Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
One afternoon, I was watching cartoons – and the episode was about the story of Noah. I decided to fact check the episode and went to Genesis to re-read the story. My mind became focused on one area – the seven-day waiting period after Noah and his family entered the ark.
In Genesis 7:1, we read that it was God who told Noah and his family when it was time to enter the ark. After receiving those instructions, God said the following in verse 4:
For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.
So why did Noah and his family have to wait for 7 more days, after they entered the ark? I don’t know. What I do know was that in those seven days Noah had choices. He could focus on the people who mocked him, or he could focus on God. Just because Noah and his family were in the ark of safety, with its door securely shut by God, did not mean that they had to stay in the ark. Doubt has a way of sneaking in and shaking our foundation. Even in the ark of safety, we must remain focused and committed to our relationship with God. So while I can only speculate on God’s intention with those seven days, I know this much to be true – God values the waiting periods.
The Disciples and the day of Pentecost
One of the most well-known waiting periods can be found in Acts 1:4-5, before Jesus ascended to Heaven. The scriptures state:
…He commanded them [His apostles] not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Upon receiving this instruction, the disciples and close followers of Jesus spent their time praying, as well as becoming spiritually aligned. They understood the value found in the waiting periods. Instead of conceding to doubt and anxiety, they spent time in building their faith and trust. Then, when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1)
When we’re waiting on what’s next
Unfortunately, in our humanity, we have made the waiting periods as something to be feared, because in all honesty, it can be a scary time. When we’re hoping for new job or to be cured from sickness, the emotions can feel overwhelming. Many of us become mentally exhausted as we wonder if God is going to show up.
We might pray, but we’re unsure of what we’re hearing. Is it His voice or are own? In the midst of so many questions, our thoughts can become unhinged. We then create what we think the outcomes will be because we’re too afraid to place our trust in God. The idea of disappointment can feel too heavy a burden to bear.
When we’re waiting on the return of Christ
And even on our best days, we’re still waiting for Jesus to come back. This particular waiting period has become emotionally heightened in the current environment. And I get it. These are unprecedented times. Nevertheless, the amount of energy being placed on Instagram theories, political obsession, and cult-like group think work to keep us further away from the throne of God, instead of closer. Why? Because when we do this, we believe that we’re going to figure it out, or miss something along the way if we aren’t paying super close attention. Sadly, we become consumed with our own wisdom. Yet, Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
God does not operate in the way that we do, because He is God. For us, it can be hard to wait on God. Sometimes, when in doubt, we start to rely on self while leaving God out of the process. We may not even realize we’re drifting away from God, but it’s important to recognize the value of being still. There is strength to be found by sitting in the ark like Noah, trusting that God is readying you for the next part of your journey. Furthermore, like the disciples at Pentecost, we should learn to use the waiting periods as a time to commune with God. He is the source of our everything. With Him, we will choose not to live in fear and doubt, but to instead stand in truth, compassion, and love.
When We Stay Focused
As we learn to put God first in our lives, we will grow closer to Him. Our eyes will be opened to His will, and our wisdom increased. God will speak, and we will be in a place to receive His guidance. We will recognize the signs of the time and embrace the journey that God has outlined for us. Remember, our waiting periods are ones of personal transition and growth. It’s the place where God refines us and strengthens us for our next chapters.
So stay focused. The world is full of many distractions, and sometimes distractions come in the form of people. Don’t get lost in the waiting period. When you feel like giving up, keep pushing. Don’t allow someone else to navigate your journey. Don’t allow fear to blind you to the possibilities. Don’t distract yourself with mindless activity. Stay focused on God and prepare yourself to receive His blessings. Keep your eyes on Him, as He continues to keep His eyes on us.Print This Devotional