When you feel like your life is on hold

And 3 reasons God might be behind it

Lately, it might feel like your life is in a holding pattern.  You’re in the air, but you keep waiting for permission to land somewhere.  Maybe it’s uncertainty about a job.  Or maybe it’s a relationship or business venture.  Maybe it’s uncertainty about your health.  You’re ready to take action–to move in a direction (any direction) but it feels like you’re just circling over and over again.

When you’re in a holding pattern, it feels like it will never end.  But what if waiting was the difference between success and failure?  What if there were a reason for the wait?

Jesus Made the Disciples Wait

When Jesus appears to the disciples after the resurrection, they are (naturally) in utter shock.  And in dramatic fashion, Jesus gives them the mother of all battle cries: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:18-19).

After 40 days of post-resurrection training, Jesus says (right before ascending into heaven), “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus had them pumped.  If I were there, I’m sure I’d be like a Scotsman in Braveheart ready to take the hill… or a member of the U.S. Hockey Team after halftime in Miracle.  But just as he was preparing them to win the game, Jesus pumped the brakes.  He told them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…” (Acts 1:4).  How long did they need to wait?  Jesus said, “a few days.”

Why?  Couldn’t Jesus have just ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit come rushing in?  It’s like telling the hockey team after the speech to come back in a few days to finish the game.  It just doesn’t make sense… does it?

The Right Place at the Right Time

The disciples listened.  They stayed in Jerusalem.  They prayed together.  They had a committee meeting to replace Judas with a new disciple to make 12 again.  And they waited… The result?  “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1).  In other words, they were in the right position to receive the miracle.

While the waiting may seem unnecessary and frustrating, it may be all the difference between success and failure.  We are all waiting for the miracle.  What is that miracle?  It’s God showing up in our lives… landing the plane… moving our lives forward and fulfilling our God-given destiny.

3 Reasons Why Going Might Begin with Waiting

#1 We do not control the miracle.

Sometimes God waits to release us to what’s next so we don’t make the mistake of thinking the miracle is our own doing.  It’s not our hill to take.  It’s not our game to win.  God controls the miracle.  When we believe our victories are a result of our own energy and power, we tend to ignore God.  Or worse, we might rush into battle without the Holy Spirit and fail.

#2 Waiting requires complete trust.

Before smartphones and Uber, there was nothing quite like waiting for mom to pick me up from football practice.  I couldn’t make other arrangements.  I had to trust (even if I had to wait longer than expected) that she would show up.  Waiting is an exercise in trust.  Maybe God wants to build your trust so you can be in the right place at the right time for the miracle.  Don’t panic.  God is coming.

The truth is: overdeveloped control can make you start too early, and underdeveloped trust can make you quit too soon.

#3 Waiting can awaken our spiritual rhythm.

Maybe God wants you to develop some faithful practices during this holding pattern.  Maybe you need to develop better spiritual habits.  The disciples received the miracle after they learned to faithfully wait: they prayed, discussed scripture, and executed what seemed like small and mundane decisions faithfully.  Maybe God wants a better rhythm for you to handle the miracle when it comes.

Your life might feel like it’s in a holding pattern.  But maybe that’s right where God wants you.  He might just be preparing you for the miracle to come.  Don’t miss it.

Question: What about you? Are you prone to overdeveloped control or underdeveloped trust when you’re waiting on God? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Want more on this topic?  This is part of my message series: Until the Whole World Hears.  Listen to it here!


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