There are times and seasons in every Christian’s walk with the Lord where you will face uncommon delays or periods of waiting. In these moments of waiting and uncertainty you will need to know how to navigate through it without losing not only your trust in God and His sovereignty, but the temptation to also become spiritually weary or complacent.
It sounds simple, but it’s one of the greatest struggles or trials Christians face and even fail in over the course of their faith journey.
In most cases, delays are either one of three things: 1) an issue of Gods perfect timing, 2) a faith test or 3) a supernatural attack by the enemy. In either case, the Holy Spirit will always reveal it to you, if you are sensitive to His leading/direction. Depending on which one it is, you will need to understand how to position yourself to effectively respond to it when it arises.
For me this issue hit home on a very personal level this year. I was experiencing inexplicable delays in my existing work commitments, career changes, my son’s education and my personal ministry as well as within my extended family commitments. It seemed to be confronting me on all sides and I had no idea what was going on. It was as if spiritual doors had been shut up in heaven and I was given no keys to open them.
I tried praying through it as part of corporate and spiritual prayer, relentlessly petitioning before God, but, although I knew He was listening, His silence was profound, and left me even more perplexed then when I started. It seemed to be an answer in itself and one I did not understand or accept at the time. Despite my various attempts to pry open these spiritual doors, each one was met with a resounding ‘clang’.
I was at a loss and I felt the weariness begin to creep in.
I was struggling with two particularly difficult issues: 1) my younger son’s application for schooling overseas and 2) my future career change from consultancy work to full-time employment.
From January to July 2022 the delays and diversions began and seemed to build in momentum with barriers or hurdles at each turn. Every month that passed seemed to push us further and further into an endless state of waiting and uncertainty. My desperation began to set in and created this heaviness like a thick mist in my soul that began seeping into my spirit, marring and debilitating my faith.
I knew I was being tested and had always faced delays in the past, but nothing like this. We had always seen God come through on our work, financial or school related issues within weeks or a month of our spiritual prayer and intercession, but not like this. The delays experienced in this case were being protracted and drawn out without any real explanation as to why. There was no doubt that it was spiritual, but it was hard to pinpoint which one of the reasons this was. It seemed as if it was a bit of everything; God’s timing, a test of our faith and a spiritual attack by the enemy all rolled up in one, almost like a “Job” situation.
I also realised that this situation had come at a time when I had also been struggling through a difficult period of personal and spiritual transition. I had decided to make some drastic changes to my place of worship/spiritual home, my ministry mode and choice, I was faced with my mother’s retirement and her potential full time care, my youngest son and child was leaving home for boarding school and my years of ‘mothering’ were now coming to an abrupt and painful end. I had to now learn to adjust to the phase known as the ‘empty nest’ on top of all the other accumulated issues I was facing with my uncertain future employment.
It all became quite overwhelming and I realised that if I did not learn how to navigate these waters well I could potentially get caught up in the storm. At these times it’s imperative to hold onto God’s promises and His truth. Whether its reminding yourself of His faithfulness in the past or His constant goodness and amazing Grace today, you need to learn to trust that He has it all figured out, even as you wait it out with the doubts and fears and loneliness looming on the horizon.
The same way you have no power to change a storm, but to seek shelter and way it out, that’s what is required in moments or periods like this. It’s beyond any physical or spiritual remedy available at the time so you have to decide how you’re going to wait through it.
Waiting in itself is an action. It is a stance you choose to take and there are things you can choose to do in the waiting. You can choose to spend it listening to God ‘s Word, in prayer and meditation knowing that in the waiting He often desires to teach us something. You can also study the Word by taking an online Bible Course or Program that is designed to help you understand the issue you’re facing or you can just immerse yourself in praise and worship which creates an atmosphere that strengthens, empowers and encourages you. Whatever you choose, waiting on God is always the more productive option.
As I stated earlier, there are times when God may seem silent, but that doesn’t mean He’s not with you. Sometimes He just needs to draw back so it compels you to seek Him out more. Often times it is also a test of our faith level. Will the situation you’re facing draw you closer to or further away from Him?
As children of God we sometimes need to learn to cross the street on our own. In other words, you can’t always expect to be carried along your journey of faith. Before moving into greater territories of expansion and growth or before realising the fulfillment of a long awaited promise from the Lord, you’ll need to endure a season of testing to ensure that you’re ready to not only receive what God has for you, but are also ready to steward it. This you can’t do by remaining where you are in your level of faith.
We need to be constantly maturing in our faith and this often means being forced to let go of the clutches you have been holding onto to prop yourself up i.e., your parents, your spiritual mentors or support system, your church, your spouse, your children, whatever it is that gives you an excuse for not standing or walking on your own two feet.
In the midst of this process He is reshaping you; your character, your mindsets, your value system, your priorities, your goals and dreams and definitely your weaknesses. We all need constant strengthening and deepening of our trust in God and His plans for us. This process often occurs to also reposition as well as prepare us for what lies ahead. Before Job could see a double increase in His life he needed to first go through a period of extreme testing which removed all the existing clutches in his life and compelled him to trust only in God.
I would like to say I passed my test with flying colours like Job, but I would be lying. This trial hit me hard and it was even more difficult than previous delays or diversions I had faced because this time I had to carry the burden for my son as well. For mothers, one of our greatest weaknesses are our children because we often want to carry them through every pain or difficulty they face so they don’t get hurt, but this deprives them of the important experience and ultimately, the lesson.
Life and faith is about learning to face problems and learning how to overcome them with the Lord’s help. Our issue is that we want to take the place of God and solve it for them when God is actually wanting to teach them to depend on Him instead. I believe that was what he was doing in my younger son’s life throughout this period of waiting. He was testing his faith and his ability to trust God for himself. My challenge was allowing that process to take place and trusting that God would work it all out for good.
Long story short, He did! God worked all things out for His Glory. My younger son’s visa finally came through after 6 months of waiting and he was able to join his big brother at the boarding school he prayed for 2 and half years ago. His faith was strengthened and he was taught one of the greatest lessons as a Christian – that God is faithful, no matter what we face or how long it takes and that if we remain faithful in return and do not grow weary in trusting in Him, He will grant the desires of our hearts.
Although my son missed out on 4 months of school and now has to work overtime taking extra classes and extended study times to make up for it, He is glad to do it, because he eventually received the answer he was waiting for. He chose to trust that God would bring him through this and He did. As a result, His own faith was strengthened and His dependency on God increased beyond his dependency on me to a point where he could lean on God for himself. If there is nothing else for me to take out this experience, this alone would be worth all the waiting.
On my part, I also finally received the answer concerning my full time employment opportunities which came through on the back of my son’s departure for boarding school. I was able to take on a job that I have a heart and passion for whilst meeting my family needs at this time.
Not everything was answered though. There is still some waiting yet to do for the other areas mentioned, but then again, isn't there always something to wait for...
The important thing is that I have learned a vital lesson in the breakthroughs I have received – God is always faithful and that His purpose and His timing is always perfect. You may need to wait through a few storms before you receive your answer, but we have the confidence and assurance that if we keep trusting through the process, no matter how long it may take, He'll eventually provide the answers we seek.
I pray you're blessed by this sharing. If you need prayer or support in this area I am just a call or click away!
God bless you,
Your Sister in Christ !