Perhaps one of the most difficult things we can ever do is wait. Waiting is rarely done out of our own choice; it is often an act we are forced to do. We all reach a standstill and face dry seasons.
As you read this, I’m certain you are familiar with waiting; it is an inevitable experience that everyone must go through in this life. I must admit, I disliked waiting as a kid; from waiting for the airing of my favourite cartoons on television to waiting for play time, I found waiting unbearable and simply boring. I have never met a child who enjoys waiting. As a matter of fact, waiting is frowned upon in the kid world. It is a strange thing for them to wait, and it is no different from our inner desire to have anything and everything “now.”
To wait is to stay still, delay movement or put off something to a later time. Waiting is an expression of patience. To be patient while waiting can save you from discontentment, and having something at the wrong time has the potential to disturb how your life progresses. Everyone experiences the waiting season; the university student is waiting for graduation while the single man is waiting for the right time to initiate a relationship that leads to marriage.
When we wait — time becomes our ally; we carefully follow the hours, and suddenly become aware of how time operates — wishing it would move faster. Contentment seems to vanish each time we compare ourselves to how others are doing. Frustration is the natural response to waiting when we don’t get our way.
It is not the time to sit comfortably when placed in a position of waiting — especially a long wait. Waiting season wasted is preparation season wasted.
Here are the 3 things you might not know about the waiting season:
1. The waiting season is a character building season
Character building is like the life cycle of a butterfly; the cocoon stage is equivalent to waiting. During the cocoon stage — before emerging as a butterfly, the caterpillar goes through internal changes inside the cocoon. These changes aren’t quite visible to the eye and waiting works in a similar way. Waiting involves perseverance, which means through that endurance, there is character development that takes place within us. Waiting is an expression of patience. Patience is a virtue and a fruit of the Spirit according to the Bible. The waiting season will test your character. It is during these moments of life that one cultivates resilience; you’ll know how best to respond to unexpected events when they put you in a place of uncertainty.
2. The waiting season can and should have a purpose
Just like pain can help us develop empathy for others, waiting can also teach us something. When we forget why we are waiting for something, it is easy for us to be frustrated and irritated. Make it your mission to remember why you are waiting — in both big and small situations and you’ll be focused.
Waiting with purpose is to wait with action which is very different from waiting passively. During the wait, we must take the time to check for any leaks in our plans, ambitions and dreams, making sure we prepare for them adequately. We take it slow and steady, building a foundation that cannot be shaken by other seasons.
The generation used to fast food and fast internet connection not only needs to know the importance of waiting but also how to wait with purpose. The waiting season seems like a complete waste of time, but it is actually beneficial to us.
We also have the passive type of waiting. An example of passive waiting is a student sleeping through cold nights, when the bed is most enjoyable instead of actually studying for the exam in 6 months time. The waiting season is the best time to assess our choices and check our motives before we actually jump into the next season’s pool. Waiting will reveal to you just how passionate you are about what you wish to pursue or have.
3. Everyone goes through it
We simply cannot wish for waiting to go away for waiting is part of life. It can be somebody standing in line waiting for their turn at the shop counter or somebody stuck in traffic. You are not alone. From the business owner in need of clients or customers to the single woman longing to be pursued for a relationship, waiting is involved. Remember that we are all in different seasons; therefore, you have not been left out.
If we truly believe everything will happen according to God’s timing and appointed time, why is it so difficult to wait?
Waiting will only become important to us once we begin to believe it is actually important. There are two things that can nullify the significance of the waiting season:
1. Not knowing the importance of waiting.
2. Doing nothing but “sitting” during the waiting season.
Never give complacency and procrastination a chance to run your life, even waiting on God demands that we do it actively.
Grace and peace!