Tan Lay Leng
Between the years 2013 and 2016, after my resignation as a school teacher, I entered a season of the wilderness when I was recovering from a burnout.
Going from the fast pace of the teaching service to having flexible personal time with family and friends, I had less stress and more time on my hands. Since I was enjoying the flexibility, relaxation and retreats, the first three years of waiting and not knowing my kingdom assignments were bearable. However, at the beginning of the year 2016, I became impatient.
At the time, my dean at Tung Ling Bible School (TLBS) had asked me to enrol in a 3-month leadership course there.
I had taken it to mean that God was providing a stepping stone to transit into His assignment for me. Upon graduation from TLBS, however, God appeared to be silent. So I decided to apply to a school to teach. I was given a verbal acceptance. Then an unusual thing happened. The school called the very next day to say that the post was given to another candidate. At this sudden closed door, I wondered what God might be up to. Again, I questioned Him how long I must wait.
The Lord answered me, “It is not about how long you wait, Lay Leng. It is how well.”
In the last four years serving God in Archippus Awakening – an eleventh-hour message to help awaken Christians to align themselves with God’s will and do what God has assigned us to do – I have observed that many want to know their God-given kingdom assignments.
But many – like I was – may not be willing to wait. Yet it is in the waiting that I am changed from running in my own strength to resting in His love. In the waiting, my soul is purged from self-fulfilment.
As my soul shifts towards security in Christ, my spirit rekindles with joy. I learn to depend on God and not take things into my own hands. I learn to dealign from self and align with Christ.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1b
I am encouraged that God can inspire delays to accomplish something for His purposes actually only achievable in the delay. But the Lord Himself shall bring to pass all that He has purposed and promised for His glory.
What is the delay you face? Perhaps you are discouraged that you are not going to receive your God-given kingdom assignments. Take heart. As He did for me, He will do the same for you.
As you focus on the aligning, He will do the assigning. And as you wait, wait well.
So, how should we wait well? Allow me to share three tips.
1. Obey whatever God has asked you to do
Even in the small things, be faithful. As you wait for Him, know that He may be waiting for you. Have you obeyed His last instruction for you? Listen to Oswald Chamber’s words of wisdom: “When you know that you should do something and you do it, immediately you know more.”
2. Surround yourself with kingdom people
Besides coming back into intimacy with God, I cultivated kingdom friendships. I prayed relentlessly with various friends even as we connected over tea and waffles. Nourish your body, soul and spirit. Let family and friends love you.
3. Don’t abort the process, embrace it
God is in control of the timing. The story goes that a boy snipped off a bit of a cocoon when he perceived that the struggling butterfly needed help to emerge. The butterfly did emerge easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. The butterfly’s struggling was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, making it ready for flight.
Are you struggling while waiting? Something beautifully strong is emerging from the wait. And finally, I leave you with another insightful word from Oswald Chambers, “Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been.”