Have you ever been in a rush to get somewhere but someone always seems to find a way to keep you from making it to wherever you are going on time? To be completely transparent, this is one of the biggest arguments we have in our marriage. Hear me out… Mo and I have a great marriage. We really do; but when it is time for us to leave for date night, or a party, or a family event, “someone” always needs to go back and change a shirt, or change their jeans, or check that their hair is in the right shape, or make sure that they’ve actually put on deodorant. This isn’t just a one time thing, this is a chronic problem that “someone” has. One of us understands the importance of showing up on time, of holding to our commitments. The other one of us clearly could care less. It causes tension in our otherwise incredibly healthy marriage. No matter how often we talk about it, and no matter how often “someone” promises to get better, change has yet to happen…. ok… ok… I’m “someone.” It’s me who makes us late. Judge me.
You may not relate to what happens in our marriage, but the truth is, we’re all waiting on something. It may not always be your husband (I just want to make sure that I look good for my wife in public, because lets face it, she’s way out of my league) but no matter where we are at in life we always seem to be playing the waiting game. Just think of your life so far. When you were a child you couldn’t wait to be a teen so you could finally have some freedom. Then as a teen, for some reason you couldn’t wait to be 21. Then after you turned 21 and started working full-time you realized that “adulting” isn’t all it’s made out to be so now you can’t wait until you hit retirement and can put your toes in the sand and never look back at your place of imprisonmen.. er.. employment.
Sometimes, however, what we’re waiting on is more serious and more painful than simply wanting to be at a different point in life. Some of you are waiting to finally be able to conceive a child and even after all the treatments you’ve gone through you still haven’t gotten that little + you keep praying for. Maybe you’re waiting for your dad to finally tell you how proud of you he is, but no matter how many accomplishments you put next to your name he still has yet to tell you those four simple words. Or maybe you’re waiting to finally find someone that understands you and appreciates you for who you truly are, but no matter how many right swipes you get you still haven’t found someone who cares about your soul more than your body. You’re waiting on something, but no matter how hard you pray, no matter what you do, it seems as if the thing you are believing God for will never come.
As a society, wanting instant results is a major problem for us. (Thanks 5g and Netflix). Maybe if we had to go to the library to look up the answers in an encyclopedia like our parents did we wouldn’t be like this. Now, because of this collective problem, waiting on your promise seems to be the main topic of sermons and talks and seminars. With it comes all of these new cliche statements… I’m sure you’ve heard some of them… like, “a waiting season is never a wasted season,” or “good things come to those who wait.” While these statements are filled with truth, they don’t speak to the pain and sadness that often accompany waiting on God.
Can I be honest? I’ve been in a season of waiting for what feels like an eternity. In reality it has only been a few years, but it feels as if what I’m believing God for will never come to pass. I’m holding on to a promise, a vision if you will, that God gave me some time ago. No matter how much I pray or prepare, the vision never seems to get any closer. And the longer I wait the more reasons of why it will never come seem to appear.
Recently, I was reminded of this verse in Habakkuk and something jumped off the page to me that I hope will help you just like it helped me.
I will take my stand at my watch-post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:1-2 ESV
This is a verse that we often hear on vision weekends or in sermons where we are talking about the vision that God has for our church. We hear how the vision (what God has for His people or is calling them to) needs to be made clear so that everyone knows what it is. If you’re like me, my vision is clear! I know what I’m called to! Let me run with my vision!
I’ve read verses 1-2 so many times, but I’m not sure how often I’ve continued on to verse 3…
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
Let’s be honest. Verse 3 doesn’t preach nearly as well as 1 & 2. Who wants to hear that the vision will come at “its appointed time,” or that it may “seem slow.” I love the part about people running by and seeing the vision! It means there is progress, something is moving forward! But there’s a promise buried in here.
Maybe the vision God has given you is one of being a mother to a healthy baby. Or perhaps the vision is that your family will be reunited and the current divisions will be healed. Your vision could even be that of finding a spouse who honors you and loves God with all their heart and soul. Whatever the vision is that God gave you, it will happen. Habakkuk 2:3 tells us that the vision is still on schedule! The vision “will surely come.” It “will not delay.” It has an “appointed time.” You just have to…. wait for it…..
So in the midst of complaining about waiting, what I’m telling us all to do? Wait… wait some more. To be patient. To trust that God will see what He started through to completion. It certainly isn’t happening in the time-frame that you and I want it to, but just because it isn’t in our-time doesn’t mean it isn’t on-time.
If I can remind us both of anything, it’s that God can be trusted. God is faithful to His word. Just look at Abraham and Sarah. God promised them a child in their old age, and while it took years for it to happen, God was faithful to His promise and He gave them a child. God showed Joseph a dream of his family bowing to him and while it took years to happen, God was faithful to His promise and the dream came to pass. God anointed David king over Israel and even though it took years for David to finally sit on the throne, God was faithful to His promise. God promised a savior to the nation of Israel and even though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise and sent us Jesus. God always fulfills His promises.
So here we are. Back to waiting. Another day. Another month. Another year. No matter how long, I know that it will happen. The vision will not be delayed, for our God is faithful.