Esther Williams recently got married after a long waiting period. She shares how believers should ‘wait on God’ and fulfil His purposes in their lives, whilst waiting for Him to come through on His promises
I can’t be the only Christian girl who, when I was 19 years of age, had planned to be married with a family by the age of 25. Well, 20 years later and, by the time this article is published, I will have been married for a month. Nowhere near my timing, but so completely God’s beautiful breathtaking design.
When I gave my life to Christ, I immediately threw myself into serving in my local church. I was part of a church community that encouraged cultivating goals, thinking big and having a plan for your life. As I rush around putting the final plans in place for our wedding, one thing has been on my mind: Thank God I waited. Waiting is an inescapable fact of life. It is not about if we will have to wait for something, it’s about when we will have to wait, and – crucially – how we wait.
The thing about waiting is that – no matter how tough it can be – it helps us to understand that God is sovereign. His Word in Isaiah 55:8-9 says, ‘ “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”’
My way was to be married before 30, and to live happily ever after. God’s higher way was to give me a career that sent me all over the world, so I could learn, love, give and grow. He also threw in a few trials that prepared my heart, and helped me to realise that without God I am absolutely nothing. Then, he brought me a gift in the form of two beautiful stepchildren and an amazing husband. It was definitely worth the wait. Now I fully understand that my wait was more than just about what I wanted, it was about God’s bigger picture for my life. Obviously, when we are waiting we can forget this, but I have to say that, although I have had many seasons over the last 20 years when I have wondered when, I can honestly say that I have never doubted God. It was never if, it was always when and who.
I remember early in my Christian walk, going to church and being given memory verses to learn. But, without a shadow of a doubt, the Scriptures that flow from my heart in an instant are the ones I have learnt during the wait. Verses like: “Rejoice not over me my enemy, when I fall I shall arise, when I sit in the darkness the Lord shall be light unto me.” (Micah 7:8).
That leads me to say that there are two ways you can wait. You can wait actively or passively – active waiting is best. It doesn’t matter whether you’re waiting for a life partner, a new job, or to hear whether you’ve got into the university of your choice, as Joyce Meyer famously said, “Enjoy where you are, on the way to where you’re going.” In other words – wait well.
Whenever I am going on a particularly long trip somewhere, I will always buy myself a magazine and something to eat to make the journey more enjoyable. It may sound simplistic, but that’s exactly what we need to do while we are waiting on God. Have a parallel project or thing that makes waiting perhaps not enjoyable all the time, but easier. Have a thankful heart while waiting, and try to resist being passive; don’t sit on your hands waiting for your change to come. Instead, find ways to add value to someone else’s life, by helping them reach their goals. Waiting is a godly act. The devil would rather we forfeit the wait in favour of a counterfeit lesser option; he doesn’t want us to access the power and strength that are developed within us when we wait. The Bible says, ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint’ (Isaiah 40:31).
Where we are right in life is a level of glory. It is glorious to be able to wake up and taste, hear and smell; to have friendships and people to do life with; to have a job, and even to have the unemployed. These are all things to be thankful for.
The Word of God tells us we are to be transformed into the same image of Christ, and to go from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Not via our own might or power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
It is an amazing level of glory to be waiting and, while waiting, to be right in the epicentre of God’s will for our lives. It is here that God’s grace is made available to us, and where we will come to truly understand that it is all because of who He is and it’s not about us. The blessing is because of His power and grace. We are simply privileged to be part of this wonderful inheritance that we have through Christ Jesus.
Read Esther’s blog at www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/esther-williams
ESTHER WILLIAMS is an International Development Journalist