By Ava Pennington—
Wait. It’s a four-letter word in more ways than one.
I hate waiting.
- Waiting in lines at the post office.
- Waiting for a green light at intersections.
- Waiting for answers to prayer.
That last one is the worst. Waiting for answers to prayer. Especially when I know the prayer request is something that lines up with what the Bible teaches.
If it’s God’s will for someone to know Him, then why doesn’t He answer my prayer for that person’s salvation? Or if I’m praying for Christians to step forward to serve in ministry so others will have an opportunity to learn God’s Word, why doesn’t He immediately grant that request?
Perhaps it goes back to what Oswald Chambers once said:
“If God sees that my spiritual life will be furthered by giving the things for which I ask, then He will give them, but that is not the end of prayer. The end of prayer is that I come to know God Himself.”
The wait for answers is not just about the answers. Instead, it may be more about aligning my heart with God’s heart. My desires with His desires.
The longer I pray about something, if I’m asking with the right spirit, I begin to understand things in a different way.
The salvation of that loved one? I see God working behind the scenes to soften hearts in a way that may touch more than one life. He is also working on me so I won’t see that person’s salvation as another notch on my Christian gun belt.
The need for ministry workers? I see God using the wait to teach me to depend on Him alone. He is also using the time to teach those waiting that the opportunity to study His Word is a privilege not to be taken lightly.
Being a lady in waiting isn’t easy for me. I wonder if it ever will be. But as I wait, my perspective changes. Slowly but surely, I see beyond my own desires to what God is accomplishing in me and in those around me for His glory.
How well do you wait?
“For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:4 NASB).
Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Originally from New York City, she relocated after a 20-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired. In addition to writing and speaking, she teaches a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 200+ women from September through May each year.
Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries International. Ava has also written articles for magazines such as Power for Living, Called, and Christianity Today’s Today’s Christian Woman. She has been published in 25 anthologies, including 18 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Ava is grateful for her husband, Russ, their marriage of 35+ years, and their home in south Florida. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit www.AvaWrites.com or contact her at Ava@AvaWrites.com.