I can’t think of anyone who enjoys waiting, unless we know the exact time the waiting will be done and we get what we want. Some people wait better than others.
Take a doctor’s office waiting room, for example. Some people read, while others watch TV or listen to the music. Some are perfectly content to talk to strangers. Others sit there and moan or huff and puff to let everyone else know how miserable they are.
Waiting on answered prayers is pretty much the same way. Some people whine and complain that they are still waiting. Some people go about their daily business until the answer comes. And some people praise the Lord ahead of time for answered prayers.
We had a guest minister at our church last weekend, Mike Padgett from Middlesboro. He had a very timely message for my life and many others. If we’ve been praying about something and have been waiting a long time for the answer, it certainly isn’t time to give up.
He used many examples in the Bible of God dealing with people in the Bible to proclaim something that hadn’t happened yet, or to be obedient to His instructions, even though they didn’t know how the answer to their prayers was going to come. They had to be ready for the answer when it did come.
If you’ve been waiting for God to answer a prayer for you, consider if He’s given you instructions to follow in the waiting time. Be faithful in the praying, the waiting and the praising. Do what you know to do in the meanwhile. Waiting time always passes more quickly when we are doing something productive during the wait.
God promised Abraham a son. Because he took matters into his own hands to try to fulfill that promise, he created a very unpleasant situation. He promised victory and provision in a siege that lasted so long, people were eating bird dung. When it looked bleakest, deliverance came.
Time and again throughout the Bible there are amazing stories about fascinating characters. TV writers and their imaginations can’t begin to match the real people and their life stories recorded in the Bible. The unglamorous part of those lives is usually the season where they were required to wait.
Strength of character is developed while we are waiting. Wisdom is gained while we wait. God is equipping us to be able to receive the answer to our prayers when they come. In the wait, our faith is established. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
If we’ve been waiting a long time, there is a temptation to give up. We grow weary and begin to feel that either God hasn’t heard us, isn’t going to answer us, or has forgotten us. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
The toughest part of waiting on an answered prayer is in the silence while our unseen answer is on the way. There is an appointed time for answered prayers to be unveiled in our lives. From the first moment we, as children of God, whisper a prayer, it is heard and things are set in motion. Sometimes the answer is an immediate, “No,” because we’ve asked for something amiss or selfish. Sometimes it is an immediate, “Yes!” Most of the time, even our “Yes,” means we will have to wait for it.
Don’t give up! Your answer is on the way and it is closer than it was yesterday!
Hang on a little longer. We do not know what another day will bring forth or what answered prayers will be in it.