By Cortni Marrazzo, This content first appeared on Crosswalk.com and is used here with permission. To view the original visit: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/7-ways-god-uses-waiting-to-prepare-you.html
Have you ever found yourself in a waiting season? A time where you’re waiting for change, hoping for something new, or counting down the days?
There are so many circumstances that become waiting seasons: hoping to get married or pregnant (or counting the days until your wedding or birth of a child), waiting to graduate, looking for a job, or even praying for relief from a hard season of life.
The good news is, God wants to use those seasons to prepare you for the things you’re waiting for, as well as things you don’t even know are coming.
I’ve recently found myself in a waiting season that is bringing with it a lot of impending changes. We bought a new house and we’re preparing to move for the first time in 12 years. It will be the first time my kids have ever moved. We’ll be living in a new neighborhood, my kids will be going to a new school, and my husband will be starting a new job.
But as of right now, we are just waiting for it all to happen. Waiting for our new house to finish being built, waiting for my husband to finish out his current job, and waiting for a new school year to start.
All the impending changes in my life have stirred up some anxiety in my soul.
And as I’ve sought God about it, I’ve sensed that He is wanting to use this waiting time to prepare me for the changes coming my way. The changes in my life are good, but they are all new to me; and I know I need God’s help to walk strong in this next season.
Here are seven ways that God uses waiting seasons to prepare you for your next season:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/FatCamera
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”–
When you embark into new seasons in your life, it’s not just the circumstances that God wants to make new, but more importantly it is YOU that He was wants to make new.
Just like old wineskins would burst if you put new wine into them, if you try to drag your old self into a new season, the pressure would be too much. God uses your waiting seasons to bring renewal and change you from the inside out.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/amenic181
For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, For my hope is from Him.– Psalm 62:5 AMP
Waiting is a prime time to seek God because when you’re waiting, you can embrace times of stillness where you slow down your body and mind and come to God ready and open to hear from Him. New seasons and circumstances are exciting, but they can be also be very distracting.
You need waiting seasons to focus on Him and experience His power and direction. If you’re careful to not obsess over the things you’re waiting for (I’m often guilty of this), then you can find that space in your life and soul to seek God and grow closer to Him.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Sam Edwards
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. – Psalm 40:2
Waiting for something to come to pass gives us a great opportunity to look back and learn from some things you’ve recently walked through. What has God recently taught you through your recent circumstances? How has He changed you? How has your perspective changed?
Waiting is a prime time to slow down and look back at the powerful things God has recently done in your life and heart.
When you stop to appreciate all that God has done for you while in a waiting season, it helps you to maintain the patience needed to continue waiting. It reminds you of how faithful God has been in the past and encourages you that He will be just as faithful in the future.
It also helps you realize just how many things you’re currently experiencing or that you’ve waited for in the past. It changes your focus to what you already have rather than what you don’t yet have.
Photo Credit: ©Thinkstock
When you’re transitioning out of a tough season, or waiting for God to bring you out of a difficult time, it’s a great time to experience His healing for recent pains and/or struggles. When you face difficult and hurtful circumstances, it’s easy to sweep them under the rug and move on with pieces of your heart still broken.
Even when the circumstances get better, those situations can still leave behind a tender area of your heart that can easily be triggered by seemingly unrelated circumstances. But God wants to fully heal those areas.
He wants you to bring those hurts to Him so He can mourn with you and so you can invite His love in to heal it and use it for good.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/IBushuev
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. – Isaiah 40:31 MSG
Sometimes God brings you into a season of rest and refreshment before the next season He has planned for you. Life has ebbs and flows and seasons; and some of them are busy seasons that require a lot out of you.
When you go through those tough seasons, God knows you need a season of rest and refreshment to follow, before the next season of hard work begins. Truthfully, I often find that rest and refreshment is actually difficult in my own life because I often thrive on doing things.
But if God intentionally rested after creating the world, that is all the more reason we should embrace times of rest as well.
Photo Credit: ©©Thinkstock/Ridofranz
When a seed is planted in the ground, there is a quite a bit of time between the planting of the seed and when something actually pops through the ground. From the surface, it looks like nothing is happening for so long, but that’s because the growth is happening underneath the surface.
When you’re waiting, you’re growing, even if you can’t yet see the evidence of it.
In waiting seasons, you will grow in faith and dependence on God, especially when you can’t make things go any faster (which I’ve tried so many times, but just can’t seem to make it happen!) It’s in these times that you’ll realize how much your life depends on God.
This is when your trust in Him and in His plan for your life is tested; and subsequently grown the most.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Alexlukin
I wait [patiently] for the Lord, my soul [expectantly] waits,And in His word do I hope. – Psalm 130:5 AMP
If you’ve ever wanted something, and worked hard and saved money for a long time to be able to buy it, you know how satisfying it is to finally be able to purchase it and see all that hard work pay off. When you work hard for and wait for something, you tend to be so much more appreciative than if you just went out and bought it immediately (especially if it was on credit and you’re still paying for it.)
When my husband and I paid off all our debt years ago as a result of sacrificing month after month (and not from a windfall of money) we savored that final feeling of being debt-free so much more. In addition, the process of paying it off slowly built discipline in us and has actually kept us out of debt. When you anticipate something for a longer length of time, you tend to appreciate it more when it finally comes.
If you’re currently in a waiting season of your life, take heart: you are right where you are supposed to be. God is working in you, even if it feels like torture at times. You may doubt and wonder if God’s promises will ever come to pass, but I want to encourage you to keep trusting God because He is faithful.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior;my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7
Cortni Marrazzo is the Communication Director at ONE* Church in Spokane, WA. She and her husband Jason have two elementary-age sons, one of which has special needs. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for ministry and encouraging the body of Christ. You can contact her at [email protected] or on her Facebook page.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/rawpixel