Why God Makes Us Wait

wait pedestrian sign - photo by Kelly L from Pexels

I have heard that God always answers prayer. Sometimes the answer is “Yes.” Sometimes it is “No.” And sometimes it is “Wait.”

There was a time when God’s answer to my prayer was “Wait.” I didn’t really listen, though. I figured I could make it all happen on my own. I went out and made one stupid decision after another to get what I wanted, until I was so far from God, I didn’t know how to get back.

Maybe you’ve done this before. Maybe you are there right now.

Don’t worry. God is there. He was waiting for me to come back to him. As soon as I turned my eye back on God, his arms were open, ready to embrace me.

It was during this time that I understood why God had me wait in the first place. This is a little embarrassing but maybe obvious: my ego and pride needed reigning in. Yes, I thought I could make it all happen on my own—without God. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, I stomped my feet and said, “If you won’t do it, I’ll do it!”

I started to understand that waiting was for me, not for God. Waiting was for me to learn to surrender to the will of God and to learn to trust him. That time when I waited trained me to be the person who could handle all that I requested.

My friend Sarah calls this “good parenting.” I laugh aloud when she says this, because it is absolutely true. My own children ask for things that I have no intention of giving them right now. To do so would not be wise. It is not that I don’t want to give them good things; it is because I know they do not have the maturity, knowledge, understanding, or wisdom to have the things they request. I can see more of the big picture than they can.

Yes, God is the best Father. He knows all of this. And here’s the thing: when I finally surrendered myself to God’s will, when I finally rested in waiting and trusted him, what he had in store for me was so much better than what I had planned and hoped for myself.

Maybe you are in this space right now. I encourage you to “wait for the LORD; / be strong, and let your heart take courage.” (Psalm 27:14) Your Father knows what is best for you.

Photo by Kelly L from Pexels.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Why God Makes Us Wait? Thanks Shemaiah. ‘Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come’. – says Matthew 24:42

  2. I question a lot why God makes us wait, especially in difficult moments and the following thing you said struck me, ” when I finally surrendered myself to God’s will, when I finally rested in waiting and trusted him, what he had in store for me was so much better than what I had planned and hoped for myself.” So true I get so lost arguing with God that I forget to truth him and as soon I let go and truth him I always find that he is there holding me.

  3. I have been waiting too. I was reaching the end and almost giving up when I read your article. Thanks for giving me the courage to carry on waiting. Thank you Shemaiah. God bless us all and be with us always.

  4. I have REALLY tried being patient. It doesn’t always work. My brother was a troubled young man who had a drug problem and joined a cult at 17 where he became involved in an act of embezzlement. He had married and had 3 children, girls aged 5 and 4, and a 6-month old baby boy. He served s brief period of tme in a minimum security facility prison in Michigan for his crime. After the the prison time, my brother was killed in a single car accident. The pain this episode caused my family was too hard to bear. I swore; I cursed God for taking my parents’ only son. The I pain was palpable. After my brother’s funeral, my sister-in-law received a letter from The United States Department of Justice. They were looking to accuse my brother on an a federal charge of embezzlement, but God took my brother before the accusation. My sister, my sister-in-law and I NEVER disclosed this information to my parents – they died never knowing that fact. It would have killed my parents – and even though it was a terrible loss, God took care of what might have been the greater pain. Waiting is hard, but sometimes it is the better choice.

  5. So true!! Thanks for the reminder.
    Sometimes I think I am waiting but I’m not really, I’m like a child – climbing up the cupboard to get a cookie and falling and then whining for my mom to get off the phone and do what I want. Patience is truly a virtue.

  6. Excellent share. I hope you’re right. Unanswered prayers jeopardize my faith. Maybe there’s a better way to get what I want? I start to doubt. I look back on my life and think of things I wish I had done but didn’t do and now with a more sober perspective my not doing them spared me many problems. Many. I wasn’t even praying back then. Now I pray. I pray for the same thing, almost every day. Has God put me on hold? Is the answer, “No”. I can say with prayer, I’m more serene. I have to look at myself to examine what my motivations are. Egocentric? Generous? Through the course of this spiritual pilgrimage, I’ve become a better man but still, my specific prayer has gone unanswered. In my raw estimation. Dark Night I need to go through? Perhaps. I don’t know for sure. But I think I am blessed as a better man with my relationship and faith with Jesus. This is good. Thanks again.

    • Thank you so very much for this thoughtful comment. It took me even deeper into the concept. I’ve been praying for the same thing for a while now and the answer is WAIT. This helps me to read your thoughts on this. I find myself growing softer in my response to wait as I apply the things you pointed out. Thank you

  7. Your article is so providential. Recently I had a surgery postponed since the surgeon was ill!. Now I WAIT for a new surgery date.
    Similar situations in my life have been training me to calm down and deepen trust. There’s always more trust to learn so I try to welcome this time. Thank for for a little nudge to keep at it.

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