Don’t Waste the Wait

A four-letter word.
Its silence isn’t so golden.
The one thing that separates today and tomorrow . . . Wait.

We all know how it feels to wait. Our faith seems to wither like the crusty brown leaves in autumn, and fear of the unknown seems to weigh down our thoughts like the dew bows blades of grass. We cling desperately to the crisp air of hope as we wait for God to move like the brisk wind, invigorating our unwanted season of waiting.

Can I let you in on a secret? Everyone is waiting on something.

We’re waiting for that special person to come along.
We’re waiting for fulfilling friendships.
We’re waiting for freedom from sin.
We’re waiting to heal.
We’re waiting for an answer to prayer.

Whatever makes your list, the question shouldn’t be “What are you waiting for?” but rather “How will you choose to wait?”

My Unexpected Waiting

Not long ago, I applied for a full-time ministry position at a church I had admired from a distance for years. If I had to write a dream job description, this particular role would be it!

A week after submitting my application, I received a call to set up an interview. I was giddy, floating on cloud nine (It might have even been cloud ten, I was so excited!).  After the initial interview, days went by, then weeks, and finally I got the call stating that the job would be placed on hold indefinitely. The door wasn’t closed necessarily, but I was forced to wait.

I was crushed and confused. As I hung up the phone, the emotional roller coaster began. I had gone from feeling the anticipated highs of a future possibility to quickly plunging down the tracks of fear, thinking, What if I wait on a job that may never happen?

A Waiting Not Wasted

As I wait, here’s what I know to be true: When we wait on God, we will be used by God in the way that brings ultimate glory to Him. The entire Bible proves this to be true! From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we see a common thread of waiting woven through the pages of Scripture. Some characters waited well and others did not.

As I wait, I am encouraged by the story of Simeon found in the book of Luke. It’s transforming how I choose to wait.

Here is Simeon’s story:

And there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law (Luke 2:25–27).

As I read these words, I’m encouraged to find three new ways to wait.

1. Wait in action.

Wait but don’t waste. Simeon was where he needed to be physically (in the temple, the place of worship) and spiritually (he was devoted and righteous) to receive what God had promised. Simeon did not allow the absence of God’s fulfillment to stop him from pursuing the Promiser.

Position yourself in obedience to God now. Here are some questions to help you know if you are waiting in action.

  • Are you positioned spiritually (attending church, reading His Word, in community with God’s people) to see God move (James 1:22)?
  • Are you obeying His known will (1 Thess. 4:3) while waiting on that which is unknown?
  • Do you refrain from saying, “When I get ______, then I will be more disciplined”?

2. Wait in faith.

As you wait, stand firm on God’s promises (Isa. 40:31). Our actions should always be driven by faith. Simeon’s actions were driven by His faith in God’s Word. Similarly, God has given us His Word, and it is filled with promises. Are you waiting on God’s unchanging promise or your perceived need? Here are a few promises to take to the bank:

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11).

They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31).

3. Wait in remembrance.

When we remember what God has done in our past and look forward to what He has promised to do for our future, this allows for healthy present living. Stop and think. Are there blessings in your current season that you once prayed for? What if you began to thank God daily for those things—praise Him aloud, write it down in your journal, and proclaim His faithfulness to others? What’s stopping you from believing God to do it again?

Consider Simeon. He believed what God had promised in the past (Luke 2:29), and he stood convinced and praised God for what he would do in the future (vv. 30–32). This is what allowed Simeon to live in hope.

Whatever you are waiting on today, the question is not will you wait (we’re all waiting for something), but rather how will you choose to wait? I want to wait well.

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

About Author

Oghosa Iyamu

Oghosa Iyamu is currently completing her Masters of Divinity at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Oghosa is passionate about racial reconciliation and growing the next generation of women through biblical teaching. Oghosa is nicknamed by friends and co-workers “willow” for having fun afros!

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

  • * Requests or gives personal information such as email address, address, or phone number.
  • * Attacks other readers.
  • * Uses vulgar or profane language.
  • “When we wait on God, we will be used by God in the way that brings ultimate glory to Him.”

