I heard His voice gently say, “Wait.” It was not the answer that I had hoped for but I felt peace about it. A job opening had come to my attention and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. It would allow me a creative outlet and the chance to blend my personal interests and professional skills. I was ready for something fresh and new and wanted to jump in right away. There were a few things that held me back from applying so I decided that I would bring it before the Lord.
After a day spent in prayer and fasting, I knew that God was speaking to my heart and asking me to surrender my plans and desires to Him. He asked me to wait on His perfect timing and He would bring the right opportunity along – this wasn’t the right fit for me. I felt relief at first and then as the job deadline approached, I wrestled with the decision not to apply. It seemed like such a golden opportunity! I decided to go ahead and fill out the application – what could it hurt just to have it ready? I strived, hustled, & poured my heart into the application and then let it sit on my computer.
Finally, the day and the hour came when the application period for the position was closing. I had been agonizing over whether or not I should just go ahead and submit the application – after all, it was ready to go and I had spent so much time on it! I brought the situation to my husband and after many tears (on my end!) and much conversation, he prayed over me and told me to go ahead and submit the application leaving the situation in God’s capable hands.
Gideon went through a similar situation when an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that he would save Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. Despite clearly hearing the calling of God on his life and observing several miracles, he still asked for God to confirm that plan: “Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised – look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ And that is what happened.” (Judges 6:36-38a, NIV)
As if that wasn’t enough, he asked for one more sign, “Then Gideon said to God, ‘Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.’ That night God did so.” (Judges 6:39-40a, NIV).
God never admonished Gideon for asking for confirmation of His will. Rather in His infinite love and grace, God patiently reaffirmed the calling He had for Gideon’s life time and time again. Gideon was meant to save Israel. Through God’s strength, Gideon delivered Israel and they lived peacefully for forty years.
With that story in the front of our minds, my husband and I decided to leave out our “fleece” and asked God to once again reveal His perfect will and plan for our lives. I submitted the application with minutes to the deadline and the wait began again.
I never knew that one day could take so long.
Minutes turned into hours that stretched on and on until finally, the deadline for hearing back on whether or not I was accepted for the interview round came and went. I painstakingly checked my email again and again in fear that I missed something but in the back of my mind, I knew that I wasn’t going to receive one of the acceptance emails. The position was never meant to be mine.
God had a different plan for me. My head was convinced but my heart still held out hope that I had somehow heard wrong and this dream opportunity was certainly meant for me. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in striving to “make things work” for ourselves that we miss the call to wait for the Lord. Other times, we clearly hear the call to wait, as I did, but choose to keep hustling because our heart is so set on obtaining that one thing for ourselves.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Waiting for the Lord takes strength and courage. It requires surrendering one’s own will and desires and offering them up daily to our Father God. The One who breathed life into us, lovingly formed us in our mother’s womb, and boldly promises great plans for our life. If God calls us to wait on Him, He is usually preparing us for what is ahead.
I choose to trust God in the waiting. To love Him, serve Him, and allow Him to refine my heart, renew my mind, and refresh my soul. He is good and I firmly believe that He has good plans for me. I will answer His call to wait and I will be ready when He opens the next door and asks me to step through.