Do you ever feel and pray like Jenny from the movie, Forest Gump (Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far far away from here)? Guess what! God wants the same for you; well, sort of. While God will not turn you into an actual bird, He does want you to fly like a bird, but not just any bird. He wishes for you to soar like the mighty eagle.
However, according to Isaiah 40:31, there is something we must first do before we’re able to fulfill this wonderful desire God has for us. We must wait upon the Lord. The question is, what exactly does that involve?
Let’s consider how difficult it is to wait on anything. The flesh simply doesn’t like to wait, especially in today’s microwave and fast-food generation. Our impatience doesn’t allow us to see or appreciate the time it takes to prepare the metaphorical 4 or 5 course meals, and all too often we sadly miss out on a banquet as we settle for an unsatisfying snack. We want what we want and we want it NOW! We don’t like waiting in lines, at stoplights, for slow internet, at the doctor’s office, etc. Simply put, people don’t like to wait; even with (and perhaps even more so) spiritual matters. When the Lord promises something and/or speaks something directly to our hearts, we often think it will happen immediately; today, this week, this month, this year, etc. Though it might occasionally happen instantly, the fact is that it rarely does! Grrrr….. This can be frustrating!
If you’re in a ‘waiting period’ right now, please be encouraged! You’re in good company. There are more than a few Biblical examples of people who had to wait on the Lord. We will only talk about two for now. The first is David, who was beloved of God and who fearlessly killed the giant. Samuel told David that God had chosen him to be king of Israel, but what Samuel failed to mention was the great difficulty he would have to endure before that time came to pass. Eventually David did become king, around 15 to 20 years later; many of those years spent hiding out in caves fighting for his life, rejected, lied about, and separated from his family.
Can you imagine how David must’ve felt? Some of the psalms he wrote demonstrate his detailed feelings of desolation and sorrow. Do you suppose there were also times of anguish and discouragement where he may have questioned Samuel’s anointing and/or doubted himself or God, “Why is it taking so long?” “I thought I was supposed to be king?” “Did I hear Samuel correctly?” “Did I do something wrong to change God’s mind?” This time of waiting is when David was tested and approved; when he learned how to become the anointed chosen king God had created him to be.
Joseph is another Bible character who had to wait on a dream. At a young age, he was given a dream that eventually came to pass; approximately 22 years later. Again, the dream failed to reveal what had to take place before God’s promise would be fulfilled.
Why do you suppose God chooses not to disclose those things (the trials, the suffering, the persecution) when he first reveals the promise or calling to us? Perhaps it’s because He knows if we knew all of that beforehand, we would decline and reject His promise/calling, “Um, no thanks God…give me my burger and fries please.”
Like David, Joseph had to suffer many things during that waiting period. He was betrayed by those who were supposed to love him, left for dead, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten. I can’t help but wonder if he may have had moments like I’ve had during my own waiting periods in trying to understand why; moments of self-doubt, blame and condemnation, “Why did I tell my brothers about the dream?” or “Could I have handled the situation with Potiphar’s wife better?” or “Why did You allow this, God?” Each time, as it seemed things were taking a turn for the better, Joseph was forgotten and had to wait yet again. Talk about discouraging! However, this waiting period in prison produced a more humble demeanor in him; as well as a closer, more intimate relationship with God. This waiting period is when Joseph learned how not only to dream his own dreams, but how to interpret and help other people with their dreams. Ironically, this developed dream-interpreting gift is what eventually led to the fulfillment of his own dream.
The list goes on and on of Biblical godly men and women who have had to wait on the Lord. With each of them, the reason for the wait usually involved learning to trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness and/or training for the position God had created them for. It is the same with us today. We all have God-given hopes and dreams; some big, some small. We all have to learn how to do it God’s way and how to trust Him; regardless of the size and regardless of our own talent.
The waiting process teaches us to appreciate the benefits of the proverbial four or five course meals that the Lord has prepared for us. When we learn to wait on the Lord and the promises do eventually come to pass, life is good as we mount up with wings as eagles and soar high into the heavens.