Why Does God Make Us Wait?


When we look in the Bible, we can see so many instances of waiting.

Abraham & Sarah waited on a son, Moses waited to free Israel from Egypt, Joseph waited 13 years to be raised up, Noah waited for around 100 years for rain to fall, David waited to become King and God’s people waited for a long time for the Messiah to come onto the scene.

It seems clear from Scripture, waiting is a part of the human experience.

There are many reasons why God makes us wait, but we’re going to cover some basics from what we see in Scripture, as well as what we have experienced personally.  

4 Reasons Why God Makes Us Wait

  • God is protecting us.
  • God is preparing us.
  • God is refining us.
  • God is reminding us.

We are calling it PPRR, like a cat, to help you remember: protect, prepare, refine, and remind.

When God is protecting us...

Sometimes God has us wait because he is protecting us. This is evident in the life of Elijah in the Old Testament. Through waiting, God is often protecting us from others, from the schemes of the enemy, maybe even from ourselves if we aren’t reading to step into something quite yet. 

When God is preparing us...

We can see this in many stories throughout Scripture, but Joseph’s comes to mind immediately. He waited in the pit his brothers threw him in, he waiting while being wrongly imprisoned in Pharaoh's jail. He waited, and at the right time, after God had stripped him of the pride and reliance that lay within him  on status, God raised him up to be a deliverer and a leader for the betterment of many nations.

When God is refining us...

This goes hand-in-hand with God preparing us. "Refining" has a connotation of being focused on the details, on the fine-tuning. It can literally mean “removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.” On occasion, our waiting may be self-inflicted. For instance, we see the Israelites wandering and waiting in the dessert to enter the promise land. Their disobedience delayed their entrance into God’s promises and rest. However, God used that time to prepare the Israelites to enter into the promise land. It’s often said that “God took them out of Egypt, but He needed to take the Egypt out of them.” God knew they needed to be refined before stepping into what was next for them.

When God is reminding us...

God often uses times of waiting to reveal and to uncover God’s character. Waiting often remind us of our great need for Him and how He will provide for us in each season. It also reminds us that this life is not about us. It’s not all about our timing, our plans, or our big ideas of how things should go. God is the only one who dictates time, and it’s all about Him.

Waiting is often uncomfortable. Waiting can be confusing. Like Elijah, sometimes we just can’t see the goodness or reasoning in God’s plan for us waiting right now in a desolate place. So how can we do this “waiting season” well?  

Waiting faithfully takes effort and focus. Our focus must be on the character of God and not the circumstances that surround us. 

Waiting is also active. God has things for us to do while we’re waiting. Sometimes it looks like mundane daily faithfulness – “loving our neighbor," “taking care of the widows and orphans”, etc. Sometimes it looks like a slower season of honing in on things. Maybe that looks like counseling or finding a mentor,

Whatever you are waiting on today, remember that God is protecting, preparing, refining, and reminding us and those around as we wait. As we continue to climb towards the plans, purposes, and presence of God, we embrace seasons of waiting knowing that if we choose to shift our perspective towards God’s perspective, then this waiting season could become a remarkable part of our journey towards the higher places.   

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