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The Frustration and Pleasure of God’s Divine Waiting Game

on June 21 | in Faith | by | with 9 Comments

My apologies for writing every Daddypotamus post about vision, destiny, and intangible life meaning stuff. At this exact moment in my life, I can’t force myself to drum up an explanation of my paternal views on extended breastfeeding. What I CAN share is my focus and experience, and that leads me back into that great big, super-duper, all-important visioneering black hole.

The divine waiting game

After reading Joy’s guest post on Belgexan.com, I was reminded yet again that sometimes God allows us to wait MUCH longer than we want for things because He’s more concerned about our hearts. I don’t want to establish a doctrine on the subject, however, because sometimes God wants us to walk into His provision and we’re sitting back expecting it to take forever. So while there ARE moments that God allows us to sweat because it’s purifying, we would be limiting Him if we choose to expect the same situation and response every time we want something.

When we encounter delay, we want to know why. We want to problem solve and “fix it.” At least I do. It’s in my nature to limit what God is doing by deciding that He’s making me wait because He wants to do X in my life (build character, show me my heart’s real desires, etc). It’s so easy to see one thing happening and decide that that’s what God had in mind. The problem is, that particular thing could be accomplished and the delayed solution may still not come. Then I would be disheartened, disappointed, and angry with God. After all, didn’t I just willfully endure the character pruning in that specific area? I should get my answer now! This isn’t fair!

And while I waste time having a crisis of faith, I could have been peacefully growing and abiding in Him. The truth is, God didn’t speak to me and say, “Daniel, the ONLY thing I want to do before I give you what you want is to fix X in your character.” If He did, I would know precisely why I’m here and to expect a change in circumstance afterward. But He didn’t say that. He only showed me an area of my life He wants to touch. I presumed this was the only thing on the agenda. Presumption leads to disappointment; disappointment leads to a crisis of faith.

Avoiding unnecessary crises of faith

Do you want to avoid a crisis of faith? Begin by taking an honest look at your assumptions and presumptions. Have you interpreted one piece of data to be the only subject on God’s agenda? Did you allow wishful thinking to generate presumption? Confess your error and start afresh.

We’re all going to need to do this from time to time. It’s just too easy to see AN explanation and presume it’s THE explanation.

I’m finding that there’s more peace in an open-handed approach to God, even though I’ve wanted answers and provision and a new property REALLY badly. I’ve prayed my desires for a while just in case God wanted to wow me with amazing provision from the get-go. But after months of no provision, I had to start asking the tough questions, and it turns out that there are several things I can let God do in my life. It doesn’t mean I’ll get what I want after He and I are through with these things. I don’t have that promise. But I do have less stress than I did before, because I’ve surrendered the tiresome assertion of my will.

When you pray for something and you don’t have the word from the Lord already that He’s going to do it, you’re praying in hope more than faith. That doesn’t mean hopeful prayers are bad… they’re just not the faith-filled prayers we sometimes want to assume they are.

And… where’s the pleasure, exactly?

The pleasure is such a new thing it bears some difficulty describing. There are these faint internal giddy feelings I get from experiencing the wait and the prayerful return to waiting on God. It’s like the difference between drinking a cup of green tea versus a Red Bull or Iced Venti Vanilla Latte (God’s fave). The green tea wakes me up, helps me feel alert, but doesn’t rock inside my head like a screaming emo singer. That’s more of the Red Bull effect. There are loud obnoxious pleasures and there are subtle, “uplifting” pleasures. It’s a discipline to settle for the subtle internal pleasures at first because they don’t cause sugar and testosterone to pump through my veins like a raging bull. But the pleasures are there, and I feel better about them as I learn to recognize them for what they are.

The moral of the story

The morals of at least some stories are not what we initially want to hear. At least, that’s proven true for me. I didn’t want to hear that God was waiting on me to let Him show me my own heart and establish a history of faithfulness in an area before He’d answer my prayers. But once I surrendered to the idea, I found myself less stressed and disappointed. Surrender of the perception of power is not easy. It leads us to approach life from an entirely different perspective than the ambitious seize what’s yours mentality of American business culture. But the proof is in the pudding. My quality of life has improved because it’s improving on the inside. Faithful in little, ruler of much.

