waiting-periodsAbout a week and a half ago the Lord told me, “Good things come to those who wait [on Me].” This soft spoken word of encouragement came as an answer to the cry of my heart, when I was at point giving up on receiving (seeing) the answer to a prayer. This was not the first time He chose to encourage me throughout the last year and a half while I’ve waited to receive the answer to my prayer. But this word was different; it reminded me what my responsibility was during this period…to wait on Him.

Doesn’t He understand the wait is “killing me”? Yes He does, and that is His point. During these periods of waiting we are forced to choose to either surrender our wants and will to Him (“die to self”) or go down our own path and try to make it happen our way. This is where a test of our faith happens…Will we stand on His word and trust Him, believing what He has already told us? Or will we doubt Him and/or ourselves, wondering if we really heard Him correctly, and try to find another answer or another way to our answer?

I chose to stand in faith on the words He has already given and He did not abandon me in my time of weakness. Instead, He came under me, lifted me up and gave me strength. He rewarded my faithfulness by encouraging me through the remembrance of other times of waiting, when great answers to prayer and blessings came only after very l-o-n-g periods of waiting. If we had given up on those prayers when all hope seemed to be lost, then we would not have seen the awesome power of the Lord manifested in our lives.

And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up. – Galatians 6:9 (TLB)

In most states there is a “waiting period” when someone purchases a hand gun. During this period the person is given the time to “cool off” and consider the motive, the real reason, they are purchasing the gun. God does the same thing with some of our prayers; He gives us a chance to work through the motives behind our prayers. I believe He also takes this waiting period to kill off parts of our flesh and mature us in the Spirit, until we are able to receive and walk in the blessings that will come through the answer of our prayer. If a child is always given what they want when they ask and are never forced to wait, they will never learn to appreciate what is given to them. They will never be satisfied and will never treasure any gift that is given to them.

God is not a gumball machine that we can put a prayer into and receive whatever we ask. Rather, He is a loving Father who is always looking for ways to love and bless His children…ways to teach them how to hear His voice and stand strong on His word. Just like for our own children, we sometimes withhold a blessing until we know the time is right and our child is mature enough to handle it rightly. If we give them too much too quickly we are not loving or blessing them, we are setting them up for failure.

God knows how long the wait must be for the answer to be a “good thing”. Will you choose to wait on the Lord and His perfect “good” time or will you try to make you own way in your time?