Waiting is hard and none of us truly enjoys it, especially when the world around us hasn’t stopped moving. We are eager for the next big events in our lives so that we can share the details with friends and families.
For some of us, life has been a series of short races in quick succession. We are constantly chasing one achievement or milestone after another. And then we hit a season of waiting and we are wondering what could be holding us back. We are usually quick to point an accusing finger at the devil for our predicament. But could God be responsible for the situation we are in?
God doesn’t waste anything. God will take advantage of our crisis, our pain and our seasons of waiting to teach us a lesson or use it as an opportunity to bless us. But if we think our seasons of waiting are a waste of time, we will lose the opportunity to grow and explore new journeys with God.
“When we hit a season of waiting, we are usually quick to point an accusing finger at the devil but could God be responsible?”
The enemy sells us a lie that if we are stuck in a season of waiting, we must be making no progress. So, we lose our peace and sleep and do all we can to keep going. But like a hamster stuck in a wheel, we end up with lots of movement but no progress. And even though everyone thinks that you are ‘moving’, God sees no progress.
Contrary to popular opinion, we are not in control of our lives; God is. It is up to Him to determine the best time to slow down the timelines of our lives, for any length of time and reason. We may not fully comprehend why but we can trust that whatever He is doing is for our good.
Are you in a season of waiting? Wondering what God is up to? Does life currently feel blurry and you can’t seem to see the way ahead. Has God been silent while you seek answers for your peculiar circumstance? Remain courageous. God’s silence isn’t synonymous with inactivity; He is still at work.
While we think that season of waiting might be a waste of time, God is working in ways we may not fully understand. Some of us found ourselves in seasons of waiting but only to discover later they were actually seasons of fruitfulness.
Those periods turned out to aid our personal growth. Our characters were remolded to become more like Christ; our values and priorities were divinely reset and realigned with what was truly important to God.
For many of us, our seasons of waiting have been periods of consecration, wrestling and an ultimate surrender to God’s will. Our perspectives and outlooks on life drastically changed during those periods. We are no longer on a chase after temporal things; we are now on pursuits to lay hold of the eternal. All of these couldn’t have happened on the fast lane to nowhere. They happened on a much slower pace, while waiting on God.
There’s a Bible character whose life’s journey is a great example of what can happen in our seasons of waiting. Moses was privileged to be raised in the Egyptian palace even though his parents were not from the royal lineage. He was born in Egypt at a time when Pharaoh had endorsed a countrywide genocide hoping to reduce the population of the Hebrew slaves.
Before Moses was forty, he must have had the best education available at that time. But his angst and discomfort grew to unmanageable proportions as he saw so much injustice done to his own people. They worked tirelessly as slaves while he enjoyed the comfort of the palace. Whatever Moses wanted, he got. He had no need of anything as everything was provided.
Moses had his myopic plans to address this injustice. But it was neither God’s time to fix the situation nor was it the way God wanted to do it. When we run ahead of God, we will ‘kill people and bury them in the sand’ and that’s what happened to Moses. Moses paid a huge price for his impatience: He spent the next forty years in solitude. Having the zeal and passion to do something that is out of sync with God’s timing and purpose is only a disaster waiting to happen.
Moses had a passion to speak on behalf of those who had no voice and rescue the oppressed. God had a different plan as to how he wanted to use Moses.
Moses escaped to Midian when the news got to town that he had killed an Egyptian. He was in a dilemma and running away was the only option. How do you kill one of those who have paid for your comfort for the sake of rescuing an Israelite who seems to add no value?
Moses had a plan; God had a plan, too. But God needed Moses away from Egypt to work the details for His next move when the time came. And over the course of forty years, God was preparing the man who will lead the greatest rescue mission the world has ever seen.
Moses got to Midian, where he began a job as a shepherd and got married to a Midianite damsel, Zipporah. He was away from home as he waited. His occupation as a shepherd seemed to be beneath him compared to the bright future he’d imagined given his upbringing in the palace.
