We’ve been praying for a year, asking God what our next step is. And eight months ago, we thought we got an answer. So we took a step…a step that for us was big and scary and we weren’t all too sure about.
And it felt like nothing happened.
So we prayed and waited, and we talked about having faith and talked about God’s perfect timing.
And nothing happened.
So we kept praying and doubting and walking forward wondering if maybe we’d stepped out wrong.
And still nothing happened.
So we almost abandoned that step of faith…multiple times.
But every time we almost jumped off the path we’d set out on, something held us back. Each time, we’d pray hard and read God’s Word relentlessly and beg heaven for a sign, and every time, we somehow knew we needed to keep waiting on God.
I let silence fill my car for once, and let the angry, confused thoughts pour out before God. Then I flipped on the song that I somehow knew my heart needed to hear, and God said, “These are your oceans deep. You prayed for this.”
Our conversations had turned discouraged and frustrated. We decided to head a different direction, to do something different. I woke the next morning more anxious than I had been in months. Tears and prayers and questions and confusion poured out. But when we talked the next day, he told me we had made the wrong decision and we needed to wait a little longer. And peace once again flooded my heart. The anxiety was suddenly gone.
I received a text from a friend and he received an email from my sister the next day. Both said they were praying for us. And both contained this verse. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
I fell asleep praying. Pouring it all out before God, the thoughts I knew were sinful and the fears I knew were not from Him. I fell asleep asking for Him to speak. And I woke up a few minutes later, as I reached up to flip out my light, whispering again my cry for Him to speak, this verse came to mind. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him…”
2 Chronicles 16:9a
And the more I listened and prayed, I felt over and over that we should just wait. But it didn’t seem wise and it didn’t seem productive and it didn’t seem smart.
I said over and over that just wanted to know what God wanted us to do. But all I kept hearing and seeing were reminders to wait and to have faith.
I mindlessly flipped on the next sermon that was downloaded onto my iPhone. My heart was only halfway invested. And the words that started pouring out of my speakers caught me off guard.
“The world says to ‘just do something’, but God says to wait on Him.”
And I spent most of the sermon arguing with the preacher in my head.
“Surely this doesn’t apply to our situation.”
“But God says to be wise and waiting doesn’t seem wise.”
“Isn’t faith action?”
But each time I convinced myself that this wasn’t really God speaking, the preacher pointed to another verse and grew bolder in His call for us to listen to God and wait on Him.
Somewhere near the end of the sermon, I suddenly realized…God was speaking.
God had been speaking this whole time, but I just didn’t want to hear what He had to say.
I wanted a list of things to do.
I wanted a command I could act on.
I wanted a step of faith that was guaranteed to produce immediate results.
But instead God was telling us to wait.
And with each hour of waiting, it feels like He’s stripping away another layer of security. But the more earthly security He strips away, real or imagined, the more we have to rely on Him.
I thought God wasn’t speaking, but He was. He just wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear.
I thought I was okay with whatever He would say, as long as He spoke, but in that moment, I knew I hadn’t been. I had been refusing to hear because I wanted a different answer.
…that moment of realization is painful.
And in that moment the hard choice was humility and repentance. But I knew it was the choice I needed to make.
And out of that hard choice to humble myself before God and to praise Him for speaking sprang joy and thankfulness.
Joy because God had been speaking.
Thankfulness because He had been fulfilling His promise to be with us in our time of need.
Joy because He had all along been the loving God I knew that His Word promised He was.