Monday, 7 January 2013

WAITING OR WASTING


When I stepped into God’s call to minister to mature singles in 2009, I wonder how I would transition from working with young people to working with mature singles. These special groups were different in many aspects. After prayerfully considering both groups, I realised that God was not calling me to choose but to expand my scope in working with those on the life bridge or crossroad called waiting.

During an interview in 2012, I was asked, “Why have you chosen to combine the mentoring of young people with the counseling of mature singles?” I answered thus:

I was led to start both by God and honestly I am only just seeing the link. Teenagers and young adults are at a crossroad in their lives where they need guidance and mentoring. Mature singles are also at a crossroad where they feel the need for family life. Being able to connect the teens to mature singles that have time to devote to them creates a very purposeful symbiotic relationship. The added advantage is that the relationship serves to impact the young person and positively affects the esteem of the mature single whose need for family life is met by the commitment towards the young person.





Waiting in God's waiting room, as I have assured many over and over again, is not a punishment but a phase to prepare you and test your capability and capacity for the blessing ahead. Are you waiting or wasting? Adeleke Aladekoba, a mentee of mine, waited for many years to get into higher institution. When my God who is never late arrived with his admission package, it was to Covenant University with a scholarship. I waited 10 years after my bachelor’s degree to receive a master’s degree but one of the ingredients (Willows Magazine) that delivered my admission and degree to me happened 7 years into my wait. I know a widow with three children who is today married to a single man. I also know an unmarried mother of two who insisted she wanted a single man and God sent one her way in His time. Maami attended the wedding of her principal's daughter in 2012. The bride was 52 years; never being married. On October 13, 2010 we heard of the wedding of Esther Folashade Aduke Blaize to William Folorunso Kumuyi. What many may not know is that at 65, this was her first marriage. She was one of the founding members of the Deeper Life Bible Church.

No matter the bus stop you believe you are stranded at, stay out of the elements - sun, rain or wind, then walk tall to impact lives. Carol Akpala, a former junior colleague of mine shared an inspiring story of how after waiting for a while at the bus stop she discovered a little blind boy who has been waiting longer just to be helped to cross the street. Her wait was a solution to the boy’s wait. While you are waiting be sensitive to your environment and do whatever positive things your hands find to do. When your celebration bus arrives, what matters would be how you spent - wisely or foolishly, your waiting period. Remember the story of the maidens and the lamps? God always arrives but will you be there, will you be ready?

‎"If only I am educated", now you are a graduate; "If only I am employed", now you have a job; "If only I have a car", now you have a ride; "If only I have a place to call home", now you own an apartment, "If only there is light…" Instead of waiting for NEPA, get off the whining wagon and grab a torch to see how blessed you are that you can read, earn, own and see. The word contentment means consciously accepting, appreciating, enjoying and making the best use of the allocation in your location and finding peace in the knowledge that God knows your frame and would increase your supply in due season ~ 1 Timothy 6:6.

There are two different ways to wait: ACTIVE and PASSIVE.

When you wait actively, you are wise. When you wait passively you are foolish. Passive wait should actually be called wasting! All you are doing is wasting your period of preparation.

A man of God once shared about a lady who told anyone that cared to listen that she can only be successful abroad. She claimed to have received enough revelation that made her believe this fact; she implored everyone to avail her of information and opportunities to travel abroad. One day, her pastor landed a perfect opportunity and immediately sent for her. When she arrived, he excitedly narrated the opportunity and how she can leave in one week to live her dream of living abroad. He ended the narration with a question: “Can you get your passport to me asap so we can process the visa and get the ticket?” Her response will weaken your limbs, “I don’t have a passport.”

I can here you say, “How on earth could anyone be waiting for travel and not have a passport!” But isn’t that what you are doing, if you are waiting for marriage and do not have a job, waiting to study abroad and do not know how to use a computer, waiting to become a leader and do not understand the principle of followership, waiting to step into a career or call and do not want to develop yourself in the field?

Many of us are at the 'wasting close' where there is no way out except back to the 'waiting boulevard' where you can pray and prepare. A man talked about his brother who was very fervent in the Lord. He was waiting for employment. While this seemingly God-less sibling prepare and leave home for work daily, this God-filled brother will lock himself indoor and pray. One day, the sibling returned to pick something during lunch and found the brother still praying, then he asked, “Have you ever applied for a job or cold-called or even browse the internet or newspaper for jobs?” His shocking response was, “No, my God will do it!” That is worse than passive waiting because you have jumpstarted the principle of waiting by trusting in God but your applicability is lame. The Bible says, “Faith without work is dead”.

