God called us to church planting before He told us where so we spent many months waiting for Him to give us clarity and direction.
He told us, "Charlottesville!" and we waited for all the pieces to fall into place for us to sell our house, raise support, and move our family to a new place and a new ministry.
The money was raised, the house sold, the family moved, and there we were, again, waiting for the answer to "What now?"
We started "church" in our home and started meeting people and we waited for God to do the growing of our little group into a church.
The Bible study on Sunday nights in our home grew out of a community center and into a new home at an elementary school and we wait for official word on our dream final destination, Monticello High School and for God to bring us a new worship minister.
Personally, leaving Central and those wonderful Aggies and moving into a new ministry life has found me waiting for over a year for God to show me my "niche" here. There is alot of active waiting in my life right now. I'm busy doing the things I've always done: being a wife, being a mom, training up my kids, discipling younger women, but in all that I still feel like I'm waiting on God and I am not the most patient waiter.
Yesterday, I listened to a talk on Hannah and I've been thinking about it ever since. I've been thinking about how suffering and waiting are often the starting point for change or transformation in Scripture. The passage about Hannah waiting for a child has tons of verses about waiting and wanting and suffering and then one simple verse when the promise is fulfilled. The rest of 1 Samuel has alot to do with waiting or lack thereof: Hannah waited, even with a broken heart, even when the outcome seemed in jeopardy, but she receives God's gift after He brings her to a place of brokenness and barrenness. David is anointed as king, but then has to suffer and wait through years of being chased around the kingdom by Saul. Others, like Saul, take matters in their own hands and strife always ensues. Scripture shows there is blessing in waiting on God, but strife and sin when we can't wait and take matters in our own hands.
This is an interesting thing about God to me. It seems like He really likes the waiting time. He likes the anticipation of fulfilling the promise, often dropping hints of hope along the way. Christ's birth was a moment He waited centuries to give the world and you can sense His excitement building all along the path of the Old Testament. I think this is so interesting because, unlike God, I don't like the waiting. I don't like that Jesus didn't come right away when Lazarus died, but purposely waited a few extra days. I don't like He has gone away and stayed away for thousands of years.
If I didn't have to wait on God, first of all, I wouldn't be trusting Him. But I know me and I know that if I didn't have to wait, I would think it was me making things happen, not Him. I would always get what I wanted, which would be to my detriment. Waiting, like Mary and Martha waiting for Jesus to come when Lazarus died, brings glory to God because we know in our barrenness that we had nothing to do with the outcome.
So, hopefully, my state of wait at the current time is the beginning of a process of change and transformation in my heart, in my family, and in my city. I'm anticipating the outcome!