Hold on and Wait!

Our generation is obsessed with prompt solutions and quick fixes. That manager is getting on your nerves, you change jobs. You and your spouse can’t seem to agree on anything and are constantly fighting, you file for a divorce, your church won’t acknowledge your gifts and divine calling, you move on to the church just round the corner. The list goes on and on. Let’s be honest, no one likes to wait or hold on for anything, maybe for a very short while we could endure and hold on but certainly not for a long time and not when things are going wrong in any area of our lives; marriage, career etc. I will be truthful and say for myself that I do not like being out of control and not knowing what will happen to me and so waiting is not something I relish too.

However the ability to hold on and wait for things to happen at the right time does not only demonstrate our attitude but it also helps us to grow in our level of maturity as well as reveal to us areas of our personal lives that we are unfamiliar with. Holding on or waiting times bring with it a period of growth and wisdom than cannot be traded for anything else. There are so many examples throughout the Bible of those who held on to what they were believing God for such as Abraham as he waited for God to bring to pass the fulfillment of a promise to bless him with a child, Joseph as he waited for the fulfillment of his dreams despite great oppositions, Elijah as he waited for rain to fall after three hundred and sixty-five days and so on and so forth. It is not enough to hold on and wait but we need to know what we are holding on for, why we are holding on and how we are holding on. We can still enjoy where we are on the way to where we are going. Holding on isn’t the same as waiting and being upset. It is not being angry at others who have what you are holding on for or being cynical about life. Instead it is developing understood patience and focusing on serving and obeying God as well as focusing on being a blessing to others, says Joyce Meyer.

Sometimes, we need to examine our motivations for desiring certain things and the degree of our desires. God wants us to have anything in line with His will and as much of it as we can handle, so long as we keep Him first in our lives. Holding on and waiting for some people means their desire for a thing or someone has totally gone out of control. For example, a single woman who can hardly think of anything but getting married. She talks about it all the time. She keeps saying she has to be married, gets discouraged and depressed all the time. Please note that I am not saying that life won’t give us a legitimate reason to be depressed and discouraged and I am not trying to trivialise anyone’s desires or even a single woman’s desire to get married. There is also nothing wrong about persistence and holding on for what we believe in. In fact if you must take anything away from this journal, it is to not give up easily and to hold on and wait for that which you are expecting.

So whilst there’s noting wrong about persistence and holding on, we need to be diligent to avoid becoming fixated on one desire and allowing it to become the entire focus of our lives either in thought or word form. Joyce Meyer says that patience is not the ability to wait but how we act while waiting. We sometimes claim we are holding on, yet we hold no optimistic view of the situation, we are angry and unwilling to examine ourselves. We do pray of course just like I would expect any well taught Christian to do but we, just like others forget that waiting is part of life. We forget that our wishes and prayers sometimes seem to come through and to be answered quickly. But at other times we need to persevere until God responds. God leads us to pray persistently and endure consistently not because he does not hear us the first time we pray, but because He is developing our faith and helping us build our spiritual muscles as we learn endurance through prayer and holding on. We will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings!

It is important for us to make a promise to ourselves that we would enjoy ourselves while waiting. This makes the waiting less painful and less boring. Don’t waste your life worrying and waiting until everything is perfect before you start enjoying it. I recently read a book that mentions that it isn’t so much the mistakes of others or our mistakes that hurts us the most but our own responses to those mistakes. Therefore, whilst we may not be able to control the situation we are in from happening at all, we should seek to find out what we are responsible for making happen in order to make life easier for us. Being responsible is being response-able. That is having the ability to come up with a response to life events and problems. We must never arrive at a place where we see ourselves as the victim and as someone who is subject to other people’s mistakes or decisions. We must realise that we can choose to hold on if we want to and that the decision to hold on is one that is made out of choice. This helps us to not give up easily when the other people we are involved with are not doing what we think they should be doing.

Whilst holding on or waiting for a dream to come true in our lives, it is crucial that we embrace the following principles;

  • Keep on working on ourselves and improving where possible.
  • Keep on maintaining our hope or faith in God
  • Decide to remain happy, as happiness is a proactive choice.
  • Surround ourselves with people who will inspire a sense of hope in us rather than those who will discourage us
  • Recognise that the fact that we are doing the right thing does not guarantee that others will as we are only responsible for ourselves. However with time, God has a way of turning things around.
  • To continue to turn the situation over to God and to take responsibility for those things we should do. Remember responsibility implies being response-able

Finally, in the case of a marriage that isn’t quite the way it’s been or should be, I can only encourage you if you fall into that category to hold on and not give up! It is easier to give up than to hold on but the benefits of holding on far outweighs giving up. It is imperative to remember that the significant problems we face in life and in our marriages cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were when they were created and so it takes time sometimes to work through a problem depending on how complex it is. That marriage didn’t just get to the state it’s in overnight and therefore it takes time to build it up and get it to where it should be. I acknowledge that this must be a frustrating process but once we have a change in paradigm and start seeing ‘holding on’ as a deliberate choice rather than something others make us do, our frustrations will reduce drastically.

It may be that you are waiting to be married or waiting for something else of beautiful worth and you are just about to quit because you have been waiting for a long time. What I can say is that the worst thing that can happen is you may not have whatever it is you are holding on for. However if you wait/hold on with the right attitude and perspective, you are likely to come out a winner and a better person than if you hadn’t waited. Moreover there is a great possibility that what you are holding on for is just on the other side and that you are only a few minutes away from a breakthrough. It is almost as if we are surprised that life is difficult when we have been forewarned that in this life we would have tribulation and Jesus Himself admonishes us to be of good cheer because He has overcome for us. How can you be of good cheer when haunted by tribulations? He is talking about our posture and how we should respond in difficult times. It is not what you are waiting for or how long you wait for it that matters most but how you wait. Don’t give up! Never give up hope. Neither in the big things, nor the small ones. And if you give in, let it be on the basis of principles or common sense.

References:

The Holy Bible

The power of a simple prayer by Joyce Meyer