Last week my wife and I were invited to speak on a panel of adoptive parents for the agency we used to adopt our two sons--Bethany Christian Services. The panel discussion was part of Bethany's new family orientation. These couples are just beginning their adoption journeys. Our assignment for the panel discussion was to address the issue of waiting. I guess they thought we were pros at this, considering we have gone through the adoption process not once, but twice.
When it comes to waiting we definitely know a thing or two. Our first son, Caleb, was adopted in 2012. From the time our adoption paperwork and home studies were approved, to the time of placement, we waited eleven months. Looking back that really was not a long wait. However, in the moment it seemed like an eternity. What was a long wait was the two years we waited for our second son, Camden. Honestly, this wait was almost unbearable.
The wait for Camden was difficult for our whole family, including Caleb. We were open and honest with him about his siblings adoption. He had to sit in on meetings and interviews as we went through the home study process. For the first year of waiting, almost every night, Caleb would ask, "When is Jesus going to bring us our baby?" I wanted so desperately to be able to give him a definite answer, but I could not. I always responded with the same answer, "When He's ready, son. When He's ready." While this might not seem like much of an answer, I believe it is actually the correct answer. God always responds to our prayers when He is ready! Not a minute before or after.
Are you in a period of waiting on God? Maybe you are waiting on a job, a healing, a relationship, an answer to prayer...you fill in the blank. Here are a few truths to remember while you wait...
1. Remember God is sovereign!
You see at the foundation of waiting on God one must have a strong view of the sovereignty of God. To believe God is sovereign is to believe the He maintains absolute control and authority over humanity and all of the affairs of creation and life. When we have a strong view of God's sovereignty we can find comfort therein. R.C. Sproul said, "No truth is more comforting that God's sovereignty over suffering." I think we could include His sovereignty over waiting.
2. Remember God is working!
It's been said, "While we are waiting, God is working!" I believe this is an absolutely true statement. God never sits twirling His thumbs. The Psalmist was clear when he said our God "neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:4).
3. Remember God is faithful!
In Psalm 143 we find a powerful prayer from David. It is a prayer of deliverance as David is fleeing the pursuit of his son, Absalom. In his prayer, David begins with this declaration v. 1 - "Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness." In this verse David calls on two powerful attributes of God–His faithfulness and His righteousness. David was in essence saying, "God answer me because that's who you are and that's what you do--you answer prayer!" God cannot help but to answer your prayers. He is bound by the attributes of His character to answer. Now, we must remember that He will answer in His way and according to His schedule. His answer could be "yes," "no," or "not now!" But He will answer.
There could be one hinderance to your prayer though–unconfessed sin. Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard sin in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Stay clean before the Lord, confess the sins of your heart to Him, and trust that He is faithful!