Waiting is part of ANY ministry, not just ours.
Consider adoption: A couple waits years trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child. They wait through various failed fertility treatments. They wait while saving up money to adopt, wait while they apply to adopt, wait on the adoption agency approval, wait while someone considers whether they want their child to be adopted by them, wait though the pregnancy, and wait for the adoption to be finalized after the baby is born. The work of raising that child begins only after years and years of fist-clenched, tear-filled, faith-building waiting. I realize that not all adoptions are identical to this, but the common denominator is usually LOTS and LOTS of waiting.
The same ideas of waiting could be applied to foster parenting, planting a new church, or going onto the international mission field, etc. God often calls us to times of waiting in life and ministry.
Why do I get so uncomfortable with the idea of waiting, when I am well acquainted with it and should expect it to be a normal part of life and ministry? I think it’s because I long to be in control. I often forget that I do my part, but God is the one ultimately in control, directing my efforts, waiting for His timing to do His will. We are all prone to think that if we are good enough, or qualified enough, that we can do whatever we put our minds to, but God constantly reminds His people that to be doing His work, we need to do it His way. Honestly, I don’t want the Sparrow’s Nest to just be a ministry run by qualified people that helps meet the physical needs of pregnant teens, to the effect of having girls who can provide for the physical needs of their babies and fulfill all aspects of the American Dream after having a rough start. I want to see those girls come to know the God that made them and who sent His Son to die for them so that they can have a relationship with Him. Meeting a physical need is good, but we want to give them a hope and a future not just on earth, but an eternal hope in Christ.. I want this to be God’s ministry, not just mine. If that is our goal as a ministry, we need to surrender our timeline and trust Him with this ministry and His timing, knowing that He put this ministry in our hearts and He will see it through.
“For my thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11)
We are waiting…. but God is still working, preparing us for this work that He has called us to, and giving us work to do in the meantime.