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Do you wait well? Not many of us do, so if you feel like an abysmal failure when it comes to the waiting game, you are certainly not alone.

However, the truth is, everyone is waiting for something. Moms wait for their children to be potty-trained, to sleep all night or to learn how to read. Men wait for the next paycheck, for their team to win the Super Bowl or to have some time alone with their wife.

Teens wait for a blemish to miraculously disappear; college students wait to know what they received on a difficult exam; and grandparents anxiously wait for the next visit from family.

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for a miracle? Are you waiting for a spouse? For a new job? For a breakthrough in finances?

I have often counseled the single women at our church to "Wait well." I encourage these young waiting women that while they are waiting for a spouse, they should teach Sunday school, go on mission trips, babysit for free, take a widow out to lunch or enroll in a college course. I remind them not to waste the wait but to invest in eternity during the temporary wait!

Often it is in the waiting that our true character is revealed and it is in that place of never-ending "pause" where our love for God is tested. We must remain fruitful, steadfast disciples while we wait; we must remain ardent in our love for God even when our circumstances do not change.

"Being assembled with them, He commanded them, 'Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, of which you have heard from Me. For John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:4, 5).

It seems that waiting is part of the requirement of any disciple of Jesus Christ. It was true in the book of Acts, and it is true today. We are all waiting for the promise of the Father to be actuated in our ordinary lives. Waiting requires discipline and demands singular resolve.

I have discovered that my flesh absolutely hates to wait, have you? The word that my flesh seems to chant most loudly and most often during the slow days of waiting is that wretched word, "Now!"

However, I have also observed that when my flesh is crying out in sheer insanity, "Now," God is gently whispering, "No ... not yet, dear one ... not yet."

Waiting has always been the room where my flesh has learned to die so that my spirit could come back to life.

If all you are doing is waiting, your flesh will stay in continual frustration; you must add something more powerful to your days of waiting.

"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers" (Acts 1:14).

If you long for the resources that it takes to wait well, you will continually devote yourself to prayer. Prayer will be the soothing agent and the strengthening tool that will enable you to wait for divine intervention in the circumstances of your life.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14).

If you can wait well and be singularly committed to prayer, you just might discover that waiting has become the most beautiful and fruitful time of your entire life. Waiting, in a believer's life, is the creative plan of God that stirs up strength and that cultivates courage. Without walking through a period of waiting, you will never be the person God created you to be.

Enjoy the wait! Continue to pray. Flex those spiritual muscles. God isn't finished with you yet. Wait well, my friend, wait well.

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written eight books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy!, Holy Estrogen!, No More Ordinary, Refined, Joy For All Seasons, Let There Be Joy! and Pass the Joy, Please! which releases on February 1, 2018.Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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