June 26, 2020
Waiting for God's Best
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"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4 (NIV)
When I prepped my day planner for the new year, a surprising fact hit me: I had been waiting in prayer for 18 months.
A year and a half earlier, I would have never imagined I could pray that long without getting solid answers. But God had called me to pray for a specific person during that period, and I had persisted for over 500 days.
The first few months, I was overwhelmed.
God called me to obey Him one day at a time, without understanding all the details. Every day, I was instructed to enter my private prayer closet and lift up the person.
As I persisted, God gave me more details. He showed me how this person was struggling. My prayers were making a difference even though I couldn't see specifics. I thought I was finished about six months in, but God wanted me to pray longer, harder and with greater fervor.
I continued in this prayer journey, expecting an answer any day. Impatience tempted me. Frustration called my name. Yet God wanted me to be faithful. He asked me to trust His sovereign, wide-scope view of things greater than I could imagine - if I would simply wait on Him to act (instead of taking action myself).
A year in, I felt more peace and certainty. Surely, I'd receive an answer soon. However, God instructed me to pray on and on. God was teaching me about desiring Him more than answers to my prayers.
Those 18 months were a testing period of waiting for God's best. In prior seasons of my life, I have succumbed to temptation and chosen second-best.
There have been times when I resisted for a while, and even asked God for help, but took a shortcut when I felt overwhelmed. Each time, I paid a price for running ahead of God's best.
Over and over, the Israelites also decided to run ahead of God's best for them. They grew weary of waiting for God to fulfill His promises. They wondered if God had their best in mind, or if He could be trusted at all. But Isaiah offered them hope:
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him" (Isaiah 64:4).
Isaiah wanted to elevate the Israelites' view of God so they would learn to trust Him more. No other god can do what God can do. No one can perceive, hear or see God's plan until He reveals it. Only He knows what is best because no one else compares to Him.
When we understand God is good, we can trust He has good in store for us. When we know Him as the sovereign Lord over our prayers, plans and hopes, we can believe He wants our best. When we wait for God to act on our behalf, we receive the fullness of His blessings.
Maybe you are struggling to wait for God's best. Everything in your heart, mind or flesh may be crying out for a shortcut - one that will relieve the pressures of life right now.
When you're tempted to run ahead of God's best, He's never further away than an arrow prayer. Help me. Save me. Comfort me. God loves to hear your short, sweet prayers of trust. As you lean on God instead of your own desires, He'll act on your behalf.
Though you can't hear, perceive or see God's master plan for your life, you can trust Him today in your struggles. Surrender all your hopes and desires to Him. Keep praying for as long as it takes. His presence will be an incomparable comfort if you choose to wait.
Lord, I believe You have Your best in mind for me. When my desires crave what is second-best, remind me to cry out to You. Help me trust that if I wait for You to act, I'll see You reveal an amazing, custom-made plan. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 37:7a, "Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act." (NLT)
Isaiah 33:2, "But LORD, be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble." (NLT)
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For help in resisting temptation, grab a copy of Sarah Geringer's book, Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus.
Follow Sarah Geringer on Instagram for encouragement in your journey of spiritual growth.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Where do you struggle most in trusting God's best for your life? Post a prayer request about it in the comments, and let's pray for each other today!