The Blessings of Waiting for Unanswered Prayer
Have you ever wanted something so badly, you could practically see, smell, touch, hear and/or taste what it would be like to receive it? Like when you were a child praying that your parents would get you that special toy, gadget, or object for your birthday. Or as a teenager when you heard that cute guy you were interested in wanted to ask you to the prom. Or maybe you played competitive sports and as you practiced and your team began winning all the games, you could just imagine what winning the championship might mean. Many of us have experienced that same level of urgency and anticipation as we take our varied requests to God in prayer: “Lord, please help me to get this job”; “Show me the way out of this fiasco I created”; “Transfer my overbearing, micro-managing supervisor”; “Let me be picked to head up this project”; “Show me how I can take the kids to Disney this year”; “Please don’t let the in-laws bring their dogs and stay for more than a week” and so on. I’m not sure many people realize that when they spend all their time focused on the outcome or end result, they miss out on the blessings of here-and-now.
I have many friends who are single like me, and over the years many of them have bemoaned their singleness, often exclaiming “I can’t wait until I’m married….” and ending with the sentiment that their lives would be happier, more exciting, more fulfilling, more everything! During those conversations, I remember thinking and sharing, “if we’re always focused on the future, when we look back on this time period, we might regret not having enjoyed it more. “ Although I’ve always wanted to be married and never dreamed I’d still be single at this point in my life, I learned some time ago to be content and enjoy the benefits of being where God has me now until He sees fit to send my companion. I admit that periodically I have my “woe is me!” moments where I grapple with loneliness, but God has helped me to create an enriching and fulfilling life made up of great friends, loving family and varied interests to pursue. I firmly believe it is His will for me to be joined in matrimony at some point, but until then, I’ll continue to enjoy my own company, allow my relationship with God to go even deeper and experience the blessings He has in store for me right now, as a single woman after God’s own heart.
Some of you may be asking “How do you become more centered on today and less wrapped up in the excitement that the hope of tomorrow can bring?” Your responses to these questions as they apply to your situation will reveal the answers you are seeking:
- While you are waiting on that promotion or new job, what skills are you developing to prepare you for that position? What are you learning about yourself in your current position that’s pleasing and surprising to you? (Ignore your immediate response of “nothing!” and reflect on this for a few moments.)
- What friendships can you nurture while you are waiting on your lifetime companion? What do you enjoy the most about spending time with yourself? What insights have you gained about yourself while spending time alone?
- What have you discovered about your relationship with God as you wait on answers to your prayers? What could He be teaching you through this waiting period?
Connecting the dots:
- What are you missing out on today because of your focus on tomorrow?
- What is one thing you can commit to do now in order to consistently live in the moment, savor the present and enjoy where the Lord has you now?