    I just realized that while there’s a major thing I’m waiting on, I actually have time to develop an important side project, and I’m having success with it! I had it on the backburner for a long time, but now I see that God is working through it in ways I had never thought about. So that’s pretty cool!
    I’d say this article came at the perfect time!

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Jethan! So glad to hear! 🙂

  • J

    I agree with most of what is said; however, I believe that most of what we wait on aren’t things promised by God. Simeon and Anna were waiting on the King scripture had assured would come. The Messiah was promised in the OT. Our promise today, revealed in the NT, is the return of Christ and the glory in eternity for all believers. Job promotions, marriage, children aren’t certainties, so it’s incorrect to treat them as promises on which to wait (scripture does not support this). Treating every phase in life as a waiting period is diminishing the very purpose of the message. Rarely do I encounter people like Simeon or Anna who are waiting on the expected return of the Messiah. Very often the waiting I see is to establish permanancy on this earth. What happens when the thing awaited for arrives? Do we stop living in faith? Do we stop pursuing God in action? Do we search something new to wait upon? Accepting grace and living joyfully and peacefully in it is best way to move through this life.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Thank you so much J for your response. Such great insight. I see your point and believe we are in agreement.

      this is why I stated:
      Are you waiting on God’s unchanging promise or your perceived need? Further listing promises from Scripture such as :

      And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

      They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31).
      The application of this passage is to depend on the promises that are in Scripture (such as those listed) and not on our perceived wants or temporal desires. I would also venture to say no one is ever in a season in which they are not expecting God to provide or fulfil His promises (ex: A Christian who is pursuing God). Hope that’s clear, thank you so much for the feedback.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Thank you so much J for your response. Such great insight. I see your point and believe we are in agreement.

      this is why I stated:
      Are you waiting on God’s unchanging promise or your perceived need? Further listing promises from Scripture such as :

      And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

      They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31).
      The application of this passage is to depend on the promises that are in Scripture “His Word” (such as those listed) and not on our perceived wants (Job promotions, marriage, children or temporal desires).
      I would also venture to say no Christian is ever in a season in which they are not waiting on God to supply or fulfil His promises (temporal and eternal). Hope that’s clear, thank you so much for the feedback.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Thank you so much J for your response. Such great insight. I see your point and believe we are in agreement.

      this is why I stated:
      Are you waiting on God’s unchanging promise or your perceived need? Further listing promises from Scripture that you should “bank on” such as:

      “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

      The application of this passage is to depend on the promises that are in Scripture “His Word” (such as those listed) and not on our perceived wants (Job promotions, marriage, children or temporal desires).

      I would also venture to say that no Christian is ever in a season in which they are not waiting on God to supply or fulfil His promises (temporal & eternal – found in His Word). Hope that’s clear, thank you so much for the feedback.

      • J

        I understand and agree, Oghosa! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. It’s very much appreciated.

  • hannah

    Thanks for this post it is just I needed to day.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Glad to hear Hannah! 🙂

  • Ana

    WoW!!! Amazing.. Thank you, I so needed to read this. I am impatient waiting for this guy whom I fell in love to ask me to marry him. I want to change my mind and wait on God.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Praise God Ana! So glad you could be encouraged. Praying that God would continue to renew your strength sister! Isaiah 40:31

  • rhýomai

    Thank for this post sis. Waiting is hard, I always pray that God would give me more patience because I believe it will worth the wait.

    My fear is what if it comes but I will still choose the wrong one. I need more prayers.

    • Oghosa Iyamu

      Hey Rhyomai! Thanks for sharing, I’d love to take a moment to pray Isaiah 40:31 for you right now.
      Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that Rhyomai would trust in you, that she would find new strength and that she would soar high on wings like eagles. That Ryomai would run and not grow weary or faint. God would you strengthen her with your power by your spirit, Lord would you give her wisdom and discernment in the days to come. We love you. We ask only in the name of your precious son Jesus.

      • rhýomai

        Thanks for the prayer.

        Blessings to you.