When God Makes Us Wait & Wander

Calee Reed | Apr 20, 2017

Hi. I'm Calee. I'm 33, divorced, and live in my (very generous) father and stepmother's basement with my sweet four-year-old.

I work in a doctor's office, write music for Deseret Book, and spend most of my free time asking myself how on earth I got here...and asking God what I should be doing next.

I can't tell you how many times I've wished God could just send me a text or an email with simple instructions on exactly how to proceed from this point. After so much heartache and pain, I feel hesitant and cautious about my decision-making skills. It seems like it would be easier if He could just take the reigns from here. But, no matter how humbly I've asked, God still hasn't reached out to me on my outdated iPhone 5s or asked for my gmail address.

A few months ago I started to wonder why God wasn't answering my pleas for guidance. I know He hears me. I know He's aware of what's going on in my life. Why wasn't He giving me the direction I’d been begging for? I decided that I needed to study the concept of waiting. The things I learned while studying that topic were incredibly comforting and, to be honest, a little frustrating.

I came to the conclusion that waiting and wandering are our heritage as believers.

Let me explain:

Did you know that God loves to make people wait? He does it in the scriptures all the time!

You know who waited?? (This list is a tiny subset according to my study)

Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Paul, and even Christ Himself.

How about Sariah waiting 80 years to get pregnant? You think pregnancy is hard...imagine all of those symptoms in an 80 year-old body! I'm sure 9 months never felt so long.

The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after spending generations waiting to be delivered from slavery.

Maybe you're like me and lamenting your dating options? If so, consider how Rachel must have felt when she had to wait seven long years to marry her betrothed, only to find out her sister married him instead! So rude. Add another seven years to the story and then infertility struggles...I mean, Rachel makes me feel like I should never complain about dating again.

Fast forward to Book of Mormon times - Nephi’s people wandered in the wilderness for years and the Brother of Jared's people lived in tiny, windowless boats for over a year while they were tossed around on the ocean. Dramamine, anyone? Also, can you imagine living in a tiny, windowless boat with your mother-in-law for an entire year? Perspective, people.

Moroni watched the destruction of his entire people and then literally walked around alone for years, never certain when he'd meet his end.

Even more recently - the pioneers were endlessly driven from place to place, journeying across this country on foot. Joseph Smith pleaded to God for deliverance on multiple occasions, under horrific conditions, only to be required to wait again and again.

You guys, these were good, righteous people - prophets, leaders, followers of Christ - who wandered and waited for what seemed like eternity to them at times, I'm sure. Heavenly Father has been leading His children through deserts and across oceans and out of slavery and through the wilderness since the beginning of time because there are things He needs you to learn while you wander - and good to be done while you wait.

WANDERING AND WAITING IS OUR HERITAGE.

I've been so concerned that maybe I was being called upon to wait for answers because I'm somehow too sinful or lack enough faith to receive revelation. Realizing that virtually every important scriptural figure spent a LOT of time wandering around and waiting has given me an incredible amount of peace. God uses these things to build our dependence on Him - and our time spent doing both is only wasted if we choose to NOT draw closer to Him.

The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is this: I might not know HOW God is going to bring all of the pieces of my messy life into focus and make all of the brokenness right...but if God has used this method of teaching (namely, wandering and waiting) on prophets and disciples across the span of human history, then even if I'm confused and frustrated and my patience is wearing thin, I'm in good company.

I've decided it's time to put on my proverbial hiking boots and get to journeying in this wilderness I currently find myself in. Care to join me as I wander? You bring the sunscreen, I'll bring the MREs, because this will probably take us a while. The good news is we have a lifetime to reach our destination - and a God who is guiding us (albeit slowly sometimes) home.