The following guest article is by Jennifer Blankenship. Jennifer is a member of Second Reformed Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis and serves as the church's office manager.
I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another. You’re running late to work or some other important engagement and hop in the car to make quick time only to end up behind the slowest moving vehicle on the face of the earth. Having to refrain from trying to push the driver in front of you to get going, you inch along with a growing sense of panic realizing that the clock is outdoing your best efforts. There’s nothing you can do to get around the obstacle though everything inside of you instinctively wants to step on the gas and go. The inevitable becomes very clear: your only option is to resign yourself to reality and wait for the circumstance to somehow change.
The New Year has dawned and perhaps you’re still waiting for something, something for which you have been asking the Lord for several months or even years and yet which still remains unanswered or unfulfilled. These seasons of life can be disappointing and wearying for the soul. Will it ever change? How much longer will I have to keep asking? Why isn’t God answering my prayers? In times like these, it is helpful to remember that God is doing far more than the eye can see and that there’s a beautiful strength that comes through waiting.
The Unseen Driver
Though it can often appear as if God isn't working at all in our lives especially during seasons of little fruit or unanswered prayer, the truth is that He is. The Enemy, however, would have us conclude otherwise and believe that action and progress will only come as we take control and sit in the driver’s seat of life.
But God tells His people not to push. Contrary to our perception, the "unseen Driver" is directing our course and all that takes place, and every apparent obstacle is divinely ordained by Him. It takes eyes and hearts of faith to see and understand what is beyond our comprehension. If we grow impatient and question the wisdom and ways of God, more sin abounds. Joy is lost. A thankless heart is born. The work of the Spirit is quenched.
So, what should be the attitude of the one sitting in the passenger's seat? Panic, fear, impatience, and doubt are real and natural responses. But consider for a moment the attitude expressed in Psalm 131: "O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul..."
The Strength of Waiting
The passenger is called to wait in quietness and trust. Waiting is impossible unless we anchor our hearts in grace and faith. The grace that God gives enables us to wait rather than push on ahead of Him. The faith that He develops in us undergirds our souls to persevere to the end.
Waiting requires patience, and patience is a rare virtue... Waiting, holding oneself to His lead - this is the secret to strength. - Oswald Chambers
God gives those who wait some precious promises.
"Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame..." (Psalm 25:3)
"Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary...But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength..." (Isaiah 40:27-28, 31)
"From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4)
Yes, 2019 just might be another year of waiting for you. As you ride in the passenger's seat of life, practice the secret of strength and rehearse the promises of God. You will not be ashamed. God will renew your weary soul with an enduring strength you thought impossible. He will show you more of Himself. And He will powerfully act on your behalf in the perfect time and with the perfect means.
Our God is faithful, and not one of His words will fail.
...if we let ourselves be governed by the good pleasure of divine providence, we will easily learn how to persevere in prayer, and how to wait on the Lord with patience, deferring the fulfillment of our desires to the hour set by his will...God will never abandon us, for he cannot disappoint the expectation and patience of those who are his. - John Calvin