But God had other plans. Moses wasn’t earning a lot in Midian, but he was faithful. Taking care of sheep didn’t make the headlines but Moses remained faithful. Many times, we want to achieve great things or accomplish great exploits for God, but we have not been faithful with the mundane and minute tasks He’s entrusted to us.
“Your season of waiting could be a great opportunity to reset and realign your values and priorities or a period of consecration for greater service.”
God won’t entrust us with any more till we have been faithful and fruitful with the little He have given us. Forty years seems a long time to remain in the same position. While everyone thinks that you are stuck in the same position, God’s assessment is different. He’s working behind the scenes and preparing you for the next season of your life.
There must have been days when Moses would have thought of running away from Midian to go somewhere else or back to Egypt. But he stayed in Midian. Sometimes, we think we know what’s best for us; we hop from one thing, one place, one relationship to another, hoping to find fulfilment and satisfaction. But we are drained, left with an empty heart and void of purpose.
Then, one day, while Moses took the sheep out to pasture, God appeared to him. Moses sees a bush on fire but it wasn’t getting burnt. It was a strange sight; there were no branches getting charred and falling off. The leaves remained green; no ash was spewing out and no smoke was rising. For a moment, Moses stopped to watch what was going on.
When God saw that Moses turned to look, He spoke (Exodus 3:1). In his season of waiting, Moses had learnt to slow down and take note of so many details. Something as insignificant as a burning shrub was now so important. If Moses was still in Egypt, caught up in the hustle and bustle, he might have missed this strange sight.
Something happens to you in your season of waiting. Your spiritual antennae are alert and able to see, hear and perceive what you would have ordinarily missed if you were lost in the hustle and bustle, and heading nowhere. And God didn’t speak till the burning bush caught Moses’ attention.
Could we be waiting on God for details about our next steps when He is waiting on us to stop and see the new opportunities, He’s bringing our way? This was the beginning of a phenomenal journey with God. God revealed Himself to Moses and entrusted him with a new assignment.
Discovering God’s purpose for our lives always begins with a revelation of who God is. Without this, our perspective would be skewed, our passion and priorities will be misplaced, and we would crave all the attention instead of rerouting others to God.
Moses was finally meeting God for the first time. His parents may have told him about God. Pharaoh’s daughter would have told him about a few Egyptian gods; he might have heard that a God existed somewhere. But Moses was coming face to face with the Almighty God.
Something happens to you when you have a personal encounter with God. Everything and everyone else recede to the background and a clearer picture of God emerges. Don’t judge anyone whose life doesn’t quite reflect the God they claim to serve. They are yet to have a genuine and life-changing encounter with the one and only God.
One of the most stubborn groups of animals to rear is the sheep. Moses was going to lead a group of stubborn and adamant people on an arduous journey from slavery to the Promised Land. Even though they were God’s people, their character didn’t quite reflect that yet. The time Moses spent in Midian provided the necessary training for the grueling task he had ahead.
“When we run ahead of God, we will pay a huge price for our impatience.”
Like many of us, Moses must have asked himself several questions, wondering if there was any value in his season of waiting. He wanted to get on with life. There must have been a restlessness in him that ensured that he didn’t make Midian a permanent destination. After all his time in the palace, how did his sojourn in Midian add up to God’s ultimate plan for him?
The journey of life takes us through unexpected places and experiences. God uses all our experiences to fulfil His plans and purpose for us. While we are waiting, God is working. While we are restless, God is moulding us, chipping away from our lives, the people and things that don’t add value. God is giving us new eyes, new ears and new hearts that will align with His plans.
Moses wanted to settle a dispute between two people. God wanted no negotiations with the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses wanted to speak on behalf of a few oppressed and voiceless individuals; God wanted Moses to speak on behalf of an entire nation. Moses wanted equality and justice for the Israelites in Egypt; God wanted His people out of Egypt. And only a season of waiting in Midian could align these conflicting agendas.
What a tragedy to discover at the end of our lives that we were pursuing a purpose that God never intended for us because we avoided, fast-tracked or truncated our seasons of waiting.
God’s ways are higher than our ways; His thoughts are not like ours. We can see only today but He sees beyond today – God sees ahead into the future. We can plan for a few years, but God knows the end from the beginning. He knows where every puzzle of our lives fit. When we run ahead of God, we will certainly pay a huge price for our impatience.
