What If God Asks You to Wait?
I’ve heard it said that God only has three answers to any question: (1) Yes, (2) No, and (3) Not right now. Sometimes, as Christians, we are stuck feeling like we always get the no's, but hardly ever seem to get yes's. It is difficult to constantly have the perspective that everything happens in God’s timing and every closed door is really an open one, when in reality we just want the answer to be yes.
This past semester, I have had my fair share of closed doors. Last year I was part of the Orientation Board at my college. I gave my all to the service of helping freshman and transfers feel a sense of community on campus. Yet, when the time came to re-apply, instead of getting excitedly woken up in the middle of the night like I had last year, I instead received a cold email telling me that my skills no longer fit the group. Meeting new people, having energy at the ready, and being able to make people feel comfortable are some of the gifts I feel like God has given me that I thought fit perfectly with what the Orientation Board required. Suffice to say, I was upset. It only added to my hurt that some of the great friendships I felt like I had made through this group seemed to fizzle now that I was no longer worthy in their opinion to minister.
Another major closed door was being rejected by the boy I had consumed myself with for the past year and a half at school. We had been good friends and I was not even that nervous to tell him how I felt because I truly felt like the feelings were going to be easily reciprocated. They were not. I was devastated, to put it plainly. I am a girl who has never had a boyfriend, and I definitely thought this boy was my ticket into adorable Instagram photos and wearing a sweatshirt with his last name engraved on the back. By the end of the semester I was more than ready to get out. I kept wondering why everywhere I turned I seemed to meet another slammed door. It was hard to not be jealous every time I saw a couple walking around or a group of people at their weekly Orientation Board group dinners.
One verse in particular gave me continual strength:
My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress I will not be shaken. -Psalm 62:1-2
Frankly, this past semester I truly felt like the enemy was shaking everything I had out of my life, but I love how we can be reminded that nothing can shake off God. The truth is, sometimes God gives us a no so that we can be challenged in ways we never would have been if He had given us the yes. Sometimes, we need to take a good hard look at our lives and realize we are not desiring what God wants to give us.
After much prayer and endless comfort from my great friends and family, I realized that the things I had gotten rejected from were blessings in disguise. The Orientation Board, if I had been accepted in, would have not worked well with my schedule filled with difficult classes. It also gave me the freedom to truly invest into my other friends around me and grow in many new relationships. As for the boy, well it didn’t take long for me to realize how truly mistaken I was to think he would’ve made me happy. I am still happily his friend but I have realized the many joys of being single. It took some hard rejections from God to wake me up to the fact that He was not my priority.
I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and I decided to print it out and hang it in my dorm room for the remainder of the semester:
Here are some ways that help if you feel like you keep getting doors slammed in your face:
1. Pray for wisdom. You truly need to be in the word each and every day. Pray that God may give you the best gifts He has and for the wisdom to understand and accept His wishes.
READ: James 1:5, Ephesians 1:17, Psalm 119:105, Joshua 1:8, Matthew 26:39, Psalm 143:10
2. Ask God to help you desire His plans for you rather than your own. There are so many times I want to say to God, “Hold up, I’ve actually got this.” When in reality I’m so far from having this. He can truly see the big picture and He knows what we need right at this moment, even if it feels like a punishment.
READ: Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:28, Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, Proverbs 16:9
3. Pour yourself into other things. God’s no’s are just redirection. Maybe there are people or areas in your life that you are neglecting and now have time to rekindle. God definitely has given you this no because He protecting you from less than His best.
READ: Proverbs 16:3, Romans 12:2, Jeremiah 1:7-8, Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Peter 4:8-9
4. Remember you are not forgotten. God will never forget about you or His plans for you. He may readjust our plans for ourselves more than we would like, but God has something so special in store for you.
READ: Isaiah 49:15, Psalm 94:14, Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5, Joshua 1:9
What truths do you cling to when it becomes hard to trust God? Let's talk more in the comments below!