Most Christians, even the most devout, will enter a time of tested faith. Typically this testing is the result of a traumatic experience or a significant disappointment. Perhaps it is the death of a loved one or a major financial event. I have lately found myself in a period of testing, but it did not spring out of a major drama or disaster. Instead it has come from waiting. Just waiting.
Waiting is much more painful than I ever imagined. Dramatic and traumatic events at least have a process where they end and then you begin recovery, however slow, but waiting is waiting. It is undefined and indeterminately long. There are several kinds of waiting. For me, it has been waiting on my vocation to take shape. Understand, it is more than waiting for a job or even a better job; it is about vocation.
I know that I am called to a career in ministry, but God’s answer to me for over a year now has been to keep waiting. I have been close to several opportunities, final two candidates and all of that, but here I am still waiting. In some ways it has been a good experience. It has strengthened my resolve to work with a church. When I begin thinking about a different path, my heart calls me back to the place where I am meant to be.
It also makes me thankful that it has given me another experience that I can use to relate with other people. A lot of people are waiting on a lot of things. Some are waiting on children. Some are waiting for a husband or wife. Others are waiting on test results or for healing. And still others are just waiting to be happy. We all wait for something, but that does not make it much easier. The good news is that God is waiting with us. Eventually what we are waiting for may arrive. We also might just start waiting for something different, or we may realize that we already have what we thought we were waiting for. I don’t know, but I do know that there is a reason that faith and hope are usually mentioned with love. Because God loves us, we can know that he will provide and he will be there while we wait.