We left off with Naomi telling Ruth to “wait… until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled” (Ruth 3:18). I forgot to mention something in the previous post that I need to in this one—in fact, I’ve chosen to make this the focal point of this post. How many of us feel resistance, cringe, or think, “I’m not doing that,” in response to hearing the word “wait.” Have you ever noticed that so many things in our lives involve waiting? Waiting for a raise, to graduate, to get your license, for the baby’s arrival in the ninth month, for the kids to move out, and the list continues.
What is the word often attached when someone does NOT want to wait? If you guessed, “impatient” you are right. Oftentimes, this happens when it’s something we really, really, really want. The danger is what you do when impatient thoughts arise. The choice is either take matters into your own hands or wait for an indefinite amount of time. I already explained what happens if you do the former but what about the latter? Choosing (and it is a choice) to wait for God to move in that area that you need change in now is hard. However, during your waiting, God needs something from you and me: trust.
How many of us struggle with trusting someone to deliver on his or her promise, or become frustrated when the promise is broken. The tendency is to avoid taking the person at his or her word anymore, because that person may break their promise again. Be honest here, how many of us do something similar with God? I have to be honest and raise my hand here. One minute, we trust Him; but then, when He has not changed the circumstance a month, two months, even two years later, we begin to waver. It’s human nature to get antsy and want to do something about things. It takes full unshakeable trust in God to fight off those antsy emotions.
How? Have you ever heard the phrase that goes something like, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”? I just want to say I disagree somewhat with that saying; I believe the destination will be wonderful too but how much more grateful are we about the destination because of the journey God took us on.
What do I mean? Well, as I said, we have a choice. If we choose to wait for God, we have a second choice: how are we going to wait during this journey? Impatiently or patiently. For those who desire the latter, the only way that is truly possible is getting closer and closer to God by getting to know His heart through His word and through prayer.
Think of it this way, how many of us would grow in our relationship with God if we asked and the next day He provided? If anything, we would only come to God when we need something and do not bother spending time with Him when things are peachy. It is important that we do spend that time with God because, as we grow closer in our relationship with God, we will be able to discern when He is speaking to us. Some ways that we do hear from God may be through someone, God’s word, the Holy Spirit, or through a message in church. The question is do we listen and do what He says?
For example, say you realized, whether due to a breakup or a string of dates that never became more that dating the world’s way is not in alignment with what you desire in your heart. During this time of reflection, God tells you that you need to take this time to get closer to Him; and, maybe focus on school and/or work. In other words, enjoy your single season. You accept that this is God’s path for you, you even express to God that getting closer to Him, and focusing on the other aspects of your life is what you will do. That is until you meet a new man soon after.
The man you meet loves God, and he has other qualities you desire. The man has a real interest in you and asks you out. Things look like they are pointing in the direction of you stepping into that new season of life. Except, maybe the man’s relationship with God is not as solid as you thought it was. Maybe, you realize that you two are not going in the same direction. Perhaps, something else transpires that makes you realize that this man is not the one God has for you.
So what happened? Why would God allow a man that seemed like the one for you to enter your life after you stated to God that you would focus on Him? I believe (personally) that when you declare you are going to do something to God, God will test you to see if you mean it. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, it says,
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Oftentimes, we will say to God that we will or will not do something and then, when something or someone comes into our life not long after, we might convince ourselves that God is telling us yes about that something or someone.
Let us use the example above again. Say you asked God about this man and you believed that you received confirmation that this man is the one through the man’s qualities and actions towards you. How can the man be when God previously told you to place your focus on Him? God does NOT contradict Himself. Either He said to wait and enjoy this time of singleness with Him or He did not. Either He said that person is the right man that you need to move forward in a relationship with or He did not. This is why it is vital that there are people who are further along in their relationship with God, such as mentors or parents, who know you and will help discern whether what you heard is from God or if it is your own thoughts. Because sometimes, you might think God is pointing you to someone being the right person when God really is not at all.
I am not saying that there are not stories where soon after a person chooses to focus on getting close to God that God brought the person and his or her spouse’s path together. I am sure that has happened. Even so, it is important to seek God, WAIT for God’s answer, LISTEN to God when He does answer, and discuss it with others to determine if it truly was God speaking. It can help in avoiding certain heartaches.
In my own journey of waiting, I recognize that God is changing things within me. It has not been perfect my trust. There have been lonely moments. There have been frustrating moments. There has been doubt ridden moments. Regardless, God has showed me a lot of myself one of which is how my journey can be a testimony that waiting (no boyfriends) is His true design. That the desire to be a godly friend, girlfriend, and wife to my future husband is a desire He put there. All I have to do is, like Ruth, wait until God brings my path and my future husband’s path together.
As each of us progress in our journeys prior to the destination of our desire, when the blessing does comes, it will not pull you and I away from our desire to grow more in our relationship with God. Why? Because let us use this time to patiently wait for God and allow God to strengthen our characters.
All Bible Verses are from Holy Bible: New International Version and New Living Translation