Except you are willing to settle for the cleaner, carpenter or plumber who comes to fix things around the house, if you are waiting for a man or woman, you must activate your wait by acting. Abraham activated his wait by blessing strangers. Though Abraham seem to have been waiting aimlessly after flying the wrong kite with Hagar but it wasn’t a blind passive wait because he positioned himself to see and bless the angels. Rebecca activated her wait by going to the well and by blessing a stranger.

Quickly let’s look at the master keys in active waiting:


1.  Rewire your mind to the junction where you believe that waiting is not a punishment. God does not punish His Own; in fact he says in His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). All the way, through your wait or challenge, know and believe that God is there. Accept that as a God-loving person, all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).


2.   Worship and pray to The One who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Communicate your desire to God.



3.     Listen attentively (Proverbs 4:20). If all you know to do during your wait is to sit and look, at least position your ears away from noise but closer to what God is saying. If he says, go and visit so and so, don’t question or query Him, just go. The word I received in 2004 was a barely audible whisper “Go”. That 2-letter word delivered a trip through which I landed a study abroad with scholarship!



4.     Act on the prompts. God may speak through the still small voice, He may send someone to you etc. If you are so stubborn and just buried in non-profitable ventures, He may even break your rib to bring you to your wits end and get your attention! When you meet a man your Spirit clearly tells you, “That’s your helper”, don’t let him go without at least striking a conversation, “Hello”, “May I have your number”; acting promptly may be the difference between waiting for one more month or one more year.

5.     Learn the rudiments of your expectation. If what you are waiting for is a wife, wait expectantly by learning how to treat women nicely, communicate well with women, create conducive atmosphere for a relationship etc.

6.     Prepare for your miracle. If a job is what you are waiting for buy office shirts and shoes. If a child is what you are waiting for, minister to children or ensure your home is child-ready. A couple trusting God for a child furnished their home with all-white leather chairs. It took a minister of The Word to let them see that their home was not child-ready.

7.     Trust The One who says, “All things will work together for those that love God and are called according to his purpose”. Trusting God means leaning to His understanding.

8.  Be open. If Abraham was close minded, He would not have been nice to strangers. At times those bearing our gifts are clad in rags yet we must trust that if God brought them to you then they have a message to deliver. A mad man saw Pastor Adeboye and was steered to greet him, clear traffic for him to lead his vehicle out of a jammed traffic.

9.   Read the amazing stories of patriarchs and matriarchs who waited and were not disappointed by God. The Bible is filled with beautiful testimonies. You can also speak to those whose testimonies are closer home than those in the days of the Bible. Spend time to read the Bible and the stories of those who know the God of the Bible. 

10. This key should be titled play but you may end up playing away your blessing if you take playing too seriously. So I'll tag this key; relax and refresh. When we are too uptight about finding the right man, we end up interpreting and misinterpreting every sign. Similarly when we are too uptight about getting the right job or even having a child, we end up using ungodly means. Relax and find refreshing in knowing that God is in control of the reins of your life. Find time to laugh, socialise, mix with the right crowd, go to the beach, visit a resort centre. Don't put your life on hold because you are waiting for a puzzle piece. Don't merely exist, inhale and exhale; live!



David in Psalm 62:1 say, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation". Salvation here of course also means being saved from the trauma, grief or stress of waiting.

To wait is to sit in active silence and listen to God’s voice and words, watch for His revelations, hear His command and obey His directives. The Bible in Isaiah 40:31 say, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint:.

Simply put those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their energy by empowering themselves to fly. After they have been empowered to fly, they will fly and will ensure no challenge keeps them from going higher. When a plane wants to fly, it will taxi before take off. When an eagle wants to soar, it positions itself to gather momentum before take off. Mother eagles prepare baby eagles by flying with them then they graduate to throwing and catching them until their wings are strong enough to fly on their own.

Do you remember Noah? Noah could have waited passively or aimlessly by just telling people about his revelation but instead he acted and by so doing preserved creation for posterity.

Why, when, where, what you are waiting for should be the driving factor for how you should wait.

Are you waiting or wasting?