When did we convince ourselves that the purpose of faith is to keep us safe? The point isn't to get through life safely. It's to get through life faithfully. Faith will always find a storm. Are you going to keep yourself tied to the safe shore, or will you head for the adventure of the stormy sea? Didn't Jesus rebuke His disciples for being afraid in the storm? Don’t settle for the safety of the shore. You were made for adventure.
But so many of us choose to wait out the storm before we venture out. What if the storm never passes? I’m convinced there is always some sort of deterrent, some sort of bad weather conditions out there. If you allow the conditions to control your motivation you’ll always remain stationary. If God’s intention for your life was to stay in one place, He would have made us with roots and not feet. You were made to move. So refuse to stop and wait. Move towards God. If you wait for the right time, wait for approval, wait for the resources, they may never come and your life that is so safe will eventually become your cell. You will live your life as a prisoner in a cell because life is not about how safe you can stay.
What do we do in the waiting seasons of life, when we’re spending our time in the waiting room of life? There are two verses that seem to contrast one another. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” and “…but those who hope (another translation says wait) in the LORD will renew their strength.” In one verse, it’s the thing that makes us sick. But the other is the thing that makes us strong. How can this make sense?
I think we’ve all been sick of waiting for something — a promise, a blessing, a healing, a relationship, etc. Hope begins to fade and our waiting room becomes a dark room. Before we had our digital cameras, photos were shot on film. You’d take the picture and it would create a negative. The only way you would get that picture is if you developed the negative. The negative was developed in a specific place — a dark room. Your waiting room might have become a dark room. I know you feel like you’ve been left in a dark room with all of your negatives, but you’re in the right place to develop. If you wait on Him, He will develop the masterpiece picture of your life. Don’t forget what you were told in the light when it gets dark.
Then, there is a type of waiting that strengthens your faith like in Isaiah. You have to be tough to wait. Waiting will cost you something. It costs you something to wait for what you want. You need a faith that works while you wait. I might be waiting but that doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I might be waiting but it also means I’m working. We had Shelley Ann Brown lead worship at West Edge. She was incredible. But Shelley Ann is also a Canadian Olympian and not only that, an Olympian medalist in bobsledding. The day she came was in the middle of an ice storm that caused almost every church to close their doors. But we kept ours open. Why? Because Shelley and I both agreed that the goal isn’t to be safe, it’s to live by faith. We both believed that there are people waiting to hear from God so we have to show up and work. Don’t wait for the storm to pass. Show up in the storm. That’s faith — a faith that works.
When Shelley Ann crossed the finish line and the time showed up on the screen, what the world witnessed was not just the result of that race. What they saw was the result of all the work she put in while she waited. You’re older now, but you’re still waiting. It’s late, but you’re still waiting. It’s turned from day to night, but you’re still waiting. Don’t give up. You’ve invested too much time. You’ve given too much. Don’t give up now. Don’t stop and wait.
Keep working while you’re waiting. Let God work on you while you wait. My challenge to you is for you not to be rude. It’s rude to keep people waiting. Adventure is waiting for you. Don’t keep it waiting. Live a life of faith.
1. Turn your waiting room into a work room. Take courses, read books, get counsel. Work towards your goals so that when opportunity presents itself you’re prepared for it.
2. If your waiting room has become a dark room, write down your needs. Reach out to your friends and ask them for some light and perspective. Pray while you wait.
3. Show up in someone’s storm. There is someone who is waiting for hope. Show up for them. When you show up for others you’ll start to see the work you’ve put in starting to work.