Question from Heather:

Have you experienced a situation where you had to wait on something you really wanted? Please share it here.

When she guest-posted for Belgexan, Joy had no idea what a comfort and encouragement her words would be to us and many others. Your experiences are so extremely valuable in bringing context not just to your life but to the stories we are all living out. Don’t keep them to yourself! You never know who will read your words at just the right time.

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9 Responses to The Frustration and Pleasure of God’s Divine Waiting Game

  1. [...] out my latest post on Mommypotamus.com entitled: The Frustration and Pleasure of God’s Divine Waiting Game. It’s a continuation of the theme I’ve been developing here over the past [...]

  2. Heather says:

    As ready as I am for this period of being “unsettled” to be over, I can truthfully say I’m glad we didn’t get what we wanted two years ago when we started looking. The journey has been good for us, for our marriage. It has humbled us (which we both needed, just sayin) and caused us to love more deeply. I won’t be disappointed when we get to settle into our new home, though!

  3. Joy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s encouraging for me to know that we all have our own uniquely beautiful (and at times rough) journey of Faith to travel through. I read somewhere that life has all sorts of hills and valleys, and sometimes you don’t end up doing what you had your heart set out on, but sometimes that’s even better. Except, you usually won’t know it’s better till you finally get there. Here’s hoping you (and all of us) get there soon!

  4. kate says:

    We had to wait over 3 years for Asher- after 2 losses, months of disappointments, and many tears. I finally accepted the possibility that having a biological child might not have been the path that God wanted for me, even though I longed for it with every fiber of my being. It was then, after I finally put my whole trust in God’s plan rather than my own, did I find peace and the fulfillment of my desires was so much sweeter- because I was content in the Lord, not in what He would give me. ALL things work together for good!
    Maybe this is your refining fire. How exciting that God sees you worthy of refining you into his image!!

  5. Kristine says:

    I agree with Kate that fulfillment is so much sweeter after a long period of waiting. Waiting seems to be the story of my life, but when I’ve tried to make things happen on my own, I always end up in a mess. God has been so faithful in so many areas over the years, that I trust Him now to do what’s best for me. I always have my own expectations, but His fulfillment is usually different and always better. Now I am able to live in hope rather than in disappointment, knowing that God has a master design and is working behind the scenes to weave it all together. I realize now that it’s not just about developing my character. God wants to spend time with me and build our relationship. He wants to bring connections in my life that will open new doors for me. He wants to bring great joy and fulfillment to my life by giving me opportunities to reach the broken-hearted and orphans and to mentor younger women. He wants me to reach out in my own city and in nations around the world. And even though His timing is different than mine in fulfilling some of my other desires, I’m convinced now that He has a good plan. And even if some of those desires are never fulfilled, I have great joy in knowing I can help another person now to reach his destiny.

  6. Mae says:

    This was a little hard for me to read, especially after this week.
    Eamon spoke over our family a few weeks ago saying we needed to be responsible and wait for more children. Then we had sex when I was ovulating a few days later. My progesterone just didn’t have a chance with Lily nursing. I felt God SPECIFICALLY say to me over and OVER again for two weeks, wait and I will provide, be patient and have FAITH in me. And I didn’t. Not for more than a few hours. I waisted SO much money on tests and convinced myself that I was pregnant every day, EVEN THOUGH god TOLD me I can’t have kids right now. It’s been a heartbreaking process, but the lessons learned will one day outweigh all of this for sure.

  7. D. Smith says:

    Thanks for posting. This was very encouraging and came at the right time!

  8. Naomi says:

    Thanks for writing this. I realize you wrote this a few years ago but I happened to read it just at the right time for me. My husband and I are waiting to “find our place” in the world like you guys were. It seems like we have been praying and waiting for a very long time with no answers. But I still believe He has a plan for us on His timeline, which will be the best.

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