You’re waiting right now. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to change. Waiting for an answer. Waiting for a breakthrough. Waiting for your next move to be revealed.
We’re all waiting. God wants us to wait better. He wants us to wait different. Instead of our worry filled, anxious and impatient questioning, God is teaching us how to have a Holy Wait.
A Holy Wait knows there’s a purpose in the delay. A Holy Wait never loses sight of the promise. A Holy Wait doesn’t put living on hold.
How about you? Have you put living on hold as you wait? You’re waiting for an answer, so you’ve paused living until you get that answer. STOP THAT! This wait is not a punishment pausing your life, this wait is preparation for fulfillment of the promise and there’s living for you to be doing in the process.
Take your life off pause, and get back to living as you wait! Stop tip toeing around with ‘maybe I’ll do this’ and ‘maybe I’ll do that’ once you know for sure. No! You’ve been given today, LIVE THIS DAY!
We often quote Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But, do you know what comes before that scripture? Who was God talking to? He was talking to people who were WAITING. People who felt stuck. People who felt uncertain. People who were in less than favorable situations, hoping for something to change. Hmmmm … sounds kinda like you today, huh?
Let’s read BEFORE this quotable scripture to get the full picture. This is a letter written by Jeremiah to the Jews who have been exiled to Babylon. Now remember, they didn’t want to be in Babylon. Babylon was not their plan. And now they feel stuck in a place they don’t want to be, waiting for something to change. But God didn’t want them to put their life on hold in the wait. So, here’s what he has Jeremiah write. Jeremiah 29: 4-10, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” This is what the Lord says: “When 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”
Yes, God still has good plans for them. Yes, he is going to fulfill his promises to them. And yes, they are going to have to wait for it. God even tells them clearly, you’re going to wait 70 years, but as you wait, I want you to live fully. Don’t put your living on hold. He says build house and plant gardens. Marry and have babies. Let those babies get married and have babies. INCREASE, do not DECREASE.
As you wait, have you began to decrease? You’re becoming less and less of who you used to be. You’re showing up less. You’re giving less. You’re living less. And you think when the wait is over you’ll get back to living fully. But God says, “No. As you wait, you increase!”
Continue on with living, and live well. Find joy here, because guess what, maybe you’re going to be here for a while. Remember I told you the story of awaiting the return of my prodigal daughter. And remember, God asked me for 30 years. He asked me to continue trusting him and living in awe, wonder and joy, even if it takes 30 years to get her back. He asked me to increase in the wait, not decrease. The moment I made the decision to keep living while I wait, I felt unspeakable strength and joy.
Will you increase here, not decrease. As you wait, will you let life grow bigger instead of shrink smaller?
God is being straight up honest with the exiled Jews now stuck in Babylon. He’s telling them, you’re going to be here for 70 years. SEVENTY YEARS. That’s a long time y’all. And God is very clear, as you wait in this place you don’t want to be, you’re here to make it better. He says, “seek peace and prosperity of this city where I have brought you to wait. Pray for it, because if it prospers, you will too.”
Have you prayed over the company you so desperately want to quit on? Have you prayed over the town you can’t wait to leave? Have you prayed for the family you’ve been trying to avoid? God has you here waiting because he wants you to live your life here. Maybe not forever, but for now, you’re to LIVE here. Not just exist here, but actually LIVE here. Increase here. Make it better. Bring prosperity to this place.
What was God doing in the 70 years of waiting in Babylon? He was preparing his people. Preparing them for the good plans he had for them. Preparing them for prosperity in their future. That’s where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It was a promise that all the waiting was preparation for something good, so they had to live in the Holy Wait. A Holy Wait knows there’s a purpose in the delay. A Holy Wait never loses sight of the promise. A Holy Wait doesn’t put living on hold.
So, they lived in Babylon as they waited for God’s rescue. They built homes and planted gardens. They got married and had babies. Their babies got married and had babies. They prayed for the city they were stuck in, and they made it better. They brought prosperity to the place they didn’t want to be, as they lived in a Holy Wait for God’s promises.
God has promises over your life. You can count on them. But maybe he has you in that Holy Wait as a time of preparation. He’s preparing you for the good plans he has for you. He’s preparing you for prosperity in your future. You’re learning things here in the Holy Wait that will equip you to walk in bigger things than your mind can imagine.
So, what do you do here? You increase! You don’t stop living. You don’t pause your happiness. You don’t hold back the best of you for a different time and place. You give the best of you here, in the wait. You live fully now, in the wait. You go all in, in the wait. You increase in the wait. You prosper in the wait.
I read a note yesterday that grabbed my heart and made my spirit leap. I think it’s for you, my sister. I believe God brought you here today to hear this. Here’s what the note said:
She renamed her waiting, calling it His preparing, and when she did, it became provision not punishment.
Go ahead and rename your waiting. This is your preparing. You’re being prepared for the good plans and hope filled future of prosperity God has for you. Don’t waste the preparation. Don’t wish it away. Don’t hate it. Embrace it. This is good.
God has you in the Holy Wait because he is preparing you for more. Increase here in his provisions. This is not a punishment.
I’m not waiting. This is His preparing. This is certainly not punishment, this is sweet provision. I will get better here. I will increase!