Yesterday my children and I were walking around the block. At random times they would ask if they could run ahead. I tell them sure, but to wait at an obvious marker such as the end of the street. All of them, even my 2-year-old, would run to that spot, sit down in the shade, and wait the few more minutes it would take me to push an empty stroller to their location.

Sadly, at one point I had this overwhelming thought that this is how I am treating my relationship with God right now. He has me doing His work. He has called me to an incredible task. However, I want to run ahead. I want to get to the chosen destination ahead of schedule, and then I find myself waiting… spinning my wheels… asking what’s next… impatiently waiting…

Friends, I know how hard it is to wait. However, I also know it is in the waiting that you are being prepared. It is in the waiting that you are leaning into God. It is in the waiting that endurance, perseverance, and character are being made. The waiting is an important part of the journey. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4).” While I wouldn’t always call waiting suffering, this verse embraces that thought.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).” Whatever the task is that the Lord has entrusted to you, press on towards that goal and do it WITH Him. I know how tempting it is to run ahead, but it is so much more important to embrace God’s timing.

Think of Abraham and Sarah. They had to wait a long time. Sarah even devised a plan to speed up God’s promises. They wanted to run ahead too. However, this was not God’s plan. Yes, the plan “worked,” Abraham ended up having a son with Sarah’s servant Hagar. But Ishmael was not the Son of the Promise. Sarah ended up with a lot of heartache over this plan she devised. Nonetheless, God blessed Ishmael, but His promise was through Isaac, the son born to Sarah and Abraham late in their years.

When we run ahead of God’s timing, we can cause ourselves a lot of heartache. We create problems that never needed to exist. However, God, being rich in mercy, can and will still use you.

If you are in a season of waiting, please know you are not alone. God sees you. He has a plan. Lean into Him. Let Him build your endurance, character, and hope.