When God makes us wait, it always seems like an eternity. No one likes to be told to wait, especially in today's fast-paced lifestyle
After my fiancé was killed in a car accident I was devastated. I took some time to heal; I was so angry at God, not just for the grief I was in but also because I had waiting so long to finally get married. I remember lying in bed and screaming at God saying, “I’m not waiting for three years to meet someone else again!”
God healed me quickly, and I began my waiting process. I did not take it well. Each day, with disappointment after disappointment, I became depressed and angry. I was paralysed by fear and worried that the waiting would never end. I often worried that nothing would ever be better than it was before. So many times, I came close to giving up. Just when it looked like a breakthrough was on the horizon, something always happened and discouragement set in.
I remember complaining about waiting on God to my family once. Their response was the same as everyone else’s “God does things in his own time.” I hated hearing people tell me that. I didn’t want to accept the fact God does things on his own time, partially because I felt that God’s time was slow and I wanted things to happen immediately. I had no patience and I was in this mindset that I was entitled to blessings because of what had happened to me.
Though I knew my family was right, I just didn’t want to accept it. God very much does have a set time for everything as it’s described in the book of Ecclesiastes, but I started trying to earn my blessing. “If I just pray like this, God will bless me,” or “If I just have enough faith, I will get what I want.” I did this for a long time throughout my time of waiting for my husband. I also just stopped listening to God in general and got on dating apps, trying to make things happen faster for myself. People also gave me terrible advice, and it discouraged me even more. “Oh, God will give you someone, you may have to date a lot of men, but you’ll find the one.” My heart was crushed and I was so confused. God was telling me to wait on him, while everyone else was telling me that I needed to get out and find a man immediately.
“It’s just Satan,” I’d tell myself as I sat there in my tears begging God to end this misery. Finally, I realised that trying to do earn things from the Lord wasn’t working out and that I was being selfish. I wanted a husband more than I wanted God, so I surrendered. I gave up trying to do things my way, and started letting God do things His way. I was terrified at first because I like to know when and how things are happening. This time was different, I had to trust God with all of my heart. I was being tested, and from what I’ve learned, the waiting season can be a test. When we finally give up our way and start doing things God’s way, waiting becomes substantially easier.
When I let God do things His way, instead of me trying to do it, I felt peace. I was happy again and focused on other parts of life. We miss so much by only focusing on what we don’t have. After all, God promised me a husband. Waiting is for our own good. Yes, it’s painful, but it creates endurance and strength. If we never had to wait on a blessing, we’d never appreciate it when we received it.
Rest assured, that if you’re still waiting, it will pass and keep waiting with expectation. Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
"And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-32)
Have you ever had a defining moment of faith in your relationship with Jesus? Like Peter, many of us do not realize we are caught up in a crisis of faith until the circumstances around us starts going sideways. The thing that makes circumstances so challenging is the fact that we, like Peter, are completely unprepared. Being unprepared frightens us to the core.
In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, many Christians are at a walking on the water moment with Jesus. Our grocery stores are low on supplies, jobs are cutting our hours, church buildings are closed, schools are shutting down, convenient stores are not accepting our returns, everywhere we turn there is seemingly some pandemonium. Throughout all of this, it seems there is a constant wave of fear trying it’s best to crash onto our boats of faith.
Where is Jesus in all of this chaos? He’s on the water, and that’s exactly where we are called to be. Like Peter realised, walking on water with Jesus is realised when we are willing to step outside of the boat. It is hidden deep inside the risk of faith. For Peter, there was no certainty that he wouldn’t sink. In fact, the evidence was completely stacked against him. Who would ever try to walk on water? You’d sink every time if you’d try!
For Peter, this realisation was true, however, there was one thing that was the exception. Jesus. Jesus was walking on water. Peter, wanting to become like Jesus, decided the risk was worth the reward. If the risk meant becoming like the one who was on the water, then Peter was all up for it. Peter took a giant leap of faith with one step. For Peter, the task was simple. Follow Jesus, even if it meant walking on water.
This passage of scripture is so encouraging to me because of the times. The COVID-19 seems as impossible to conquer as walking on water. As a father of three young boys, to think of all the things I have to do to keep my family safe seems impossible at times. When I begin to think of their safety in the midst of COVID-19 I begin to fear, and maybe that’s the point I’m missing - we are missing as Christians. By constantly focusing our minds on the coronavirus, we taking our eyes off of Jesus - who is in the midst of the storm, walking on water.
If you think about it, when did Peter sink? It was only when he looked at the wind and allowed fear to overcome his perspective. The same is true for us today, we must do our very best to keep our eyes on Jesus despite the wind of the coronavirus. Sure, it’s scary. Walking on water, for Peter, was as well. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Peter walked on water, and so can we, despite what others may think.
Jesus releases the capacity for us to have supernatural peace during life’s most difficult storms. By fixing our minds on Him through the storm, we enable our lives to access the peace of Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)