One major distinguishing factor between God and man is this: while man lives in time God is eternal, ageless, with neither beginning nor end. God neither lives in time nor is He regulated by the circadian rhythm (Psalm 121:4; Psalm 139:12).
The Bible in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 talks about times and seasons by which every living organism is bound to live. This means that man must necessarily plan and execute his projects within a given time – lifetime. Not beyond that (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6; Psalm 6:5).
Such ‘restriction’ is part of the reason men sometimes see God as One who doesn’t understand the urgency of their request. They think that God is too comfortable and does things at His own pace. Such thought has led impatient people to look elsewhere for help instead of trusting in God and in His abundant riches in glory.
THE WAITING PERIOD EXPLAINED
The waiting period is the interval between the time a promise is made by God and the time it’s fulfilled. The period between a prophecy, a dream, a promise from God’s Word and the actual realization of the same.
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 shows what happens during this period of wait – you consume oil. As the ten virgins patiently waited for the arrival of the bridegroom, their lamps were consuming oil. So, the period of wait reveals how much strength, courage, faith, and discipline you’ve got as it can be quite draining.
The waiting period can be likened to gestation – the time between conception and birth. During gestation, a woman deals with the physiological, psychological, and sometimes pathological, changes going on in her body. Between conception (the promise) and birth (realization), her body undergoes some sort of metamorphosis to make the environment suitable for the foetus. So, the pregnant woman deals with a lot of things which sometimes aren’t pleasurable but absolutely necessary.
Another thing that may further complicate the pains associated with the waiting period is uncertainty as to the duration of the wait. If I know that the wait will last for a month, I’ll plan on how to manage my resources to last for just one month. Maybe I’ll be comforted to learn that the reproach from my enemies, my heartache and my fears will last for just a year. But often we don’t have these specifics and the wait can be quite daunting.
What to do while waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promises
1. Understand what God is telling you through this experience.
God is always speaking but we aren’t always listening – either we’re so much enveloped in our pains and anxieties or our spiritual antennas are tuned to other frequencies. Even in the apparent silence and obscurity, God’s voice still echoes (Job 4:12-13). So, there is a need to sharpen your spiritual sense organs to perceive the message God is passing to you through this experience. God told Paul that His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in Paul’s weakness. That understanding alone made Paul relax and even glory in his infirmities, so that Christ’s power may rest upon him. (2 Cor. 12:9)
2. Empty your vessels
The waiting period could be a time of unloading because of what you’re about to receive. Jesus asked the disciples to wait until they were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4-5). During those days, they emptied their vessels of every impurity to allow for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The waiting period created the brotherly bond (love) that sustained the early Church. They got their spirit man trained in prayers, subdued the flesh and sharpened their tongues.
3. Remember that God can’t lie.
Always remember that God is not a man that lies (Numbers 23:19). If God has said anything concerning you, He is more than able to bring it to pass. He isn’t a man whose plans are subject to weather conditions and other contingencies. When God made you a promise, every unforeseen circumstance was factored in. So, its fulfilment is assured. Don’t allow the passage of time and satan to instil doubt in you (Isaiah 25:6-9).
4. Repeat what God has told you, daily.
Write down what God has told you and repeat it to your hearing daily. This will sustain you especially when the period of waiting lasts beyond what you’d earlier thought. Satan will try as much as possible to make you forget what God told you – don’t let him! (John 10:10)
5. Remember God’s miracles of old.
Find comfort in the scriptures, in your past answered prayers and in the testimonies of others. If God did it in the past, He can do it again. And the Holy Scriptures are full of such examples (Hebrews 13:8).
6. Have faith in God
Have faith in God and in His spoken Word. Faith is probably the single most important thing, after love, that you should possess as a believer. Without faith, you can’t please God nor receive from Him (Hebrews 11:6; James 1:6-7). So, while waiting for your Isaac to come, believe the Lord, confess His promises and consciously live as one who believes that God is a rewarder.
7. Pray. Praise. Pray
Unceasing Prayers and Praises. Prayer is a powerful spiritual force that sets things in motion. When prayers are made in faith, the spiritual elements necessary for your blessings align and no power can withhold your blessings (Psalm 40:1; Daniel 10:12-13).
You also need to praise God for the things you’re yet to receive. Don’t wait until the sun begins to shine, thank God in the rain. Dance at midnight while waiting for midday (2 Chronicles 20:20-25). Thank God for what you’re about to receive even while in pain (Psalm 3:3-6).
8. Prepare yourself and your house for the blessings
Prepare your house for the blessings. Make room for them. This involves decluttering your inward and outward space, and taking out every piece of rubbish so there’s room to receive blessings from God. Go borrow empty vessels because the oil will overflow. Settle Ismael and Haggar and ask them to go somewhere else because Isaac is coming (2 Kings 4:1-7). Also, keep striving and sharpening yourself so the open doors don’t meet you unprepared.
May the Lord renew your strength as you wait (Isaiah 40:28-31). And may He hasten to perform His Word concerning you (Jeremiah 1:12b)