I am not by nature a patient person. I do not like waiting for things to happen; for situations to improve or for projects to be completed. Truth be told, I really do not like waiting for anything!
However, throughout my years of serving the Lord He has taught me patience. Believe me, it is not an easy lesson to learn. So let me share a few principles from God's Word that have helped me in my journey. I am still not a patient person, but I do hope that I have learned some lessons along the way. I love the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings 17-19. If you read 1 Kings 17: 1-10 you will see a man who sat patiently waiting for the Lord. It was only when God spoke to Elijah that he moved. So what are some of the lessons we can learn from this prophet?
1. Don't do anything until God speaks: I can hear you saying: "How do I know when God is speaking?" Well, if you are still and quiet for long enough, God will speak to your heart. Elijah sat quietly at the brook of Kerith and waited until God spoke to Him. Only when he heard God's voice did he dare to move on to the next place.
If you read further in 1 Kings 19:3 you see a somewhat different picture of Elijah. He is running from Jezebel because he is afraid. A little further on in the passage God says: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" In other words, Elijah had moved out of fear and not out of obedience. A dangerous place to be! He had not waited to hear from God. He did not stop to listen to that still small voice of God speaking to Him and directing him. We want to ensure we never move out of fear, anger, failure, resentment or any other reason. It is important to move or take the next step because we know it is God's will for our lives.
2. The will of God is the safest place on earth: When Elijah went to Zarephath, it was extremely dangerous from a human perspective. This was a foreign place, and Jezebel (his enemy) was from Zarephath. I know if I wanted to hide from my foe I wouldn't choose to cower in the land they were from. (And the people of Zarephath were Baal worshipers!) I would want to get as far away from them as possible. The point is, this was God's will for Elijah and so it was the right place to be. And because it was the appropriate place from God's perspective, it was also a safe place.
3. God is always working in our hearts in the waiting period: We may be impatient and want to move but the truth is, God knows when we are ready. God is always working in our hearts during the waiting period. I am not sure how long Elijah waited at Zarephath...three years or more? I do know that while he was there God was preparing his heart for the next step, which you read about in 1 Kings 18. Without Zarephath, there would not have been a Mount Carmel experience.
So my friend, I encourage you to wait patiently. God has a plan for your life. Sit quietly and allow Him to work in your heart during this period. He is preparing you for something unique and special.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,