I hate waiting.
Whether it's waiting for a package to arrive in the mail or waiting at the DMV, stick me in any type of line and you can be sure that I will complain.
It's more of an automatic mechanism at this point. We live in a world where we can get anything instantly – McDonald's in under five minutes, a quick search on our phones, a nice swipe of our credit card – and when we are told to wait, we are kind of jolted.
It's also more than a social issue. It's a heart issue, especially for myself. I've always hated the waiting game. The countdown to Christmas was agonizing because I just wanted to tear into my presents then and there and have everybody see what I got them. I feel like dying when I roll up to a coffee shop and have to wait in line to order, then wait to receive it. The walk to my classes from my dorm room in the heat kills me because it takes too long to get there. When I am in bad traffic, I am restless, because I just want to go, go, go and get my answer.
The same goes for my prayer life. I pray to God and expect Him to reply to me as soon as He hears me. I ask Him for clarity, or wisdom towards a certain thing, and get annoyed if nothing comes back to me within the hour. It feels like I am on a call with God and He just put the phone down and walked away as I blubbered about everything.
Except that isn't what is happening.
God hears every prayer, every wish, every cry I send out to Him. He knows us and knows what is best for us. He doesn't roll His eyes when you are having a hard day or turn His back when you make another mistake. He's there with you, every step of the way. But He isn't going to do it your way.
God isn't in a hurry. He takes His time, making sure everything is perfect and to His liking. He doesn't rush like we do every day; instead, He waits until the best moment. He has His own timeline that is ten times the plan that we have.
I worry constantly when I don't receive an answer from Him right away. It feels like I texted Him my problem and the speech bubble is there, showing He is replying back, except the reply takes, days, weeks, and even months. I will pray once and then if I don't hear anything back, I go with my own plan. It's the reason I'm tired, uncertain, and lost. I'm trying to make my imperfect timeline work when He has the plan all mapped out if only I would wait.
What I've realized lately is that I need to be in constant prayer. I need to trust that God has that beautiful plan all laid out for me and is just asking for me to wait and to trust in His timing. I can't just pray once and call it good and demand an answer. A life like that will just lead to anxiety and lack-luster feelings.
God has a plan for us.
Every minute of every day He knows and what He wants for us is a million times better than we could ever think of.
He won't give it to us right away, we just have to have faith and follow, which can be difficult, especially if you're an impatient person like me, who gets frustrated when the car in front of her is going five miles per hour under the speed limit. But in this season of waiting, use it to strengthen your patience, and expand your faith.
"Sometimes it isn't about the answer to the prayer. Sometimes it is more about what you learn while you're waiting for the answer."
God is never late to answer. Psalm 73:26 says, "When all else fails, God doesn't." Just continue worshipping, praying, smiling, and walking through life and know God has it all figured out. The wait is part of the journey. And you may just look back on this period in your life in the future and smile – because you see how God worked throughout all the complaining and agonizing nights.
And all you had to do was wait.
"Our prayers have no expiration date. You never know when or where or how God will answer."