Moses didn’t discover his purpose at a leadership conference he attended in Midian or from a book he had bought from a book-fair or from a famous psychic in town. He found his purpose at a burning bush. God still meets us in unexpected places; he connects us with people we don’t think He’ll choose or use. He will use experiences we never thought would be any good.
It’s only in hindsight that you will be grateful for your seasons of waiting. As God draws you closer to Himself, you’ll be hungry for more of God in a way that couldn’t have happened if you weren’t forced to wait. Your seasons of waiting are times of preparation for the seasons ahead. They are time for character formation, receiving clarity of assignment and aligning with God’s plan for you.
Waiting is hard but after Moses spent forty years in Midian, life was no longer about him and his reputation. It was about God’s people and God’s plan. He was neither afraid nor ashamed to speak on behalf of God’s people. He carried a burden in his heart for an enslaved nation. He has a vision of a rescued people heading to the Promised Land and nothing was going to stop him.
For some of you, your seasons of waiting will be the period God strips you off of all this world has to offer: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. You would have to focus on the task ahead and not be lured or distracted by worldly affairs. Never underestimate what God is doing when it seems like your life has been placed on pause mode.
It is so heart-breaking and frightening to know that after waiting for so long to receive this great assignment, and to experience all the great things God did in and through Moses, he still didn’t get to the Promised Land because of his untamed anger.
It was the same anger that propelled him to intervene when he saw two men fighting in Egypt. It was that anger that also drove him to rescue the female shepherds from those who fought with them at the well. The same anger welled up in him and made him threw the tablets of the Ten commandments, smashing them into pieces, when he came from Mount Sinai and saw God’s people worshipping a golden calf.
Finally, that same anger led Moses to disobey God’s command by striking the rock instead of speaking to it to produce water for the people in the desert. God’s purpose for our lives will be jeopardized by our weaknesses if we fail to lean on Him for strength.
Moses wasn’t seeking to be a great leader and he was not thinking of toppling the Egyptian government. That’s the difference between chasing after success and being purpose-driven. One posture seeks attention and does everything to be on the stage, while the other steps back from the spotlight and does everything to please God and celebrate Him.
What we pursue reflects our mindsets and our perspectives. It reveals if our hearts are right with God. If you chase after success, you will have to constantly find ways to please people. You will always looking for the next big thing to do because you are bothered about what people think or will say about you.
But if you chase after purpose, you will be concerned only about pleasing the Lord. There would be a quiet confidence that you are being and doing what God has called you to do and that’s all that truly matters.
As Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, he kept pointing them to God and His plans for them. He didn’t take credit for the great things God did through him. Rather, he felt humbled to have been chosen, especially given his past failures and inadequacies.
Don’t underestimate your seasons of waiting. The last chapter of your life has not yet been written. Instead of asking God how much longer you’ll have to wait; rather than plotting your escape, it’s time to ask God for new eyes to see the opportunities you’ve missed. Ask Him to give you new ears to hear clearly His next steps for you and to be granted unusual grace to prepare yourself for what God’s preparing you for.
Your season of waiting could be an opportunity for God to bring about a change of speed or direction in your journey. Don’t waste your season of waiting whining and complaining or wishing you were on a faster lane that is heading nowhere.
If God has allowed you to slow down and pause, it’s time to seek His face and get aligned to what He wants to do in and through you. It’s easy to meet a man like Moses who’s doing so much for God and we begin to get envious and wish we were like him. We wonder why God would use them in such a mighty way.
But none of us has a clue as to how much change occurred in them during their seasons of waiting. Many of the men and women God has used and continues to use are those who have been through severe refining and pruning in the past, and their will is now aligned with God’s plan and purpose.
Moses returned to Egypt with a spring in his steps; no one knew where he got such audacity and confidence to speak to Pharaoh and then to convince the Israelites to pack up for a final trip out of Egypt. Moses had met the Almighty God; he had received an assignment and was counting down to leading the slaves out of Egypt. Nothing was going to get in the way.