Are You Waiting On God, While He’s Waiting On You?
If you’ve grown up a Christian, specifically in a Black church, you’re familiar with the phrase “Wait on the Lord.” Fred Hammond has a song about it, that we love to sing. This is not something that preachers and gospel singers made up, it’s scripture.
“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings, like an eagle that soars. They shall walk and not be weary they shall run and never faint.”
Y’all know it.
But you likely also know that scripture, when taken literally or to the extreme, can prove problematic. See rapper Houston literally gouging his eye out because of the temptations of the music industry. And the same can be said for this verse. While we ultimately have no choice but to wait on God to do what He’s going to do in our lives, there are some instances, many instances, really where God is waiting for us to prove that we’re ready to take the next step, that we want better for ourselves.
My pastor, Mike Walrond, from First Corinthian Baptist Church, spoke about that this yesterday. He was talking about elevating ourselves and needing to separate from certain people in order to do that effectively.
And he said, “There are times when God wants you to get those people out of your life.”
I looked at my sister, bug-eyed. “Oop!”
I knew from experience that he was telling the absolute truth.
Anytime me or my sister started dating someone new, my mother and aunt would advise us to pray this prayer.
“God, if he’s not for me, please remove him from my life.”
And I prayed it too, really with only one man. Halfheartedly when things were going well and seriously when things weren’t.
But for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why after God had removed this man from my life, he kept returning. And each time he made his way back around, I took it as a sign that God was allowing him to come back, now that he was older, and theoretically more mature. After all, if God had removed him, He also had to be the one to send him back.
It took me far too many years to realize that God was waiting for me to dismiss this man. God was waiting for me to get tired of not being a priority, being ignored and disrespected.
Shoot, now that I’m a bit further removed from the situation I can see that God might have thought, why would I remove him from your life, knowing that with the very next Facebook message, Instagram comment or visit to your mother, you’ll be ready and willing to invite him back into your life with open arms?
In my divine mind, I can imagine God like, “Nah. You let me know when you’re ready.”
And that’s exactly what had to happen. As my mother also told me, “when you’re done, you’re done.” Once I’d reached that point, no social media comment, pop-up visit to my family members or message apologizing or acknowledging anything could change that.
This asking God to do things that we ourselves have to take responsibility for, goes beyond relationships though.
Far too often we have goals and dreams but instead of actively taking steps toward achieving them, we’re waiting for God to open a window, pour out a blessing or send us a sign when God knows that we’re not really serious. We’re putting the responsibility on Him so we’ll always have an excuse when things don’t work out. ‘Oh, it wasn’t His will.’ ‘I never got that sign.’ Sometimes, God is looking for a sign from us. We have far more power than we give ourselves credit for. And if we could just tap into that, entire worlds would open up.
I’m not here to revise scripture but there’s something to be said about waiting on the Lord but also working while you wait.