Not now. Not yet. Almost there. Hold on. Don’t give up. Keep hope alive.
Ah, The Wait. Waiting is not my favorite thing. And I can guarantee without having met you that it’s not on your top ten list of pastime pleasures, either. I bet the memories I induced with my slew of ‘wait’ euphemisms caused a slight panic and clutching of pearls.
And it seems like we’re in good company. Most human beings aren’t fond of waiting. We hate waiting in lines. We hate waiting on the phone while trying to get robotic versions of pretend people to comprehend what real person we need to talk to. We hate waiting for tax returns. We hate waiting for a table at crowded restaurants that we knew we should have made a reservation for. We hate waiting on a husband to find us and realize how awesome we are (But, seriously though, where is he?).
We hate waiting on sorrow to pass because we’ve been told time heals all wounds. We hate waiting on answers to prayers that are recited incessantly through tears and moans that only the heavens can understand.
Regardless of what you’re waiting on, living in The Not Now can be painful and laced with doubt and fear. Doubt that He hears our pleas. Fear of the unknown. Doubt that He can handle our situations. Fear of losing control. And as humans, we relish having that control – the idea of knowing what’s to come. We thrive on predictability and holding all the cards. We think that because we can measure wind patterns or conduct scientific experiments that we can also anticipate the future.
But somehow, amidst the excruciating agony of Don’t Give Up, you catch a glimpse of beauty. Beauty in trusting His timing. Elegance in inching closer to His heart. Refinement in peeling off the layers of your own desires to reveal the depths of His love (Colossians 2:11-13).
But how will you choose to pass your time in The Almost There? Will you suffer in the meantime or find comfort in His perfect timing? Will you opt for convenience or obedience?
You see, you have two options in The Wait. You can manipulate or you can prepare.
As someone who has sinfully finagled her way out of the torture of living in The Keep Hope Alive, I can tell you my efforts were a lost cause and my arrogance was a dangerous sedative. I slept right through the moments He so beautifully crafted just for me, lulled into my own prideful oblivion. Ironically, I did not keep hope alive at all. I buried it deep in the recesses of unbelief and behind years of do-it-yourself attitudes.
Yet with all my manipulative mastery, I could never create a path more grand, an experience more potent, or a plan more efficient than The Master Craftsman (Isaiah 55:9). Because to the world I am a single mother with no man and a struggling business in need of a sugar daddy savior. But in my wait for a husband and financial growth, I have experienced more joy, peace, and spiritual prosperity in stretching for the Savior who loves me past how the world sees me and my situations. I can rest in The In Between knowing that even though it may seem like nothing is happening on the outside, God is working behind the scenes and in my heart preparing something magnificent for His glory at just the right time. And because of my faithful obedience in the mires of The Not Yet, others will come to know Him as a provider and trust Him as Lord. So for now, I’ll just continue to wait.
Now if there’s anything you should stop waiting on, it’s that moment where we know better and can do better for ourselves than He can on our behalf. Stop waiting on people and man-made ideas to equip you with the answers to supernatural mysteries. Stop waiting and start resting. Start resting in His peace. Start living in The Right Now, and you will begin to discover The Why and The What For. The Why is your own good, The What For is His glory.
After all, God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Our ways are contrived, self-serving, and usually end in more agony than The Wait itself. “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Hebrews 4:16). Key phrase here: at the proper time. Repeat that to yourself if necessary. Multiple times.
So unless you want to turn a week long journey into a 40 year battle of wills, I recommend you learn from the Israelites mistakes. And mine. And possibly even your own. And don’t blind yourself to His grace in The Interim.
Because today His answer is “Not now. It’s not your time yet. You’re almost there. Hold on. Don’t give up. And, yes, keep hope alive.”
The Wait is almost over.