It seems everyone, all over the world is waiting for something these days. From teenagers eager to get out from under their parents' wings, to young graduates itching to get a job and enter the workforce, singles waiting to get married and couples waiting to have babies. We all seem to be running a rat race which involves a lot of waiting. For me, waiting has involved attending countless weddings as a bridesmaid, whilst I wait for the day I will one day be on the other side of the bridal train – the bride walking down the aisle. Honestly, there have been times when I've wondered if that day will ever come and if I'm honest there are times when I still wonder if that day will ever come.
Nobody likes waiting, if we’re all honest. I’ve found myself nearly cursing when the bus doesn’t show up for twenty minutes as I watch the clock tick and end up late for work. Waiting appears to bring out the worst in us and on many occasions, I have felt the feelings of frustration, anger and shame all at once for being upset at the bus driver who didn’t show up on time to get me where I needed to be! Surely, he should know my schedule and realize that I have things to do and no time to waste!
However, on many other occasions I have been thankful when waiting to make a decision on something has saved me from financial and emotional heartache amongst other things. It has often made me wonder if we look at waiting the wrong way. Perhaps ‘waiting’ is the unseen teacher working in our lives every day to help us become better versions of ourselves.
Waiting to walk down the aisle has been one of the biggest teachers in my life and even as I write this, I probably wouldn’t have it any other way. I find it almost crazy that I can write this given the intense periods of aching my heart has experienced for this deep, innate desire that most of us will have on this earth. This desire to be loved and to love is at the very heart of our relationship with God as I have come to realize in this season of waiting. In my yearning for marriage, I was brought to my knees in the knowledge that what I truly longed for was a relationship that frankly speaking, no man could attain to, except the One who has perfectly loved me even before I was formed in my mother’s womb. I longed for unconditional love, for one to walk beside me daily, encourage me, see the best in me, bring me delight and ultimately fulfil that longing deep inside my heart. Ironically it was this longing to be loved that drove me into the wrong arms and helped me see that my true need was not for the love of a man, but for the passionate, all-consuming love of my Savior, Jesus.
In the waiting, I realized I hadn’t really understood what it meant to be faithful. So began the journey of learning what it means to be faithful in the waiting; a journey I'm still on and I suspect will always be on till I meet the Lord face to face. I’ve learned that being faithful requires:
1. Dying daily to fleshly desires – I learned that all desires, no matter how natural or seemingly good, if not brought under the Lordship of our King can lead us down the wrong path and the process of healing thereafter can be more painful than is worth having that desire met. Hebrews 12:11 articulates this: “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it’’.
2. Vulnerability – Being honest with ourselves, to others but most importantly to God. Being open enough to let God into the broken and hurting places of our hearts and minds so that He can cleanse, heal and fill it with a peace unlike no other. As we allow Him in, He will fill us with a love that is so deep, the longing for the love of man begins to pale in comparison and takes up less room in our hearts. This is not to say the desire for marriage is not good, but ultimately the greatest marriage we can ever aspire to and hope for is the marriage between Christ and His bride, the Church (whom we are). Ephesians 5:25 – 27 paints this perfect picture of marriage between Christ and His bride - “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”.
3. Waiting with intent – My life has a purpose that far exceeds just being married and it is my responsibility to live that life for which God created and put me on this earth at this time. If I spend all that time waiting for one defining moment in my life to the detriment of all others, then I would have missed the life God intended for me even in the waiting. Jesus had one sole mission whilst he walked this earth and that was to do the will of the One who sent Him. I have learned that whether single or married, this should be our sole overarching desire – to do the will of the One from whom we came and to whom we shall return.
To conclude, remaining faithful in the waiting hasn’t been so much about remaining faithful but rather, learning what it means to be faithful in the waiting.
Chika Anajemba works within the financial services industry. She has a passion for writing, public speaking and serving the Lord in ministry. Her hobbies include travelling and blogging about living life with purpose. For more of Chika's writings, visit www.myscarletthread.wordpress.com. Instragam: myscarletthread.