 NASB)

 

Wait Thankfully

Choose to give thanks for what God has done in your life already (you can always find something to be thankful for); and thank Him for what He promises to do in His Word. Again, be proactive in your faith by praying and applying God’s Word to your circumstances, whatever they may be. (1 Thes. 5:18 NASB; Eph. 5:20 NLT; Phil. 4:6 NIV)

 

Wait Steadfastly

Don’t lose heart. Determine in your spirit today that you will not give up, no matter what! The only way to do this is to keep your eyes on Christ and to rely on His strength. Remind yourself daily that you are not alone in the fire. Another stands with you, and His name is Jesus. In His power, you can endure and overcome. (1Cor 15:58 NASB; James 1:12 ESV; Ps 57:7 NASB).

 

Wait Gracefully

Enter your season of trial with a humble, teachable heart. The goal shouldn’t just be to get through the trial, but to be changed in the very image of God as a result of it. Ask the Lord to not only refine you by the fire, but to help you emerge radiating the very glory of God’s grace and mercy. Ask Him to reveal and burn off that which is not pleasing to Him, so that He alone can be seen. Our trials are never in vain when we emerge reflecting the image of our Maker. Only then is God revealed, and people drawn to His saving grace. Come out shining! (Heb. 4:16 NASB; 1 Cor 15:10 NIV)

 

Wait Prayerfully

Surround yourself with prayer warriors who will hold you up in your time of weakness. There is tremendous power in prayer. You can trust that the Lord hears your prayers and He will answer them. (Matt. 18:19 NASB; 1 John 5:14 NASB)

 

Wait Knowingly

 As you encounter your trial, remind yourself who you are. You are a child of the Living God and He is fighting for you and working behind the scenes of your life for your good. Also remember that your trial is preparing for you a great reward. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)