What to do when God says wait [reflection/blog]

What to do when God says wait [reflection/blog]

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I don’t know about you, but I learned early in life that things rarely work out the way I planned it. By the age of 16, I had planned to have my own car. By 25, I was supposed to have completed my master’s degree. And by 30, I wanted to be married with kids. None of which happened as I had envisioned. I guess it’s like the saying goes: Man plans, God decides.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced plans or dreams that didn’t work out the way you wanted. How do you handle this disappointment? Do you find yourself complaining? Get down in the dumps? Do you question your self-worth? If so, you’re not alone. But, whenever I feel like this, I like to reflect on a sermon I heard about the process of a dream. Using the story of Abraham and Sarah as an example, the pastor said that there are three phases we must go through when God places a dream in our heart:

1. Expect the delay phase
We’ve all been there. As a matter of fact, some of us may still be there: The delay phase. This is the time frame when you’re waiting on God to grant the dream He placed within you. Chances are, you have no idea how long you have to wait, but we all have to enter this phase before God brings us what we desire. So, like it or not, we must be patient and trust He has a purpose for the delay. But that’s not always easy. For example, recently, a friend of mine was approaching a monumental birthday and she was miserable. She felt like she should’ve accomplished so much more by this point in her life and was beating herself up over it. When I asked why she was putting so much pressure on herself, she said her happiness depended on it. Ever felt like your success defined your happiness? I have. But I also know that God is a dream giver and He will not put something in your heart that will not happen. So sometimes we need to lighten up and recognize that delay phase is temporary.

2. God has a set time for everything
My friend was trying to accomplish everything in her time. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of trying to rush a blessing before its time. But God can’t/won’t be rushed. His timing is perfect. You see, God deserves the credit for bringing our dreams to fruition. If it happens when we want it, then we’ll think that we made it happen. But waiting on God requires us to be fully dependent on Him and when it’s granted He’ll receive all the glory.

3. Help someone else accomplish their dream
So what are you supposed to do while you’re waiting? Why not be a blessing to someone else and help them get closer to their dream? When my friend’s birthday arrived, she decided to spend the day with someone that she hadn’t seen in a while. During the visit, she learned that this friend was looking for a roommate in order save money to purchase a house. It’s not by coincidence that my friend was also trying to decide whether to renew her apartment lease. So she decided to end her lease and help her friend save money to reach her goal. As it turns out, by sharing expenses, my friend would also save money and could finally afford to go back to school – which was one of the things she wanted to accomplish before her birthday. God uses us as His vessels to be a blessing to others. So I guess it looks like the delay phase has a purpose after all.

What are some of the things you’ve done to help you avoid getting discouraged during the delay phase?

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